Unbuilt: Urban Insert: Science Gallery at Bengaluru, Collage Architecture Studio

Project submit studio: Collage Architecture Studio

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Introduction:

Science Gallery Bengaluru, conceived by Collage Architecture Studio, is an exciting and prestigious public project which aims to engage the city and its citizens with science and art. They aspire to inspire curious minds by a creative collision between science and art. They aim to build a collaborative peer network of eight galleries by 2020 in partnership with research universities in leading cities of technological and cultural innovation around the world, engaging and inspiring an audience of up to three million local visitors worldwide annually, and reaching millions more curious minds annually through media and marketing activity.

The Science Gallery Bengaluru is visualized to be a dynamic new space for engaging young adults at the interface between science and the arts. A space which adapts with the city and the interests of its citizens.

Site Location:

The site is located in the campus of The Indian Veterinary Research Institute on Bellary Road on the Bengaluru – Hyderabad highway being one of the prominent areas of the city surrounded by a few important institutes and a city bus stop.

Site:

As much as the significance of the location, the site itself offers a rich blend of naturally landscaped topography with its built surroundings. From afar the land appears to be covered with hues of greens and the foliage shades almost the entire site. The subtly contoured land connects one end diagonally to the bus stop which is used regularly as a mode of transport by the students and the people residing in the campus.

Concept:

Witnessing the site for the very first time the natural landscape instantly takes away the sight. The canopy of tall trees itself gives direction for the conceptualization of the design. It was instinctive that the building had to be built around the trees and the built structure had to be synonymous with nature. Not alienated but it should converse with it’s surroundings, its should ‘grow’ from it.

Project Approach:

The site, by itself offers a rich blend of naturally landscaped topography with its built surroundings, it was instinctive that the spaces had to be woven around the trees. The land is subtly contoured and connects one end of the site diagonally to the bus stop which is used regularly as a mode of transport by the students and the people residing in the locality. The thought was to CONNECT the two diagonal nodes to pave the path guiding the movement of the visitors in the building.

The site is covered with hues of green and the foliage shades almost the entire land. The idea was to design spaces in dialogue with this serene surrounding. This is achieved by creating pockets for interaction at different levels for social & educational activities, thus letting the visitors enjoy the shades & shadows of nature while encouraging PARTICIPATION at community level.

The design intended to translate the idea of what a Science Gallery is to every person who walks inside the building. It’s a place for each one to engage, exchange and experience. The campus has also been treated as an urban intervention that offers something informative to anyone entering. The spaces are designed to have multiple uses rather than restricting to one.

One enters the building at the highest level where only the greenscape and the amphitheater is seen. Coming down, a huge tree stands in the central court to welcome the visitors, surrounded by exhibition galleries and workshop areas. Further moving along the pathway one can only see the framed vistas and the sky through the filmy fabric above. A walk along the way adds an element of SURPRISE at every instance with the visual frames created using different elements at varying segments.

Nature and landscape is expressed vividly and the built structure takes a back seat. As we walk, the built mass recedes towards the ground which enhances the whole experience of being inside the building. The porosity in the massing allows the eye to move through the spaces, framing light and greenery in every pocket. The open spaces are covered with tensile fabric which lets in natural light and allows ventilation enhancing micro-climatic comfort which makes the spaces usable throughout the day.

One could say that the building is a poetry carved from earth with each space sculpted thoughtfully, flowing along the natural slope and at times rising from it. It is a design to experience how architecture blends with nature while we witness the greatest integration of science and art coming together in our city for the first time.

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