Celebrating Cinema and Creating Stars at Bollywood Museum
Bollywood cinema is widely celebrated for its focus on layered expressions of emotion. The design for the Bollywood Museum pulls inspiration from this fundamental aspect of the medium – from its undulating iconic form to the multiple waves of spatial experience that cascade across the site. Envisioning the program as a series of scenarios generated a rich palette of experiences and spaces. Central to this exercise was submersing museumgoers in an environment where they could be the starts: guests enter the museum via a red-carpet arrival, and orientation occurs in theaters designed for gala events. Some of the galleries are treated as working sets to create “behind-the-scenes” experience, while others offer interactive technology to immerse guests in worlds they’ve only previously experienced on screen.
Situated in Film City in Mumbai amidst working Bollywood back-lots, the museum participates in the industry that supports it. Inside, multiple small theaters combine to support opening-night screenings and major awards ceremonies. Landscape and building merge to support a variety of experiences in this museum that encourages day-long experiences. Families who have traveled from afar to visit can picnic among set reproductions and enjoy screenings in the museum’s movie garden.
The concept of movement and flow carries through to structure. Beneath the complex flowing form lies a rational structure that enables flexibility of programming. Warehouse-like volumes accommodate exhibits ranging from actual sets to intimately presented memorabilia. Fittingly, the Bollywood Museum serves not as a box containing artifacts, but a living space celebrating and supporting it’s a rich culture of film.