Delhi-based design practice Studio Lotus have won the competition to design the new Visitor Center and Knowledge Centre at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India. The design features metal and stone dry construction that explores flexibility and modularity to meet evolving needs. Selected from three finalists, the winning entry attempts to create an architectural system for the next phase of interventions in the Fort through new linkages in the precinct.
The closed design competition, organized by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, invited proposals from eight leading Indian design practices, selected by the Board’s discretion. The brief sought design solutions for the next phase of Adaptive Re-Use of the Mehrangarh Fort and Museum precinct. The design takes the brief forward through a functional and responsive approach towards the existing context – focusing on ease and efficiency of construction, localisation, reconfiguration and modularity. The creation of these inserts within the Fort aims to become the basis of continued development in the years ahead.
The proposed Knowledge Center 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 Center will consist of Exhibition Galleries, Seminar Halls, Community Spaces and Scholar’s Studies. The spaces, placed sequentially from public to progressively more private, 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 façade.
Providing an alternate entrance experience, the Visitor Center is designed as a highly 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 Center, populated with woven steel lattice-based modules fitted with stone tukdi slabs.