Gateway of India Precinct - Conservation and Redevelopment, Mumbai

The Gateway of India, located in south Mumbai is a historic monument looming majestically against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea. A must-see on every tourist’s itinery and a favourite waterfront of the locals, this public space is visited daily by thousands of people. But sadly this plaza, one of the largest of all the waterfronts in the city, is a clutter of disparate structures and unplanned activities with no cohesive design holding them together.

A large barricaded garden used up most of the central space choking the movement around and about the monument. The parking lot opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel further disrupted the plaza. The bay in its precinct was cluttered too, in the absence of a planned jetty. And to add to it, the boat services were in utter chaos. Their ticket kiosks occupied the approach pavement. A scatter of food stalls along the approach road to the Gateway of India added to the confusion and then of course the toilet blocks, one at the traffic island and the other at the water’s edge made it even worse.

Our redesigned precinct both extends the plaza and relocates the activities at the farther end, reorganized to skirt the rear end of the central garden. This gives the historic monument a breathing space in front and provides the visitors a panoramic view of the monument, the sea and the other landmark structures and statues around. The plan also organizes the commercial and other activities at one location and ensures that they do not encroach on the plaza and clutter it.

We reduced the garden to a limited area around the existing statue of Shivaji Maharaja and the vittet fountain, ceding the front part to the open plaza and the rear to the facilities. A curved wall built with malad stone – stone used in the construction of the monument - separates the garden from the facilities block with the shops and toilets skirting the other side of the wall and facing the drop-off bay. The entire facilities block is depressed so that they do not visually interfere with the grand monuments and statues and is also separated from the busy drop-off bay.

Client: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
In Association with: INTACH, Greater Mumbai Chapter
Area: 12000 Sqmt. Cost: Rs. 450 Lac,
Contractor: Prime Engineers
Consultants: Mahimtura Consultants, Sheth Techno Consultants, Siddhartha Das 
Period of Construction: 2007-2009
Supporting Architects: Mohammed Ali Momin (Associate) Bhoomika Paralkar, Nilima Gaikwad, Damanpreet Kaur Jolly

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