Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

| 13 comments

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

Photographer Edmund Sumner has sent us these images of a shimmering steel visitors centre at a Mumbai museum.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

RMA Architects designed the elliptical building at the entrance to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), where historical Indian artefacts and artworks are exhibited.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

Thin steel columns support a curving roof that overhangs the exterior walls of the centre to shelter a surrounding terrace.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

Existing trees grow through holes in this roof, which also shelters a separate circular baggage kiosk.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

The remaining portion of the visitors centre contains a 200-seat auditorium, a ticket-office, a shop, a cafe and toilets.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

Edmund Sumner has photographed a number of buildings in Mumbai - see our earlier stories about a corporate office block beside a slum and a wood-clad temple.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

The following text is from RMA Architects:


A visitor’s center located at the entrance of the Prince of Wales Museum, a Grade I heritage structure in Mumbai.

The contemporary structure expands upon the footprint of a previously existing multipurpose hall, and is a part of an expansion plan for this prestigious urban landmark.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

The center fulfills various programmatic functions, ranging from the integration of baggage collection and storage, to ticketing and security, as well as a museum shop, two hundred seat auditorium, and rest rooms.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

A lightweight, stainless steel clad elliptical roof creates a covered verandah for circulation, integrating disparate visitor programs into a consolidated and modest, yet contemporary form.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

Click above for larger image

Glass and metal surfaces exist as a visual counterpoint to stout basalt stone of local heritage structures. Reflective material planes create a paradoxical visual poetry in which archaic forms of the adjacent museum are recast and distorted in a new perspective.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

The pre-defined footprint is organically punctured by existing trees that project through openings in the roof, yielding localized deviations in the otherwise low-key scale spaces.

Prince of Wales Visitors Centre by RMA Architects

Integration of natural textures with modern means and materials further expands the defining narrative of the center, that of a culturally meaningful intervention within a monumental historic context.

  • landdesign

    Not sure I like the facade in stainless steel in that finish…also will get very hot too touch…?

  • benjo765

    Surely even the prince himself couldn't hate this one

  • nicey

    very nice indeed; and i'd bet charlie hates it. even better.

  • Vee

    Am I missing something, or does the baggage kiosk in stainless steel look like a public toilet?

  • Cubasur

    Uh…to clarify, the prince of wales in question is King George V. Architectural styles have changed since than even if Charlie is stuck in the past.

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    anyway this is well done… it has contrast to environment, but still NOT "star-architecture"….

  • http://twitter.com/CJEnglishTweets @CJEnglishTweets

    I stood under this in a blast of Monsoon, in July just gone by, it's not particulary impressive in the rain & the photo's here do it great justice, but -without being a traditionalist- the crumbling colonial buildings surrounding it are far more impressive!

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    Well, considering the *current* prince of Wales is very ecology-oriented, this strike me as overtly ironic :-/

  • 23arrows

    I agree with vee – All that stainless steel makes it look like a Public Toilet.

  • xtiaan

    considering the prince of wales penchant for bad pastiche of traditional styles of archeitecture I think this is kind of fitting.
    its just a real shame the shape/material combo of the end of it gives it that whole bus station/toilet vibe.

  • roland

    This is not the most shocking response to the adjoining heritage building, but it sure is a bad attempt.

  • vtje

    This is really something. Imagine the reflection you'd get on a particularly cloudless and sunny day… better get them sunglasses ready.

  • DTDT

    It is not “Prince of Wales museum” any more..! India has left behind its colonial past long ago! Avoiding colonial references would be politically correct.

    The steel building here is just a baggage store and ticket selling point. Why expect too much from this structure when you are in a century old museum complex?