Smritivan Museum Shortlisted For UNESCO's Prix Versailles Award 2024

Smritivan Museum in Gujarat makes it to the final seven for UNESCO's prestigious architecture award, the Prix Versailles 2024.

Published On Jun 21, 2024 | Updated On Jul 08, 2024


Gujarat’s Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum has achieved a significant milestone by being shortlisted for the prestigious UNESCO Prix Versailles Award 2024. This recognition highlights the museum’s exceptional architectural design and its role in commemorating the resilience of the human spirit following natural disasters. Located in Bhuj, Gujarat, Smritivan stands as a poignant reminder of the devastating earthquake that struck the region in 2001, resulting in extensive loss of life and property.

The Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum is a tribute to the resilience and rebirth of the communities affected by the 2001 earthquake. It serves as a place of remembrance, education, and inspiration. The museum’s design, conceptualised by Vastu Shilpa Consultants, seamlessly integrates modern architectural elements with traditional Gujarati aesthetics, creating a space that is both reflective and forward-looking. The winners of the Better Awards will be revealed at UNESCO headquarters in late November.


The museum’s architecture is a harmonious blend of form and function. Its design is intended to evoke a sense of contemplation and respect for the lives lost and the resilience of the survivors. The structure is built on Bhujio Hill, offering panoramic views of Bhuj city. The use of locally sourced materials and sustainable construction practices further enhances its significance as a model of environmentally conscious architecture.

Inside the museum, visitors are greeted with a series of interactive and educational exhibits that narrate the story of the 2001 earthquake and its aftermath. The exhibits include a combination of multimedia presentations, artefacts, and personal stories from survivors, providing a comprehensive understanding of the event and its impact on the region. The museum also features a dedicated section that showcases the reconstruction efforts and the progress made in the years following the disaster.

Smritivan is not just a museum but also a community space that fosters cultural preservation and engagement. It regularly hosts workshops, seminars, and cultural events aimed at educating the public and promoting disaster preparedness. The museum’s role in preserving the cultural heritage of Gujarat is evident in its efforts to document and display traditional crafts, art forms, and local history.

Being shortlisted for the UNESCO Prix Versailles Award 2024 is a testament to the Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum’s impact and its potential to inspire similar projects worldwide. This recognition brings international attention to Gujarat’s efforts in disaster memorialization and community resilience.

The museum continues to be a beacon of hope and a symbol of the strength and determination of the people of Gujarat. As it vies for the prestigious Prix Versailles Award, Smritivan stands as a model for how architecture can play a vital role in healing, education, and cultural preservation.