Compiled by Savitha Hira Photography: Courtesy SNK Consultants |
Ar. Brinda Somaya dedicates yet another iconic structure to the city of Mumbai – the soul of the Tata Group - Bombay House, restored and refurbished for gen-next!
Hers is a design that stems from a dialogue. A dialogue with the ethos of the built form; with the legacy of its environs. The 94-year-old-iconic Bombay House – the global headquarters of the Tata Group in Mumbai stands rejuvenated in all its yesteryear magnificence.
Façade Restoration The imposing façade of the four-storey colonial edifice built with Malad stone and designed by Scottish architect George Wittet in 1924 depicts an Edwardian neoclassical style. It now stands restored with the stone surface thoroughly cleaned. While portions of the stone have been treated with water jet and copper slag, some deep cornices have been cleaned using ammonia poulticing. Various repairs have been undertaken based on broken and chipped stone cornices/wall faces repaired either with Dutchman Repair or Plastic Repair depending on the type of damage.
The three entrance canopies have been recreated by cladding the internal soffits of the barrel vaults with wood and the end faces with wood and glass, replicating the existing design. External basement grills that were earlier cut to accommodate services and facilitate the emergency exit have been re-detailed using the existing design so that the openable portion (which was cut within the grill earlier and then locked with padlocks at some places) is now accessible without disturbing the design visually. These windows are now locked electronically, with a push button to unlock them in an emergency.
Double-glazed windows are introduced to ensure a substantial curtailing of external noise (reduction of up to 40 db). This also helps reduce the air -conditioning load to some extent. Most external service lines now stand relocated internally (plumbing, sanitation, air conditioning etc) and the wiring for the security cameras and external lighting has been routed to ensure that minimum cables are visible.
The external lighting introduced to highlight key elements of the façade comprises sleek external grade LED fittings that mitigate the visibility of the fittings during daytime. But that’s not all. The building is viewed in relation to its immediate surrounds and therefore the pavements around the edifice have been paved with concrete pavers – a more sympathetic complement to the stone façade.
State-of-the-art Interiors A grand entrance marks the character of the iconic building creating a sense of arrival and adding to its charm. Reflecting the aspirations of today’s modern, agile and collaboration-driven employees, the refurbished interiors follow an open-plan with more connectivity between floors. Common informal meeting rooms optimises efficacy across three floors giving a boost to employee-interaction and work flow. The historic boardroom on the fourth floor has been restored to its original beauty with only technology being a new addition.
The ground floor houses a coffee lounge, informal break-out spaces, a digital museum that uses digital technologies for storytelling and an especially developed experience centre that captures the rich heritage of the building, reflecting the 150-year journey of the Group; and is designed to convey the lofty ideals and vision of the company to inspire present and future generations.
Always conscious of the heritage factor of the built form, the interiors are sensitively anointed with modern sustainable materials and finishes with due attention to a contemporary format within an Art Deco detailing. Enhanced natural lighting, art and art installations augment the subdued palette bringing life to the interiors. The busts of the Tata founders and archival photographs of the Group keep the atmosphere grounded and revered.
In a first for Bombay House, a kennel has been created for the canine friends, who have been an integral part of the building for decades. Keeping the vision and essence of the company values cossetted in the mandates for contemporaneity, Somaya and Kalappa Consultants have totally revitalised the Bombay House in a record time of nine months!
Fact File: Client: Tata Group Design Firm: Somaya & Kalappa Consultants Principal Architect: Ar. Brinda Somaya Director: Ar. Nandini Sampat Design Team: Brinda Somaya, Nandini Sampat, Homeyar Goiporia, Ritika Jharia, Nidhi Ravindran, Prashant Phatak, Ishita Parikh, Sunisha Tarkar, Bhumika Redkar, Ashna Mepani, Madhukar Warang, Saiprasad Mestri, Sayed Mohiuddin Swati Ray, Mushtaqim Kirkire, Pavaman Jainapur, Anthea Fernandes, Rajkiran Naik, Ashish Puradkar, Rahul Nair and Saagar Shinde Carpet Area: 1,10,000 sq. ft. Location: Fort, Mumbai
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