Khalsa Heritage Centre
Project Title
Khalsa Heritage Centre
Alternate Titles
The Khalsa Heritage Centre is a new museum of the Sikh people located in the holy town of Anandpur Sahib, near Chandigarh, the capital of the state of Punjab. The museum celebrates five hundred years of Sikh history and the three hundredth anniversary of the Khalsa—the body of people who make up the Sikh faith—and the scriptures completed by the tenth and last guru, Gobind Singh.

Clad with local sandstone and evoking the fortress cities of Rajasthan, Gwalior, and Punjab, the center acknowledges the Sikhs’ history as celebrated warriors. The upwardly curving roofs of the museum’s towerlike galleries are covered in stainless steel, designed in counterpoint to the rich tradition of gold domes that crown sacred Sikh buildings such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Located on a 75-acre site overlooking the town of Anandpur Sahib, the center is divided into two functionally integrated sets of buildings, which straddle a ravine and connect via bridge. The western complex, adjacent to the town, is organized around an entrance piazza and contains a 400-seat auditorium, a two-story library, and temporary exhibition galleries. A 540-foot-long bridge from the western complex crosses a 7-acre network of reflecting pools, providing access to the eastern complex, which houses permanent exhibition space. The eastern complex consists of two clusters of undulating galleries that reference the fortress architecture of the region and form a dramatic skyline against the surrounding sand cliff terrain and Himalayan foothills in the distance.

The museum’s sandstone towers and reflective roofs represent the symbolic themes of earth and sky, mass and lightness, depth and ascension, themes that further echo inside the galleries. The buildings’ materials—a combination of concrete and local sandstone, with stainless steel roof forms— stand up to Punjab’s extreme weather conditions.

Images on this page: 1 Site view; 2 Site view at night; 3 Site view; 4 Aerial view; 5 Site view in context; 6 Section through galleries; 7 Site plan; 8 Concept sketches; 9 Rendering sketch; 10 Concept sketches

Anandpur Sāhib, India

between 1998 and 2011
Completion Date
Client: Anandpur Sahib Foundation;

Cost: 1,700 million rupees (US $33.1 million);

Size: 23,225 sq m (250,000 sq ft)

Project Type
Safdie Architects
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