Amdavad ni Gufa is an underground art gallery in Ahmedabad
. Designed by the architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, it exhibits works of the Indian artist Maqbool Fida Hussain. The gallery represents a unique juxtaposition of architecture and art.The cave-like underground structure has a roof made of multiple interconnected domes, covered with a mosaic of tiles.On the inside, irregular tree-like columns support the domes. It was earlier known as Hussain-Doshi ni Gufa.There are facilities for special painting exhibitions and for projecting films. Gardens and a café are located above ground.
The structure's contemporary architecture draws on ancient and natural themes. The domes are inspired by the shells of tortoises and by soap bubbles. The mosaic tiles on the roof are similar to those found on the roofs of the Jain Temples
at Girnar, and the mosaic snake is from Hindu mythology. The Buddhist Caves
of Ajanta and Ellora inspired Doshi to design the interior with circles and ellipses, while Hussain's wall paintings are inspired by Paleolithic cave art.The interior is divided by tree trunks or columns similar to those found at Stonehenge.
The gallery space is below ground level. A partially hidden staircase leads to a circular door which opens into a cave-like space. Though designed to display paintings, the cave has no straight walls, instead using a continuation of the curved dome structure which extends down to the floor. The domes themselves are supported by irregularly shaped inclined columns, similar to those found in natural caves. They are also said to resemble the trunks of trees.The entire design is made up of circles and ellipses.Light arrives though snouts, creating spots of light on the floor which move around as the day progresses, intended to create a mystic atmosphere.
Hussain used the gallery's walls as a canvas, painting on them with bold strokes and bright colours. The artwork depicts human figures and motifs of animals, including his famous horse figures. He also decorated features such as doors and even air conditioners. The figures were designed to resemble ancient cave paintings in a modern environment. Hussain also placed a few metal sculptures of human figures between the inclining columns.His largest work, Sheshnag (the divine serpent), stretches over a length of 100 feet (30 m).