• The World Class Bollywood Museum

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    Bollywood Museum

    Mumbai, India

    Role: Design Architect & Museum Planner for New Museum

    Program: Interactive history exhibits, theaters, lobby, cafe, gift shop, library, archives, function space, exhibit support, and offices

    Building Area: 155,000 sf

    Status: VJI design services completed in 2013. Project is awaiting government funding approval.

    Description: VernerJohnson’s design for a new World Class Bollywood Museum at Film City was selected as the winner of an international competition in 2011.  Brad Nederhoff, the firm’s Managing Principal, led the architectural design and coordinated the project team that included Mumbai architectural firm Shashi Prabhu Associates, Boston-based site designers ZNA, Boston-based exhibit designers Christopher Chadbourne Associates, and Bollywood film expert Pravin Nadkar.

    The dynamism and vitality of Bollywood is reflected in every part of the design for the World Class Bollywood Museum at Film City, Mumbai. We propose a museum that is light, airy, colorful, grand, dramatic, refreshing, and full of motion, all in the spirit of celebrating Bollywood. For the visitor we have created a destination, a place to spend the day exploring and learning about Bollywood, right in the heart of the industry. With its dynamic spaces and multiple elements, the World Class Bollywood Museum is a community resource that people will feel excited to enjoy again and again.

    Giant filmstrips shape the museum building; their undulating curves give the building’s exterior a sense of movement and whimsy, while inside allowing light to enter at the clerestory level. At night, these same windows project light outwards, illuminating the museum and projecting its presence. The curving shapes of the exterior will be mirrored by curves inside for a visually pleasing interior.

    On this spectacular and strategically placed site at the very door to Film City and Bollywood itself, the approach to the museum reveals landscaped terraces leading toward a set of curved filmstrips that seem to float over a light-filled, poetic complex. It is a site and building built as a metaphor for the structure of Bollywood films themselves. The Museum and site borrow from the Parsi theatrical influence on Bollywood films, which “blended realism and fantasy, music and dance, narrative and spectacle, earthy dialogue and ingenuity of stage presentation, integrated into a dramatic discourse of melodrama.”

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