District Heritage Museum
Music is a common thread for story telling which celebrates life in Palakkad and binds the community together in harmony.
Palakkad District is been continuously bolstering the art of music, from singers, musical instruments players to musical instruments makers. Many eminent maestros arose from the soil similarly many folk as well as tribal musical traditions find their roots to back in Palakkad District.
The primary objective of this assignment is to highlight the peculiar features of the culture, history and heritage of Palakkad District through the District Heritage Museum of Palakkad, proposed to be set up at Mani Iyer Memorial Auditorium, behind Rosi School compound in the Palakkad Town. The mission of the museum commemorate to the stalwarts, to propagate the skills, and to document the history of the music in the district, to conserve the intangible heritage of Palakkad besides undertaking education and outreach programs, temporary exhibition.
The scope aims to narrative and highlight the role of traditional orchestras and performances which are integral to the celebrations of each corresponding month. Immersive illustrations, sound showers and life-size video projections bring the enthusiasm and the colors of Palakkad to life. The various instruments are on grand display, along with a glimpse of how they are made, the places where they are played, by who they are played etc. Throughout the linear storyline, the prominence of the instruments are highlighted with respect to which different kinds of performing arts or temple arts, etc. they are used in. The bright colorful characters, the masks and costumes along with the musical instruments displayed against earthy neutral backdrop which also gives a glimpse of the architecture as well as the natural scenic beauty of Palakkad.
The rich colourful masks and costumes tell further stories of the other art forms that are enjoyed throughout the year. Stories about the many maestros of different genre of music are narrated through engaging video performances and archival images. The rich vibrancy and spirit of celebrations is experienced throughout the museum.
Kerala is known for its rich agricultural produce and during the months of intensive labour on the fields, the festivities take a backseat. Correspondingly, our visitors enter breathing spaces where they can sit and enjoy certain kinds of art forms which are played all around the year with no specific time frame like the tribal art forms and practices that are not confined to the calendar months. This alternates with the space pockets of festivals throughout the museum to provide a rhythm to the otherwise linear story.
The journey concludes on a high note with a display of unique performance arts followed by Tholpavakoothu (shadow puppetry) narrating the story of how music is that binding thread which brings together the diverse communities of Palakkad together in harmony. Like the beginning, the end of the museum experience is concluded with the musical play of Panchavadyam thus completing one full cycle of festivities. The visitors hear the Panchavadhyam again as Palakkad gets ready to welcome another year of prosperity.
The consultant left no stone unturned to propose an excellent structure with requisite climate insulation to preserve these instruments considering Kerala’s extremely humid climate. Fenestration of the hall was suggested to provide insulation as well as seamless experience of displays. A unique false ceiling manifesting a fusion of both modern and traditional contemporary style was proposed as per the requirements of interior with respect to acoustics, climate insulation and lighting. Necessary efforts have been rendered to design HVAC system, Fire safety system and Electrical and lighting layout as per interior requirements. The moisture condition has to be corrected and proper drainage facilities are to be implemented as part of physical conservation of the structure for which necessary provision has been provided in the estimates.