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Design intentions
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM FOR PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS {CMPHR} April 2006 ICON, Pakistan Hanif Daud Saman Mahmood Muhammad Noshad Rizvi Shahneela Akhter Syed Hasan Mehdi Naqvi Saeed Uddin Ahmed Design Brief The project provides a facility for the children of Karachi where they learn about the philosophy of peace and human rights, as well as participate in simple recreational activities. This is a multi- dimension educational space, a cultural landmark and an institution for promoting peace and human rights. Being a strikingly linear site {1.95 Acres} with shallow depth {435’x 195’} the Master Plan was developed by juxtaposing the two main features of the Program, i.e., the museum and the auditorium along a diagonal datum which creates a variety of dynamic outdoor spaces and leads to an inviting threshold, in addition to the required enclosed functions. Such an arrangement also breaks the monotony of the linear site and holds together the building blocks in a balanced composition. The use of levels, evident in the entire planning, achieves a variety of design objectives: separation, linkages, transition, creation of views and vistas, binding of indoor and outdoor spaces- that collectively yield a rich spatial experience. Sensitive and consistent use of ramps helps to create this experience. Since levels on site were not provided, the road level is assumed as +/-0’-00”, and the building levels set accordingly. The edges of the site are defined and demarcated through landscape elements, berm and trees. Use of trees on the periphery creates a barrier against noise, pollution and provides shade for people. Water has been primarily used to order public movement, as well as an aesthetic element. The Program had outlined Four Zones: Zone A: Museum {Galleries} Zone B: Workshops Zone C: Auditorium & Workshops Zone D: Admin/Storage On the entry level the podium has been raised above eye level {from +2’ to +8’}, in order to separate and then unveil the complex as one ascends it. From the podium {entrance level of Museum} the building opens up to the back {central} public courtyard and a clear view of the polo ground abutted against it. The Design of Zones A & B {the museum & workshops} is inspired by simple circular “maze”. The museum has been tiered {at an average of 3’-0” split level} in an ascending order. The galleries are connected with ramps giving a distinctive sense of direction and easy flow for children. This form was adopted keeping in mind the children’s sense of discovery and to retain their interest. The workshops {exclusively for institution related activities for Children} are planned securely around an open to sky circular sunken court yard which would also cater for workshops extension, spontaneous children performances, installations and small gatherings. The Museum ends at the interactive gallery. This added design feature, the Architects feel, would immensely enhance the attraction of the museum for the children. The interactive gallery or “bridge” is based on the idea of “learning through play”. After experiencing the structured museum space, the glass bridge opens up the Karachi skyline, along with it a spatial experience of floating space; a sense of freedom and free soul. This is a multi- use space for children activities- fun and educational - with possibility of changing installations. The bridge ultimately leads to an open to sky “star gazing deck” where telescopes and binoculars will be provided. Planned as such, this deck and the interactive bridge can remain open later in the evening while the museum area can be closed. The auditorium, administration block and workshops {Zones C & D} have been placed on the junction of the main road/side lane so that it gets side entry for services, a separate access required for the offices, and a secondary entrance for the auditorium and workshops. The workshops are anchored along the courtyar

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