Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
New MNIR – the National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest, Romania by Wigwam – a Kei Development Division
August 23rd, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Wigwam – a Kei Development Division
Our proposal’s aim is to make the people an active part of the building’s life, by exploring it, by being seen and by simply coming together, breeding a sense of tolerance, awareness, identity and mutual respect. The building was envisaged as a democratic place for all people and a centerpiece for a regenerated area of the city, transforming the historic building in a vibrant cultural center that highlights the importance of cultural activities for the contemporary time.
We wished to encapsulate the Romanian history, from Dacian times to present day, so we decided upon an urban oriented architectural action, in the sense of adjusting to history a desired view of the present. The shape of the new atrium is inspired by the roman amphitheatre in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, built in the following years of roman conquer. Everything is arranged around a central elliptical walkway elevated above the ground, that connects the four wings of the building, tracing a space similar to an arena that untangles the visuals towards the battle described below by the Trajan’s column replica.
A beautiful and very interesting tension is achieved, and to crown it all a strong, inclined vertical piece emerges, inspired by the most enigmatic construction of the Dacian Capital, Sarmizegetusa Regia : the large circular sanctuary. The circular and elliptical shapes bring together both Roman and Dacian influences, opening an eye towards the sky.
The people friendly environment is encouraged by the buildings scale and by the relationship that the atrium provides with the streets while the project endeavors to employ technologies that sustain rather than pollute, that are durable rather than replaceable, and that add value over time rather than fall prey to short term economies. The building services systems, combine energetic efficiency and use of renewable energy to fulfill the increasing demands for cleaner power in historical buildings. Power efficient LED’s, controlled by a smart control system, are used trough out the building and galleries. This system supports different lightning scenarios, with safe and efficient energy distribution in high power busbars, protection against freezing of gutters, architectural lightning and protection using PDAS. High efficiency heat pumps using ground and air sources are provided for heating and cooling the building, while ventilation and air treatment is made with heat recovery. The BMS system also controls the breathable inert gas fire extinguishers witch ensure the safety of both visitors and exhibits.
The structural system is comprised of pre-stressed reinforced concrete walls and floor slabs, built surrounding the courtyard, and supported by slab foundations. The excavations will reach a 20 meters depth using a top-down system. The suprastructure is built using 4 reinforced concrete cylinders, that also hold the main vertical access, as points in witch 3 metal walkways at the first, second and roof level are held without any intermediary support.
SPIRITUALITY AND FUNERAL SPACE
The main value of this exhibition is its scenography. Around 50 collection items are displayed in a single room measuring 425 sqm. Contrary to the reduced dimension of the exhibits, the space is meant to amplify their cultural meaning through its atmosphere. This particular museum collection is based on items with a strong symbolic reference. The exhibition symbolizes the paradigm between time and timeless and combines the symbolic mentality of prehistoric humans, which is depicted in their creations, with the projection of modern geometric architecture, thus allowing the visitor to discover the past through a reflexion of the present. The main exhibits of this collection is placed in the center of the room as it is seen as an axis mundi through its strong symbolism. The wall graphics borrow motifs from prehistoric cultures in order to create the context for the exposed items, completing their image.
The room uses acoustical panels with an efficient sound control in order to create a silent, sullen atmosphere while the visitor is guided by spots of light toward the exhibits. The center brings in a small amount of natural light as a universal symbol, through a mechanism involving a glass prism placed on the terrace above to capture the sun light.
The entire exhibition complies with standards in order to meet the accessibility necessities incorporating braille plates and various audio guides for children or visually impaired people.
ROMANIA. FROM THE PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM TO THE GREAT UNION
This exhibition marks the centenary of The Great Union of Romanian territories and coincides with the grand MNIR opening in 2018.
Over 250 exhibits of different types are exposed among the 3 main sections of the exhibition, each of them representative for a specific moment in the history of the Romanian Kingdom.
The exhibition starts with the presentation of the Romanian Kingdom with its symbols and the Royal Family, while the second section covers the First World War and its main events. This section is displayed on central panels surrounded by 2 thematic exhibitions that describe the context of the war – aspects of domestic and foreign policy.
Design elements such as graphic stamps are meant to visually amplify the image of war.
In the third section, the Great Union emerges as a conclusion of the war. The central item of this sequence is the steel crown worn by the Romanian Monarchs, which stands above the projection that reconstructs the map of the Greater Romania, as a sign of its contribution to the Great Union.
The link with the past is emphasized by the symbol of the triumphal arch suggested by the metallic arches that mark the heroic battles and the outstanding victory. Through these arches the visitor is guided into a parade, passing through the main events of the 1881-1918 period and brought into the denouement of these events -The Great Union exhibition space, in the second room. Here the visitor can visualize mapped projections and at the same time is encouraged to rise his head and look through the glass ceiling toward the movie projection on the dome, which exposes a brief of the most important achievements of Romania during its existence.
The window obstructing system is designed as movable walls, with multipurpose panels which are used both as sound absorbing and display panels. Special display cases with temperature and humidity control are used in order to provide the required microclimate for each item. The illuminating system uses filters to ensure the UV protection of the items exposed.