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TheIndianAirForceMuseum,NewDelhi

Introduction:
TheIAFMuseum,Palam isthefirsteverAerospacemuseumofIndia.The IAF
Museumhasthelargestcollectionofaircrafts.It showcasestheachievementsofIAFsince1930.
itisbuiltonthepropertyofNorthernAirCommand.Themuseumoffersaninsightnotonlyinto
thehistoryoftheIndianAirForcebutacompletepictureofMilitaryaviationinIndia.Starting
fromtheinitialdayswhenIndianaviatorsflewfortheRoyalFlyingCorpsduringtheFirstWorld
War,rightuptothedaysoftheKargil Operations.Thevisitorisregaledwithpictures,
mementoes,souvenirs,models,andtheactualaircraftthemselves.
ProjectDetails:
Established: 1955
Location: Palam,NewDelhi.
Access:TheMuseumissituatednexttoTechnicalAreaGateofAirForceStationPalam. Itis
appx.8kmfromDwarka,Sec9metrostationandonly1.5kmfromairport.
Client: TheIndianAirForce
Area: Around4acres.

DesignAnalysis:
SitePlanning&Circulation:

Thesiteisirregularinshapeandflatwithanareaofaround4acres.

ItisapproachedfromPalam road15mwidewithentranceatasetbackof5mfromthe
road.

Asthemuseumisentered,ablackceramictiledwalkwaywithhedgesonbothsides,leads
totheWarmemorialtowardsright.

Furtheraheadliestheentrancetothemuseumblockwithindoorgalleryspacethatopens
upfurthertothelargehangarattheend.

Ontheleftliesthemuseumofficeandthecafeteria.

Theoutdoorexhibitsarenotverymuchdistributedexceptfortwopartsofthesitewith
outdoordisplaysasmostoftheaircraftsareaccommodatedwithinthehangar.

Thesiteorientationissuchthattheoutdoorgalleriesopenuptowardssouthsun.

OutdoorGallery

Hangar

OutdoorGallery

Pathwaytomuseum

WarMemorial

SitePlan

IndoorGallery2&3

IndividualSpaces:
IndoorGallery1:

Themuseumhousestwodisplaygalleries.Firstgallery,singlestoreyed,isenteredasthe
visitorcrossesthewarmemorial.Ithasareceptioncounterandadjoinsthehangar.

Theindoorgallery1exhibitsphotographsanduniformsalongwithvarioussmallmodels
dividedintovarioussectionsliketheAirChiefsSection,theRollofHonour sectionetc.

Thegalleryareaisverysmallwithrespecttotheadjoininghangar.

Thecirculationpatternislinearandexhibitsareplacedalongitinglasscasesthatdefine
thewalkway.

Theproportionofthegallerywithlowerceiling,smallerwidthandgreatlengthmakesit
uncomfortabletomovewithinthespace.

Oncethegalleryisenteredthevisitorhastowalktheentirelengthofthespacetoreachto
asmalldoorthatleadstothebighangar.
42m

4m
2m
0.5m
FloorPlan

Longlinearexhibits

Area 168sq.m.

Lowceilings

Entrancetothehangar

IndoorGallery2&3:

Thesecondindoorgalleryliesinonecornerofthesitealongtheboundary.

Theblockissinglestoreyed andhousesdocumentsandweaponrypreservedoveracourse
ofwars.

TheblockhascirculationdirectedduetotheUshapedbuildingprofilealongwhichthe
exhibitsarebeingplaced.

Mostofthedisplayboardsarevacant.

Samelinearpatternofexhibitingisfollowedwithoutanysurpriseswhichdoesnotattract
visitorsattention.
3

36m

7m

Gallery3

16m

2m

Gallery2
0.6m

GroundFloorPlan,Gallery2&3

Gallery2longlinearexhibits

Lackofspacial movement

MikoyanGurevich Mig 21
FighterJet

ANTONOVAN 12Transport
Aircraft

Length:12.2m
Wingspan:7.1m
Height:4.1m

Length:33.1m
Wingspan:38m
Height:10.5m

Area 576sq.m.

Gallery 3view

Aircraftmodels
showcase
Length:2 m
Width:1m
Height:2.2m

T 59PakistaniTank
Length:6.04 m
Width:10.7m
Height:2.59m

LightCombatAircraft
modelcase
Length:1.5 m
Width:1m
Height:0.8m
Hangar:
Area 77x44=3388sq.m.

AftercrossingtheentirelengthofGallery1,adoorleadstothehangarthatexhibits
around30aircraftsalongwithfewportraitsandmemorials.

Thehangarspacemeasures50mx75mandisavastareawithenoughcirculationspace.

ThedisplaysalsoincludeavintagecarusedbyAirChiefMarshallalongwithastatueofFlg.
Off.Nirmal Jit SinghSekhon.

