The Essar Steel Visitor Centre straddles a major industrial node of the region and a major Center for Health tourism city in northwestern India. Hazira is a major economic hub in the Gujarat region, having historically been the site for the country’s rapid advancements in industry. Sitting on a peninsula between the Arabian Sea and a major entry port to the Tapti River, its relative connectivity to Surat and Mumbai places it within the spectrum of important and accessible sites in the country. Inspiration for the formal language of the project is derived directly from the typology of long, linear industrial structures that largely make up the urban fabric of Hazira. The seriality of these simple yet flexible spaces works well in accommodating any tasks throughout the industrial process and translates easily into the programmatic needs of a museum/visitor centre. By extending the complicated grid of these structures into the immediate site, the basic concept of the project – a clear formal analogy of its site – becomes immediately clear.
(Designed with Richard Meier and Partners Architects LLP)