See how B.V Doshi used Architectural Designs to display M.F Hussain's murals.
Designed by the renowned architect, B. V. Doshi, AmdavadniGufa is a permanent exhibition space for the site-specific murals of M. F. Hussain. The cave or gufa in Gujarati has an unusual architectural style that fuses a contemporary look with ancient motifs and natural themes. The mushrooming structure intrigues the onlooker and the underground gallery unfolds like agufa with Hussain’s murals cascading over the curved walls of this unique space. The gufa is located near the CEPT Campus in Ahmedabad.
The white mosaic roof gleams under the Gujarat sun and is made up of pieces from broken crockery and waste tiles. The mythological snake, Sheshnag, is painted in black and wraps its 30 metre length along the roof. Drawing on natural themes, the structure was thoughtfully inspired from tortoise shells and soap bubbles. The flow of this earthen, natural feel is felt throughout the space with its exteriors tilted with red bricks and the compound shaded by bougainvillea trees.
Credit: Debarpita Mohapatra Photography
Natural light streams into the gufa through vents in the roof. Seeing Hussain’s vividly coloured murals in this soft light, one is reminded of the Palaeolithic cave paintings that inspired him. Figures in the mural comprise of human figures, animals like cows and elephants as well as the artist’s iconic horses.
The construction was completed in 1994 and its plans were developed through the time’s advanced computer assisted technology. The architect used the unconventional approach of fitting wire mesh to model the curious shapes, followed by the application of mortar thus eliminating the need for a traditional foundation. While this technology made the architect’s vision possible, the construction was brought to life with the help of local semi-skilled and unskilled labourers.
Credit: Scottnorsworthy on Flickr
Walking through this modern cave, its pillars seem to reach upward like tree trunks and merge into the ceiling. The whole structure is self-supporting since the weight is evenly distributed and only an inch of Ferro cement was used in the walls and roof. The pressure of the roof falls along lines that mimic natural caves, adding to the space’s nature inspired essence.
Credit: Behance Gallery
AmdavadniGufa is a fine example of a unique space conjured by the meeting of two great minds. It showcases a harmonious synergy of art and architecture that makes for an invocative space that takes design to a much higher level allowing for a holistic experience.