by Amit KhannaMar 29, 2020
New Delhi-based Studio Symbiosis is creating a perfume park and museum in the north Indian city of Kannauj, which is widely known for mass production of traditional Indian perfume, called ittar. The project, which is still being built, is a product of an agreement between the French city of Grasse and Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh.
The project's design, led by architects Amit Gupta and Britta Knobel Gupta of Studio Symbiosis, aims to foster this ancient practice where oil is extracted through flower petals via methods of steaming and distillation.
The brief laid the development of a perfume museum, flower beds, shops, a café, skill development centre and various distilleries on a 41.55 acre site along the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. To demonstrate the essence of a perfumery, the architects sought inspiration in the image of a flower and the Fibonacci mathematical series.
It is an amalgamation of an interaction cum leisure space. – Studio Symbiosis
A museum complex, in the shape of a flower with three petals, has been defined as the focal point of the site. Each petal serves a distinct function: one is an exhibition space to display the legacy of the age-long craft, another constitutes an auditorium and a workshop area for people to produce their own fragrances, and the third hosts a souvenir shop and cafeteria for public recreation. A seamless peripheral circulation route in the interiors has been defined to ensure that visitors do not miss out on any programme.
Flower beds populate a spiral grid that extend from the museum block and cover the rest of the site. The roof of the building has a generous cantilever that hover over the landscape. This cantilever features a striking pattern of flower beds on its surface that blends the landscape with the built mass.
The fluid form of the museum dips down at the centre, making its surface accessible to the public, and also creating a ‘vantage point’ for views of the site. Other facilities within the complex include green houses with controlled humidity arrangements for certain species of flowers for thrive, a skilled development center to disseminate knowledge between experts, and distilleries to produce fragrance on site.
The depth of the cantilever is optimised to ensure the façade receives minimum heat. Strategic foliage along the paths facilitate shading and keep a balanced micro-climate.
The perfume making craft of Kannauj, which has shrunk over the last few years, will now find a new lease of life with the development of this museum and park. Fluid volumes, public spaces and flower beds shall beautifully tie the traditions of the craft, and making it thrive in years to come.
Name: Perfume Park and Museum
Location: Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, India
Architect: Studio Symbiosis
Design: Amit Gupta, Britta Knobel Gupta
Project Team: Akshay Kodoori, Kartik Misra, Dewesh Agrawal, Anjan Mondal, Chaitanya Goyal, Steven Derrick Thomas, Abhijeet Sharma, Pranav Semwal, Sonia Sood, Tushar Yadav, Ashita Agarwal, Isha Pundir, Sonia Sood
Project Area: 41.55 Acres
Status: Under Construction