Conventionally, Adaptive Reuse refers to the process of reusing an existing building for a different purpose than what it was originally designed for. Although all typologies of built structures are eligible for such a transformation, this approach is most commonly applied to historic structures that are valuable to their community. Therefore, adaptive reuse not only preserves the cultural aspects of a building but also benefits the environment and the economy. Reusing any building this way consumes lesser resources and results in an overall reduced life cycle environmental impact. Here is a list of 8 instances of adaptive reuse in India.
1. Alembic Industrial Heritage development, Vadodara
The oldest Alembic Industrial building in Vadodara, now almost 113 years old was renovated in 2018 by Karan Grover and Associates. Originally developed to manufacture penicillin, this landmark is now a museum with spaces dedicated to art studios, exhibitions, and display. While several alterations have been done to this industrial building, the utmost care has been taken to preserve its true spirit. The original materials, physical quality of spaces, and the riveted trusses in the roof were not altered significantly to keep intact the conventional physical appearance of the industrial building.
2. Haveli Dharampura, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Located in the vibrant Shahjanabad area of Old Delhi, Haveli Dharampura was built in 1887 A.D. in the Late Mughal style of Architecture. It was designed in a mixed-used pattern, with the ground floor for commercial purposes and the first floor for residences. The second floor was later developed in the 20th Century and has influences of the European style of Architecture. During its renovation by Mr. Vijay Goel and Siddhant Goel in 2011, the original wooden doors, windows, marble jali work, and brackets were restored. Today this Haveli is an exquisite Mughal Restaurant, that in its delightful setting gives an insight into the traditional Mughal culture. The restaurant also consists of a rooftop that offers stellar views of the Chandni Chowk and hosts several classical music and dance performances.
3. Gohar Mahal, Bhopal
The Gohar Mahal is a palace that was built in 1820 by Qudisiya Begum, the first female ruler of Bhopal. This historic landmark portrays the unique legacy of female rulers in the city of Nawabs. Currently maintained by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism, it has been converted into an exhibition space and museum. It hosts various arts and crafts exhibitions regularly, providing livelihood to the indigenous craftsmen. The upper floor of the palace has been converted into a museum that preserves various artifacts belonging to the Nawabi era.
4. Kandadu, Pondicherry
Kandadu was an abandoned mansion in the countryside near Pondicherry and Chennai. It caught the eye of Jean Francois Lesage, a French couture embroiderer who renovated it into his workspace and residence. According to Lesage, During the reconstruction several parts of the building were structurally strengthened, missing shutters and shattered roof tiles were replaced. Yet, in some places, the damp patches and peeling plaster was left exposed to add to the aesthetic appearance of the Mansion. Lesage also mentions employing traditional and local craftsmen for restoring the interior spaces of the mansion. In addition to this Kandadu is also home to various domestic animals, extensive gardens, swimming pools, and a small cottage.
5. Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior
The Jai Vilas Palace is a 19th Century palace constructed in the European architectural style, by the Scindia Dynasty in Gwalior. In today’s date, while some portion of the palace is the residence of the descendants of the royal family, a major part of the palace has been converted into the ‘Jivajirao Scindia Museum’. In addition to artifacts that display the rich culture of Gwalior under the Scindias, the museum also includes lavish and well-furnished drawing rooms, bedrooms, banquet halls, and dining areas. Some of these interior spaces are also dedicated to various members of the royal families and portray their lifestyles.
6. Soro Village Pub, Goa
The Soro Village Pub is a bar in Goa that was formerly an industrial warehouse built in the 1940s. The original structure of the warehouse has been preserved as much as possible by Raya Shankar Architects, who undertook this project. In addition to this, a hip and pop warehouse look has been given to the bar. This has been done by painting various graffiti on the interior walls and leaving all the electrical wiring exposed to adhere to the industrial theme of the bar.
7. Cinnamon Boutique, Bangalore
The Cinnamon Boutique was originally a colonial bungalow that was set up as an orphanage by a philanthropist, during the Great famine of the 19th Century. Before it’s renovation, the orphanage was lying in a miserable condition with moss growing on its walls and a highly damaged foundation and roof. It was due to the constant efforts of Mathew and Gosh architects that the bungalow was finally restored. Today, Cinnamon is one of the finest lifestyle boutique stores in Bangalore, with its vintage charm and unusual aesthetics.
8. Calcutta Bungalow
The Calcutta Bungalow is almost a 90-year-old Bungalow in Calcutta that has been converted into a heritage bed and breakfast facility. Built-in the classical architectural style, this Bungalow is a symbol of the Golden Era in Calcutta’s rich architectural history. It was restored by Swarup Dulta, who renovated it keeping in mind the lifestyle of the upper-middle class of Calcutta in the 20th Century. Although not many alterations had to be done to the building structurally, Dulta undertook a minimalistic approach for the interior and chose a color scheme that would match the traditional aura of the bungalow.
References Foster, G. (2020). Circular economy strategies for adaptive reuse o fcultural heritage buildings to reduce environmental impacts. Elsevier. Alembic Industrial Heritage Development- https://www.kga.co.in/alembic-industrial-heritage.php Haveli Dharampura- https://havelidharampura.com/ Kandadu, Pondicherry (marked in italics)- https://www.architecturaldigest.in/content/pondicherry-vastrakala-founder-jean-francois-lesage-mansion-photos/#s-cust0 Soro village Pub Goa- https://www.archdaily.com/795358/soro-village-pub-raya-shankhwalker-architects Calcutta Bungalow- https://www.archdaily.com/795358/soro-village-pub-raya-shankhwalker-architects