Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy College of Architecture is the oldest and the first institute in India, in fact in Asia. It was established in 1857 and was designed by George Wittet. Located on Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Mumbai, it is affiliated with the University of Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is renowned as one of the finest architectural institutes in the nation.
Sir J. J. College of Architecture offers two programs: Bachelor of Architecture (5 years) and Master of Architecture (2 years). The B.Arch intake is of almost 70 pupils per academic year.
The campus stands in 21 acres of the plot area and commonly comprises ‘the old building’ and ‘the new building’. The old building is now a heritage building whereas the new campus building is an active area for teaching learning and all sorts of activities, it houses the teaching and non-teaching departments, as well as a canteen and a workshop area.
Dating back from time, the reputed institute is designed to emphasize the relationship between learning and space. The traditionally historic facade enhances the significance of the institute. The amalgamation of open courtyards and permeable playgrounds with the built form allows physical activity as well as keeps up the multi-dimensional perspective.
Facilities on campus
Library: The library is home to various collections of books. Students and faculty can refer to any book on their subject of interest. The library preserves the thesis of their alumni and important documents of eminent architects in the knowledge bank.
The Claude Batley Gallery: Located on the campus, this gallery holds cultural and historic significance. The collection of designs, decorations, and documents on architectural pedagogy and practice in India in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are showcased. Many original drawings and images are preserved for students to observe.
Seminar Hall: Acoustically treated seminar hall is present on campus which caters to numerous students at a time. Several college events, juries, competitions are hosted in this arena.
Hostel: There are no hostel facilities on campus; rather provisional hostels are provided at a 5-10 min distance from the campus.
Lecture Hall: The most important place where students spend maximum time attending lectures was revamped and upscaled aesthetically. Lecture halls mature discussion, debates, and explorations.
Workshop Area: The institute believes in the practical learning of architecture as much as theoretical. Workshop and exhibition halls are places of active participation. Workshop areas built a creative environment for students to brainstorm and create the unusual.
Every year the college issues its annual magazine titled Shilpa Sagar. The magazine addresses a unique theme every year. It summarises the highlights of the year, students work, competition entries, inspiring words from architects and artists, exhibition displays, and unravels the stories of achievement in sports and other activities.
Learning is not a one-way process. It is two-way communication between teachers and their students. The transfer of knowledge and communication of ideas has to be transparent. This process has to be interactive and for this one needs spaces that uplifts the spirit of exciting learning. The reputed institute beholds a historic way of teaching. Traditionally the college has been innovative with the teaching techniques as they use art and illustrations as a medium for better communication.
Classrooms and studios happen to be the usual spaces of learning and lectures. One of the issues recorded by the faculty and students was low audio due to voice modulation that students sitting at the back would not be able to hear sometimes. With the evolving technology, sound transmission is becoming an increasingly important parameter, and to curb the issue some alumni gave in to renovate two lecture halls and acoustically treat them. Hence, the college maintains a collaborative and interactive environment with the students.
The college encourages cor-curricular activities of various interests like table tennis, carrom, chess, kho-kho, tug of war, Pictionary, treasure hunt, quizzes, and many more. Interesting events related to not just architecture and fests are organized within the premises. One of the seminars was for the foodies, documenting and exploring the tempting Mumbai food.
Recognition and Timeline
Established in 1857 as The Bombay School of Art and Industry. Starting from 1911, the school was in charge of consulting architects to the government of Bombay. At first, in 1916, the government established a diploma course, and a year later it was extended up to five years. Being the only architectural school in Asia, it was recognized by RIBA in 1920 and it lasted as the only recognized institute by RIBA till the 1950s.
In 2008, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) — India recognized the college as a participant in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ECO (Energy Conservation and Commercialization) III Project.
Recently in 2021, Sir J. J. College of Architecture was ranked as the third-best institute for architecture by India Today. Over the years, Sir J. J. College of Architecture has broadened its horizon in all aspects of development. The college has revamped structurally as well as academically.
SIR J.J. COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI. (n.d.). SIR J.J. COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI. [online] Available at: http://www.sirjjarchitecture.org/