A celebrated architect, Prix Versailles Award winner Ar. Shimul Javeri Kadri leads her path to eternal glory by not only restoring our passing heritage but also by being an occasional writer, motivational speaker and a proud feminist. Her success mantra is, “Following things that I love to do rather than I think I owe to do…” Her goal as a feminist it to see that various professional sectors need women who can lead, is in a position of authority and power where the pay is optimum.
Her firm, SJK Architects firmly believes in designing spaces united with the earth with three key elements – sun, wind and nature to design spaces filled with innovative ideas derived from traditional architecture.
Jiji House Building
Completed in the year 2013, the heritage building looks intact with immaculate restoration with minimal changes that would be overlooked by the naked eye. To create a 21st-century modern office space in the 19th-century historical building was the perspective shift one needed to look into, to accommodate both the eras together in an up and coming contemporary fashion.
The restoration project area was approximately 20,000 sq. ft and was completed by 2013 becoming one of the soft iconic structures in the Fort Area of Bombay. The aim was to design office spaces and lounges whilst the office space project was just over 4200 sq. ft and was finished by 2006.
Jiji House Building: The Heritage Office
A project expanding over 4200 square feet enhances the contemporary style with vivid lines making the transition smooth with 21st-century modern design into a heritage space. The main entrance opens up to a sleek waiting area with a lift shaft at the end. The marble finish all over gives the space a warm and enticing look with a single chandelier at the top.
To the left of the lobby are the workstations with a couple of cabins. The workstations overlook the outside with curtain walling and thus makes the space much more expansive with the natural light playing out in the room. The zigzag manner in which the interior walls of glass sheets have been laid out takes in the columns too, creating diagonal folds in every alternating step a person takes in the room breaking the monotonous design and emphasising the space. Heritage is preserved through retaining the shape and the wooden framed glass windows with the iron railings; prepped and polished.
To the right of the lobby lays the individual cabins with once again glass sheets as interior walls in a zigzag fashion. The cabins are set with ornamental heritage furniture with few walls coloured in dark shades creating a contrast in the brown palette. Minimalistic block lighting with a few spotlights creates an ambience of warmth and glory. Few niches as lines among the panelled are rustic gold in colour which enhances the richness of the place evenmore.
Jiji House Executive Lounge
Amid the Fort Precinct of Bombay, lies this executive dining space in the Jiji House Building. With an area of over sixteen hundred square feet, the lounge was completed by November 2008. This exemplary lounge has been crafted with the idea of incorporating Indian crafts and traditions and putting them together tastefully in the lounge. The heritage craftsmanship of arches and tall Doric columns are well restored adorning the space with its classical beauty. Each element has been intricately chosen and custom-designed to fit in this retro space and contemporary style. Taking in the gold motif on the centre of the ceiling with the chandelier in between with spotlights in all corners gives the wooden flooring a glow of warmth. Similarly. Leaf cutouts in the furniture complement the walls with the same design. The brass table tops with the gold texture go hand in hand with the rich Banarasi fabric on the pillow covers enhancing the overall view. On one hand, with the fibre optic lighting and the gold motifs and heritage furniture with rich silk, the room constantly illustrates the balance between the old and the new.
Considering the external façade of the structure, the windows are repaired and replaced with clear glass but the frames are restored. The corbels are repaired and repainted to their original look. The fins on the balcony are repaired thus not losing their identity. The overall entity of the building is retained by restoring the carvings on the corbels, the niches on the wooden frames, the intricate metal railings, all in all, crafted in character.