Focused on sustainability and flexibility, Studio Lotus’s proposal for new cultural annexes at the historic precinct seeks to create a new architectural system in tune with the rich context of the site.
With an approach of frugal innovation, flexibility and modularity, Studio Lotus's proposal for the new Knowledge Center & Visitor Center at the 15th century Mehrangarh Fort Precinct seeks to create a new architectural system in time with the rich context of the site.
The closed design competition, organized by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, invited proposals from leading Indian design practices, selected at the Board’s discretion. The design brief sought design solutions for creating extensions in the Mehrangarh Fort and Museum precinct. The proposal takes the brief forward through a highly sustainable approach towards the existing context that reduces the volume of stone used and demonstrates a high degree of localisation, re-configuration and modularity with evolving needs of the programme.
Providing an alternate entrance experience, the proposed Visitor Centre has been designed as a flexible and adaptable intervention that will help mitigate the high footfall with minimal ecological impact. A parallel pathway along the main fort entrance has been proposed, culminating at the Jai Pol Plaza. The junction of the plaza and the pathway will house the Visitor Centre, populated with woven steel lattice-based modules fitted with stone tukdi slabs.
The proposed Knowledge Centre is sited along the north-western ramparts overlooking the Chokhelao Bagh. Developed as a series of interconnected decks descending from the Palace Plaza, the Knowledge Centre will consist of Exhibition Galleries, Seminar Halls, Community Spaces and Scholar;s Studies.
The spaces, placed sequentially form public to progressively more private, along the decks have been designed around a steep lightwell. Stone jaalis and a system of trellises formed through extensions of the building's primary steel structure will characterize the facade.
The towering edifice of Mehrangarh and its various outcroppings constitute a staggeringly intricate built character, as much a testament to the beauty of the built form as it is an embodiment of the region's culture and heritage. It was pertinent that any additions or modifications to this dense fabric enmesh with the existing; the proposed intervention aims to do just that - through expressive and additions that make the most of modern construction technology, yet stand deferential to the historic site's timeless magnificence.