This project challenges the concept of “whitewashing” showed in the media and history. The purpose of this project is to reflect what feminism represents and how vital equal representation is, whether this equality has to do with gender or race. The main issue this project reflects on is the “hidden truth” of the contribution to the war effort of the Indian Subcontinent during WW1 and WW2. Metaphorically, this issue is sensitively tackled down in the programme through an underground exhibition. The programme then expands into an educational opportunity for the users, through an Archive (open library and learning rooms), about South Asia’s diverse culture, languages, and long history. The connecting point between the two programmes is the Memorial Garden (greenhouse), filled with carefully selected plants due to their meaning and what they represent. The underground exhibition makes individuals go through an emotional journey, which is why the garden helps them reflect and relax before continuing with the rest of the program. Walkways in the form of balconies that connect one end of the Archive building to the other also explore the memorial garden, allowing users to access the greenhouse from multiple points.
The building is fully sustainable; it takes advantage of its programmes and uses the oxygenated warm air produced within the greenhouse throughout the building. The solar panels on the rooftop make the majority of the electricity used in the structure. The cisterns in the underground collect rainwater from the rooftop and surrounding and later use it throughout the building. The skylight in the central atrium brings natural reflected light to the centre of the building, illuminating areas that often remain under lit otherwise.
This project reflects on both climate crisis and racism, opening the door for discussion.