Thecirculationisnotrestrictedlinearlyliketheindoorgalleries.Theyratherhavealoop
formationhencegivinga360degreeefficientviewoftheaircraftsandotherexhibits.

Todesignatethecirculation,ropesareusedalongthewalkwayandaircraftsareplaced
alongit.

Aviewingplatformisprovidedtohaveoverallviewofthehangar,howeverinsufficient
heightmakesitimpossibletoviewfaroffexhibits.

Viewingmezzanineplatform

Flg.Off.Nirmal Jit
SinghSekhon statue

3.2mwidewalkways

Hangarexit

OutdoorGallery:

Therewerecertainaircraftslikebombersandtransportvehicleswhichcouldnotbe
accommodatedinsidethehangarduetotheirlargesize.Hencethesearedisplayedin
outdoorgalleries.

Theoutdoorgalleryalsoshowcasestanksandcrashedaircrafts,helicoptersandarmory
capturesfromPakistanduringtheIndoPakwar1971.

Theinformationboardsarenotplacedincoordinationwiththeexhibits.

Theoutdoorexhibitspacesarenotdesignedharmoniously.

Aircraftinoutdoorgallery

Amplespacial movement

PakistaniTankinoutdoorgallery

Lighting:

Themuseumhasinsufficientlightingbothartificialandnatural.

Indoorgallery1hasnovoidsinthebuildingtoletdaylightin,henceartificiallightingis
requiredforalldaylong.

Theartificiallightingqualityandquantityisalsopoor.Thelightsusedhavelowintensity
hencedonotcreatetheambiencethatamuseumrequires.

Thehangarisprovidedwithdaylightingthroughslitopeninginthestructurebutis
inefficientforthelargespace.

Ingallery2therearewindowsfornaturallightalongwiththeartificiallightsbutthisdoes
nothighlighttheexhibits.

Spotlightsandceilingmountedfluorescentlampsareusedingallery1.

Incandescentbulbsareusedtoilluminatetheexhibitsinsidetheshowcaseembeddedin
thewoodencase.

Fluorescenttubelightsarealsousedtoilluminatethephotographsandotherwallbased
showcasestogiveaneffectofdiffusedlighting/covelighting.

Slitopeninginhangar
Tracklight,bulbs&
lampsingallery1

Tubelightsingallery2

Structure:

Thestructuralsysteminvolvedintheconstructionoflargespanhangarisportalframe
madeoutofrolledsteelsectionsboltedtogether.

Thetotalspanofframeis45mandareplacedatadistanceof8mcentre tocentre.

Ifthebeamsandcolumnshavearigidjointbetweenthemthenthestructuresoformed
willbeaportalframe.Ithasstabilityagainstlateralforces.

RoofTrusses

Steelsection
columns

Endjoineryview

Materials:

Allthebuildingsonthesitedisplaytheirformalmilitarycharacterandhencefailtostand
outasauniquebuiltstructure.

Thewalkwaytothemuseumfromtheentranceispavedwithconcretepavingblocks.

Warmemorialandthepathwaytoitaremadeofblackmarble.
IndoorGallery:

Themainbuildingwithindoorgalleriesarebrickbuilthavingtheirexteriorspaintedwhite
andblue.Theinteriorshavewhitewallstoo.

Theindoorgallerieshavewhitefalseceilingswithlinearlinespatternalongitslength.

Thefloorsareofwhiteceramictiles.
HangarandOutdoorGallery:

Thehangarandotheroutdoorexhibitshaveconcretedground.

Wallsandroofaremadeupofbluecorrugatedsteelsheetssupportedbysteelsectionsand
trusses.

White&blueexteriorof
indoorgallery

WarMemorialblack
marble
Falseceilingandceramic
tileinindoorgallery

Inference:

Thebuildinghasnoarchitecturalexpressioninitsenvelopeandinternalspaces,hencefails
toattracttourist.

Thecirculationinsidethegalleriesislinearanddull.Itdoesnotdefinepatterned
movementhencefewexhibitsarealwaysoutofgeneralview.

Thelightingisverydullandinappropriate,withnonaturallightinginindoorgallery1.The
illuminationmaintainedinindoorgallery2withnaturallightingdoesnothighlightexhibits.

Theoutdoorspacesarenotplannedascouldhavebeenregardinglargespacesfordisplay.

Theviewingplatforminhangardoesnotprovetobeeffectiveasonlyfewaircraftsat
certaindistancecanbeviewed.

Woodenframesblockthe
exhibitview

Plainarchitecturalfacade

Wingsoftheaircraft
goingbeyondthe
exhibitareaobstructing
circulation
Abruptentrytothehangar

Inefficientmezzanineplatform