Bombay Art Deco Architecture: A Visual Journey: 1930-1953
by Navin Ramani
Bombay Art Deco Architecture - A Visual Journey 1930-1953 presents a treasury of Art Deco buildings comprising residential, commercial and public architecture created during the glamorous and optimistic era of the mid 1930s and 1940s.
The architects, a small list of the first generation of modern Indian architects, were trained in western architectural traditions, if not actually in the West. These architects, influenced by the fashionable aesthetic current in Europe, were eager to imbue the city with a new modern style.
That style shares its provenance with the Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach, termed Tropical Deco* by Laura Cerwinske in her seminal 1981 book. Built in the same era, the Art Deco architecture of the two cities exhibits similar scale, geometry, tropical vocabulary, and love of romance.
Author Navin Ramani lived in Bombay for 21 years, in an Art Deco apartment building called Court View formerly owned by his grandparents. Much of his childhood was spent exploring his Deco-rich neighborhood. It was not until Ramani moved to Miami in 1989 and encountered the Miami Beach Art Deco District that he recognized the great architectural legacy of his hometown.
But while that great treasury of Miami Beach hotels and apartments has been internationally recognized, nationally protected, and well documented, the larger assembly of Art Deco buildings in Bombay has, until now, been taken for granted. Bombay Art Deco Architecture provides an insightful exploration of its beauty and abundance.
* Whose photos are featured as our next series…