The low-lying Museum building is a reflection vernacular architecture and fine craftsmanship. Several architectural elements like jharokha, internal courtyards, open and semi-open passages, roof tiles arches, carved doors, posts, pillars, perforated iron-screens etc. are all the visual delights .

“. . .Correa seems to be torn at times between pursuing colorful abstract compositions, vaguely referential to popular culture, as in his extremely scenographicCidade de Goa of 1982, and a more direct evocation of an actual vernacular as we find this in the National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy that he finally realized in New Delhi in 1991.

Closer in spirit to the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal than to Jawahar Kala Kendra, this museum is not organized about a strict mandala pattern and while it is graced by a number of square courtyards, these are not treated as analogies of the Vedic kund, despite the fact that they are occasionally stepped to create informal arenas. Instead, the various courts give access to different exhibits opening off a meandering pathway in an informal manner; Village Court, Temple Court, Darbar Court, etc. As in Bharat Bhavan, the podium is elaborated at two levels; on the ground floor through a series of courts and above through a set of roof terraces. At the same time, most of the single story accommodation provided is totally enclosed.

What is key here, as Jyotindra Jain has written, is that the whole museum is conceived after the timeless world of the Indian village where otherwise incompatible crafts exist side by side. Jain shows how the unofficial folk culture of India has always maintained its anarchic autonomy despite colonializing efforts to regularize the character of its production. Jain sees the value of the National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy as helping to maintain some resistance to the homogenizing forces of the late modern world. “

From 1996 The Work of Charles Correa

by Kenneth Frampton, The Perennial Press, New York, USA