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The Museum of Art and Photography Bangalore / Mathew and Ghosh Architects

Architect: Mathew and Ghosh Architects
Place: Bengaluru, India
Year: 2023
Photographer: Iwan Baan
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MAP Museum of Arts & Photography, South India’s first major new art museum to open in a decade, opened to the public in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru, the largest city of the southern Indian state of Karnataka and the country’s technology capital, has experienced an important growth in the artistic production in recent decades, which has led to the opening of several private ateliers and to the creation of the public National Gallery of Modern Art in 2009 and of the first digital version of the MAP in 2020. Designed by the local firm Mathew & Ghosh Architects, under the supervision of a commission of experts led by Rahul Mehrotra, the modern complex of over 4,000 square meters houses in four large galleries an outstanding collection of over 60,000 artworks, whose nucleus is formed by the donations from its founder, the philanthropist and collector Abhishek Poddar.

The eclectic collection is divided into six sections: Pre-Modern, Modern and Contemporary, Photography, Living Traditions, Popular Culture and Textiles, Craft & Design. The museum’s mission is to take its heritage of artworks, textiles and photographs, which offer an extraordinary insight into Indian art and culture, to the heart of the community, making it accessible to a diverse audience. Since MAP is considered as a cultural beacon for both city dwellers and visitors and as a space for ideas and conversations, it – as architect Soumitro Ghosh explains – required a simple planning, a historically rooted architectural gesture and an use of material that balances its transparency, associated with its public function, with the opacity of the spaces for the conservation and protection of the artworks.

The Bengaluru MAP Museum houses on two of its five levels four large columnfree exhibition galleries which host an extraordinary collection of Indian art and culture. The building, designed as a parallelepiped with traditional columns and cantilevered slabs at each level, also accommodates a 166 sqm auditorium, a library for research on Indian art and culture, a learning centre, a conservation space, a Member’s Lounge, a Café and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city skyline

Conceived as an expression of a post-colonial Indian museum culture, the building embodies the aesthetics and intellectual heritage of its country in every aspect. In this sense, the inspiration for the shape and cladding panels from the water tanks, scattered in the urban landscape, which allude to the colonial history of the former Bangalore, today Bengaluru, sounds somehow thought-provoking. The monolithic façade which wraps the exhibition galleries and protects the artworks from exposure to ultraviolet light, while ensuring temperature and humidity control, is made up of embossed stainless steel panels, traditionally associated with the water tanks. Solidity and opacity are a metaphorical reference to the preciousness of the art to be protected and to its capacity to inspire society to reflect and evolve. On the other hand, the common public areas are protected by glass walls that invite passers-by to feel part of the creative process and visitors to feel part of the urban life.

  • Architects: Mathew and Ghosh Architects
  • Place: Bengaluru, India
  • Area: 4089 m²
  • Year: 2023
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan
  • Lead Architects: Soumitro Ghosh, Nisha Mathew
  • Structural Consultants: Manjunath consultants, KPM Engineering, Manjunath & Co.
  • Lighting Consultant: Lirio Lopez
  • MEP Consultants: KPM Engineering, E-Sollutions
  • Project Management Consultants: Kris Cooper PMC Pvt. Ltd.
  • HVAC Consultans: Coldaire Inc.
  • Electrical Installations: Southern Electrical Co.
  • Project Architect: Saikat Ray
  • Design Team: Akshay Mahale, Rahul Pingale, BS Jyothsna, Prajna Karanth, Omar Faroque
  • Map Architecture Advisor: Rahul Mehrotra
  • General Contractor: Dan Constructions Pvt. Ltd
  • Facade Consultants: Meinhardt Facade Technology
  • Accessibility Consultant: DEOC
  • Aluminium Facade Cladding: Alufit International Pvt. Ltd.
  • Fire Consultants: FirePro
  • Phe Consultant: Jobis Engineering
  • Micropiling: Compendius Engineering Solutions
  • Branding Consultant: TSK Design
  • Technology Consultant: Opezee
  • Signage Consultant: MIPL Global

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