Portraying Indian Heritage

The Museum Building for NMNH designed by ARCH-EN-DESIGN comprises a parametrically derived hexagonal roof, and is a Net Zero building in accordance with the standard green building concept guidelines for achieving Five Star GRIHA rating

Sakshi Mathur

The non-formal learning process has to be in an aesthetical environment for engaging the senses to stimulate, inspire, discover and encourage exploration; this requires incorporation of the latest technologies and environmental conditions

Ar. Sakshi Mathur, VP - Sustainability, ARCH-EN-DESIGN

The National Museum of Natural History in New Delhi is a prestigious project of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) conceived in 2015 and slated to open in 2020. The site is located opposite the National Science Museum and Pragati Maidan and adjacent to the Old Fort and National Zoo.

The National Museum of Natural History

Fact File
Location: Delhi
Area: 6.5 acres
Built up area: 46260.71 sqm
Budget: ₹300 crore
Status: Approval stage
Architect Firm: ARCH-EN-DESIGN

NMNH was established as a national level institution to portray and promote awareness about the country's Natural Heritage. Devoted to Environment Education, it derives its strength principally from theme-based exhibition galleries, experiential resource centers such as Discovery Room, Activity Room, Educational and outreach activities to depict the country's rich natural heritage and natural history (Geology, Botany and Zoology), and is an important center of non-formal environmental education.

The National Museum of Natural History

The overall design approach is to create a single building focused around a central open-air public space. By embedding the open space within the heart of the building, the courtyard becomes a place of discovery and wonder. Circulation paths are designed in a ring around the courtyard. Program areas are located directly off the circulation paths. Visitors will circulate around the open-air space to enjoy the exhibits, theatre, convention, seminar, or class, canteen or activity center.

The National Museum of Natural History

Stepped terraces provided on all floors with circulation paths will make the courtyard accessible from all levels, providing natural light and ventilation to the interior spaces that wrap around it at each level. The form of the stepped terraces is inspired from the process of an archeological excavation, with terraces stepping out as the building ascends upward. Exterior green terraces on the facade create an exterior imagery of the Museum that evokes the ruined ramparts of the adjacent Purana Qila.

The National Museum of Natural History

Mounds have been designed in the green peripheral space to connect it with exterior building terraces, creating a holistic green space. Most of the building is embedded in these mounds to take advantage of ground cooling. The site around the building is a public park that expresses the ecology of India's various climate regions – from arid to tropical and montane. The central courtyard is cloaked in a photovoltaic canopy, which also provides shade and natural ventilation to interior spaces.