Musée, Ahmedabad, India, 1951
The museum is on pilotis through which the building is entered into an open court from which a ramp, similarly opened to the sky, leads to the exhibition levels. One enters the main level in a nave of spiral squares 14 meters wide, consisting of 7x7 m structural bays. All precautions are taken against the excessive temperature of the day. It is assumed that visits to the museum will be made particularly in the evening and night-time; they will wind up on the roof which will offer a wonderfully flowered surface formed by more than 45 basins, of 50 m2 each, ail filled with water to a depth of 40 cm. This water is protected from the torrid sun by the shade of thick vegetation; each basin is strewn with leaves or blossoms floating on the surface of the water, the ensemble forming a checkerboard of blue, red, green, white, yellow, etc ... The water of these basins is nourished by a special powder which induces enormous growth, far beyond normal plant size. This solution for the roof of the museum of Ahmedabad, experimental as well as poetic, has its origin in an after-dinner conversation at the home of the Princesse de Polignac, in Paris, around 1930, at which the Comtesse de Noailles, the poetess, Professor Fourneau, Director of the Institute Pasteur in Paris, and Le Corbusier were present. Professor Fourneau had said: "M. Le Corbusier, with four centimeters of water on the floor of this room and a powder that I know, I will make tomatoes shoot up in here as large as melons". Le Corbusier had answered: "Thanks, but I have no such desire!" But around 1952 or 1953, while the working drawings for the museum were prepared, the memory of this conversation re­turned and a visit was paid to the Director of the Institute Pasteur. M. Fourneau had passed away in the meantime. But the Institute Pasteur placed its resources once again at the disposal of the inventors. Many thanks!

The space for electrical installation extends under the entire surface of the ceiling which is placed in shadow, as described above, against the effects of the sun. Henceforth it will be possible to employ the illumination in solo, in duo, in trio, in symphony-uniformly subdued or sharply accented-analogous to the system of a musical score. The illumination bas become an integral part of the museum's impression on the visitor. It is raised to the level of emotive power. It has become a determining element of the architecture.

One of the successful results of this building can be seen in the low height of the pilotis, the tops of which are 3.40 meters above ground level, with a free passage between pilotis of 2.50 meters. Observe the outward appearance of the visible elements in the section: 3.40 meters under the ceiling and 2.50 meters of width constituting on the periphery, so to say, a flattened dome. (2.50 meters around the entire building opening on the horizons under the roundness of a basis of perennial climbing leaves-a natural element of thermal insulation.)

To form his reinforced concrete, the contractor very conscientiously bas made a beautiful unfinished concrete; India does not possess nearly enough sawn lumber of the proper fiber, only sheet-metal, in which the joints appear clean in the formwork; the concrete, being left visible, thus benefits from a decidedly modern "opus" introduced into the "plastic­architectural issue".In the rooms formed by the spiral of the double nave, the interior surface of the exterior walls will be of white plaster, while the interior face of the walls around the court remains in unsurfaced brick.

The museum is, of course, net limited in respect to growth, and therefore the 50x50 m sides (2500 m2) can be extended to 84x84 m (7000 m2) by the means of standard elements.

Extract from Le Corbusier, Oeuvre complète, volume 5, 1946-1952
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