The Khalsa Heritage Museum

A space designed by Moshe Safdie, to enshrine the Sikh Heritage – the Khalsa Heritage Museum leads the visitor to an inspiring journey towards understanding the spiritual message of the Sikh Gurus in contemporary times.

The museum complex is on the largest museum project in India, which consists of 25 galleries, out of which 15 are open to the public, while the rest are still under development. Spread over an area of 650,000 square feet, the current galleries showcase Sikh heritage and history spanning the lives of its Guru’s, to the establishment of the Sikh holy book – the Granth Sahib. The entire museum is artifact free, with a narrative that relies on creating immersive environments using a visual language derived from India’s traditional craft techniques and combined with ultramodern technology.

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Content + NarrativeAs one of the senior designers, I developed the narrative, visual language and information layering within each gallery in co-ordination with the research team. After establishing the overall design strategy and narrative, I was instrumental in designing the installations, as well as the detailing, prototyping and guiding master craftsmen from across India in constructing the final exhibit pieces.

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Exhibit DevelopmentFor each of the galleries assigned to me, the craft technique, visual language, material, treatment and colour palette were selected for the exhibits on the basis of the content for the space. The research teams as well as art historians approved these before design detailing and prototyping. ABOVE LEFT : Colour explorations for hand crafted leather puppets. ABOVE RIGHT : Explorations for mounting and lighting of leather puppets.

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Immersive Environment : Gallery 03ABOVE LEFT : Gallery depicting the idea of equality preached by the fourth Guru, through the practice of community feasting and development of step-wells accessible to all members of the society. ABOVE RIGHT : Development of the Sikh script, Gurumukhi and the first attempts at preservation of the teachings through the scriptures.

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Immersive Environment : Gallery 04 ABOVE LEFT : Final design concept for the gallery depicting layers of polycarbonate following the contours of the building. ABOVE RIGHT : Treatment for the exhibit, showing the panels with hand embroidered art-work, mounted on the structure.

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Immersive Environment : Gallery 04The layered installation represents the sound of the hymns sung by the fifth Guru that travelled across the lake and purified the city of Amritsar. Lights slowly pulsate from the central pedestal towards the embroidered panels, while the audio guide plays clippings of the hymns.

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Concept Renders : Gallery 14 Central installation and wall treatment

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Concept Renders : Gallery 14 Explorations of floor treatment and graphics.

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Renders to Realization : Gallery 14 ABOVE LEFT : Initial concept sketch ABOVE RIGHT : Final installation in steel with acid etching.

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