The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has supported an Urban Renewal Initiative comprising of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, the Humayun’s Tomb world heritage site, the Sundar Nursey, the Azimganj Serai and the Batashewala Tomb and garden. Located at the juncture of these historically connected sites, the Humayun’s Tomb Site Museum has been proposed as a means of enhancing the experience for the growing volume of visitors to this historic precinct. It is intended to become a hub of intellectual exchange of ideas – showcasing the kaleidoscope of art, architecture and culture, thereby opening up newer channels of communication between tourists, pilgrims, students, academics, professionals and agencies.
The Museum is situated at the entrance to Sundar Nursery and the Humayun’s Tomb sites. The entry plaza experience enables visitors to purchase tickets, orient themselves, and avail public amenities. Sensitively arranged under the foliage of the large trees, this plaza also acts as a threshold to the many attributes of the site. An auditorium, library, crafts gallery, seminar rooms, and administrative offices are all located adjacent to the entry plaza.
Visitors descend through a wide, ramped garden into The Humayun’s Tomb Site Museum, where they experience the magnificent craft traditions that flourished during this period. The illuminated plastered ceilings reflect the geometrical sophistication of the Mughal age. The architecture of the Museum has been derived from this tradition of geometry – the gallery spaces are arranged in a sequence of intersecting squares, with wide column spans of eight meters. Given the high volume of visitors, the public circulation sequence has also been developed along a primary axis, spanning the entire length of the Museum. Natural light, filtered through skylights as well as open courtyards, illuminates the gallery areas. The complex engineering systems are woven around each gallery through dedicated service corridors, thus facilitating optimal curatorial and Museum management protocols.
The Humayun’s Tomb Site Museum aspires to promote a public understanding of the cultural and aesthetic practices that flourished during the Mughal era, and to create a Museological experience worthy of this extraordinary world heritage site.
Area: 9,815 sq.m.
Client: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Himanshu Parikh – Structural engineer
Jhaveri Associates – MEP services
Shaheer Associates – Landscape architect