Preston Welker

designs by preston welker


The Archive is a Museum of Knowledge designed as a new landmark for Chandigarh to symbolize the power of knowledge in the 21st century. Le Corbusier conceptualized the master plan of Chandigarh as a metaphor for the human body; the arms were the academic and leisure facilities, the heart was the commercial center, and the head contained the capitol complex. His metaphor remains relevant, as this Museum of Knowledge becomes the center point of the capitol complex. The interior forms were inspired by Le Corbusier’s metaphor, and the idea of this site representing a growing, living museum of knowledge. The wall becomes the negotiator and protector, a fortress, allowing this new museum typology to exist within the context. The wall provides structure, circulation, and service areas, and also frames the Himalayas along its linear progression.

This project re-imagines Le Corbusier’s ideas of part-to-whole organization, inverting his strategies to create a new contextual and contemporary typology. The juxtaposition between the concrete shell and the lustrous green innards creates a very powerful and phenomenal threshold between the existing site and the new building. The ground becomes activated with a strong visual relationship to the cantilevered programs overhead. The building is organized in a linear sequence of knowledge exchange. The highest point of the building is assigned to the discovery of knowledge; the Research facilities. The middle of the building split by the main points of entry is the place where knowledge is consumed and experienced; consumption of knowledge. This area includes Social & Leisure facilities including a theatre and planetarium. The foundation of the building is where knowledge is spread; the education wing. Finally, continuing into the ground below is the Museum of History where knowledge is preserved for future generations. Overall, the form and organization of this Museum of Knowledge enable it to act in itself as a display case of knowledge that relates to its surroundings while introducing a new typology of contemporary significance.