The proposed design for the South Asian Museum and Learning Center provides the Shraman Foundation—a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire people to learn about South Asia's rich culture and heritage—with a stunning facility, and creates a landmark new public space for downtown Dallas. The objective of the South Asian Museum is to establish a forum for the engagement and interpretation of this important region, which is home to one-fifth of the world’s population.
The design draws on the rich history of South Asian architecture and the form of the famous Banyan tree to create an inviting, open structure that encourages the public to explore exhibitions focused on South Asia’s diverse cultural and artistic heritage, which spans over 4,000 years of documented history. The exterior is wrapped in a screen of delicate steel pipes interwoven with hanging plants that filter light into the building and gather the museum, learning center, cafe, and office spaces into a cohesive whole. The open ground floor provides a direct connection with the street level, while a solid core contains a flexible, immersive gallery for cutting-edge interactive displays.
Beyond adding an iconic building to Dallas's thriving arts and learning district, the scheme converts two adjacent city blocks into a grand park on the scale of Bryant Park in New York City. The park provides much-needed outdoor space for the South Asian Museum and its neighboring institutions, and will become a new civic center for downtown Dallas.