National War Memorial
In collaboration with ADA
Our primary concern was to conceive a bold and minimal design that honours the sacrifices made by thousands of martyrs while respecting and responding to the context of this important location. By placing the memorial along the main axis of Rajpath, but sinking it below ground level, we are able to create a powerful gesture that also maintains uninterrupted views towards India Gate and its surroundings.
At ground level there are no architectural elements, except for 2 gently sloping ramps, each 7 meters wide, that take visitors 8 meters down to the memorial. As one walks down these large ramps, the walls around them grow in height framing only views of the sky above, the murals on the walls and heightening the feeling of walking into the earth and towards someplace sacred.
Earth, water and sky are the only elements one encounters when they arrive at the memorial space. Conceived of as a large circular wall sunk 8 meters below ground level and open to the sky, the memorial is essentially a composition of 3 elements: ramps, arches and walls. At its center lies the Ashoka Chakra, a point from where lines emerge to indicate important events along the memorial wall. Designed as a timeline, this inner marble wall marks important wars and battles giving visitors a comprehensive overview of Indian military history. An information centre, toilets and a tunnel connecting to the National War Museum are all located on this level.
Throughout the design there is a careful use of materials and a focus on sustainability. Rainwater will be collected and used for the reflecting pool in the memorial and natural stones will be employed for all surfaces.
New Delhi, India
Government of India