Situated on a 13.9-acre plot of land, the museum is designed to reflect the rich history of Bihar, a state in India, which is the birthplace of Siddhartha, who later became Shakyamuni Buddha. The architecture evokes the cultural history and epic scope of the Bihar region in a manner that reflects the past and future of India.
Designed to house the treasures of the state, Bihar Museum serves primarily as an educational center focused on the region’s rich history. Visitors begin their journey in the Main Lobby, a generous space which serves as the main orientation point for all major museum functions. The white ceiling undulates toward the center, admitting softly diffused natural light through the skylight above. A layered approach is used to develop the lighting, which creates a sense of visual hierarchy and anticipation. The pedestrian experience through the spaces makes visitors feel a sense of time and history in the present moment.
Dedicated circulation routes guide visitors on their journey through the galleries. Inspired by sheltered exterior passageways seen in traditional Indian architecture and designed as a buffer space between the main exhibition and the exterior courtyards, the cloisters form a continuous path through the main galleries. Moving from courtyard to courtyard, the mood changes accordingly.