Mumbai, the city that never rests, has always been at the top of its game, whether it is fashion, theatre, shopping, or architecture. Mumbai is constantly expanding and is a great representation of its centuries-long past.
50 years ago, i.e the 1970s was an interesting period to grow up. Having the best of both worlds, from the old-fashioned way of life to the modern-age technology, these 50 years have seen it all. From women not being permitted to live freely to now freely representing themselves on social media, isn’t it remarkable how quickly time passes and how it appears to pass too quickly to be true? People nowadays are oblivious to time and growth, but development is and has always been a constant. And, speaking of India’s most highly anticipated city, oh how Mumbai has changed dramatically over the years. From Bombay to Mumbai- the city has seen it all – the cinematic geniuses, the abundance of talent, and the ever-changing architecture.
Architecture of Mumbai
Mumbai’s architecture is a fusion of visually appealing building styles. Mumbai Architecture contains architectural gems influenced by Neo-Classical, Victorian-Gothic, Art Deco, Indo-Saracenic, and contemporary architectural styles, which are still living in the midst of the city’s chaos for those who pay attention.
Buildings from the colonial period and Soviet-style offices can be found to the south. To the east are factories and slums, and to the west are skyscrapers built after the destruction of ancient textile mills. Mumbai’s architecture is more than just culturally significant monuments and houses. It includes residential buildings, offices, schools, municipal buildings, administrative buildings, and cinema rooms, all of which are accessible and usable to the public on a daily basis and thus relatable to the public.
The past 50 years- an opportunity to grow
There are several buildings that have stood out due to their sheer architectural brilliance in Mumbai in this 1970s- 80s. The Bombay Stock Exchange (The Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers) was ahead of its time in 1980. The Mumbai World Trade Centre campus, which was constructed in 1978, is adorned with parks, gardens, and wide boulevards. The Oberoi Trident Towers, built in 1973, are a work of architectural beauty along Mumbai’s renowned waterfront. The Express Towers were designed by renowned builder Joseph Allen Stein and completed in 1972. Let us now take a look at some buildings in detail.
One cannot think of Mumbai and not think of the iconic Kanchenjunga Apartments by the legend Ar. Charles Correa. The 32 luxury apartments, completed in 1983, are situated southwest of downtown in an upscale suburban setting embodying the characteristics of the community’s highest tier of society. With a beautifully symmetric building, Correa pushed his capacity for ingenious cellular planning to the limit, as is evident from the interlock of four different apartment typologies ranging from 3 to 6 bedrooms each. The building has 32 stories and 6.3m cantilevered open terraces. The central core of the building is made up of lifts and serves as the primary structural element for resisting lateral loads.
The Antilia, completed in 2010, the Mumbai house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, is one of the most expensive homes in the world. The building has 27 floors with extra-high ceilings. Antilia’s 27 floors are roughly equivalent to a normal multi-story building’s sixty floors. There are no identical floor plans in the structure. Antilia can endure a Richter-scale earthquake of magnitude 8. The top six levels of the building have been designated as a private full-floor residential area. Antilia has six levels entirely dedicated to automobiles. There are 9 high-speed elevators, each with its own level. This massively scaled home is an architectural wonder by itself.
The Imperial II is a twin-tower residential skyscraper complex in Mumbai that was built in 2005 and designed by architect Hafeez Contractor. It is one of the tallest completed structures in India. The towers’ structure employs a flat slab design, which allows the occupants to alter the interior layouts of the units as desired while also allowing for a faster construction schedule. Because there are no peripheral beams, maximal window heights are possible. To express the towers’ verticality, the window glazing is fragmented from floor to floor at the lower levels, transitioning to double-height glazing higher up the elevation, and ultimately continuing up into the crown.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – Terminal 2
The four-story terminal, built in 2014, is influenced by the shape of traditional Indian pavilions. It stacks a grand “headhouse,” or central processing podium, on top of highly adaptable and modular concourses below. Instead of compartmentalizing terminal functions, all concourses radiate outwards from a central processing core and can thus be simply reconfigured to serve domestic or foreign flights.
GMS Grande Palladium
The GMS Grande Palladium, which was constructed in 2010, has a faceted exterior of tessellated glass and ridged aluminum. Six floors of office space are raised onto an eight-meter-high podium, providing a street-level terrace and thoroughfare. The client and his son have penthouse office suites on the two uppermost levels and within the narrow cantilevers. The podium level, which can be reached by car via an external ramp, houses a cafe, gym, and members club. Car parking is available on two basement levels. This structure is genuinely one-of-a-kind, and it adds to the beauty of Mumbai.
A little more than architecture
Aside from physical structures. Mumbai has some incredible examples of urban open spaces and public amenities. One Green Mile is a project that is transforming a number of underutilized spaces beneath Mumbai’s Senapati Bapat Marg flyover. The design transforms an obtrusive piece of concrete infrastructure into a public space for the entire local community, adding much-needed amenities and greenery, improving mobility, and creating a powerful visual identity for the region. The JSW public toilet is an eco-friendly, high-tech public toilet by the water with a sculptural sanitation design. The BookWorm Pavilion is a dynamic learning environment. The pavilion “worms” its way through the landscape, providing a one-of-a-kind browsing experience along a meandering trail.
Mumbai is continuously expanding in terms of future prospects. The Navi Mumbai International Airport will be designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Mumbai is preparing for further growth and taking a more forward-thinking strategy. Mumbai’s development has been particularly noticeable in the last 50 years. From gothic, victorian, and classical styles to modern India, Mumbai has played a significant part in this evolution and will continue to do so.
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