Land's End, Restoration and Redevelopment, Bandra

Land’s End is a peninsular strip of land that juts into the sea, with a fort, which is a declared heritage precinct at its tip and a hill that comes below the vista of the fort.

At a height of about 20 to 35 metres from the sea and bounded by the Mahim Bay and the Arabian Sea, it commands a sweeping view of the coast. Most of the palm treelined, sloping stretch has already been extensively excavated and destroyed to make way for the private gardens of adjacent hotels, leaving a clutch of trees, some overgrown ruins and untended patches. Like all other common assets of the city, this too has been severely misused.

Highlights of the proposal: The project includes restoration of the hill slope and its contours, which have been dug up mindlessly by a hotel to create a garden that has no relevance to the immediate natural and historical environment. The project includes plans to conserve, restore and develop appropriately the existing ruins and to regenerate the palm forest that once stretched over its slopes. Such forestation, including growing medicinal plants that were identified by the World Wildlife Fund, will arrest soil erosion and restore the original, environmental character of the slope.

The project attempts to retain and enhance the site, both as a historical precinct and as an active public space with lighting, signage, steps, seating, some landscaped spaces and pathways, all executed in a manner that is minimally intrusive and merges with the environment. A sea edge protection wall, at an offset from the hill-slope, is a must for safety. To encourage participation and to expand associations with the place, the project envisages a large gallery of steps and a stage in the midst of palm trees for regular cultural shows and art exhibitions. Built onto the slopes of the hill, stone edging and grass steps ensure that the gallery befits the environment here.

Project under taken by Bandra Bandstand Residents’ Trust in association with
Shabana Azmi, social activist, and P. K. Das. architect.
Funding: Shabana Azmi (M. P Lad Scheme)and others.
Area: 18000 sqmt.
Cost: Rs.90 lac.
Contractor: MHADA Slum Board, Gaurav Agencies.
Service: Hydro-mechanical Consultants.
Electrical: Siddharth Consultants.
Structures and restoration: Arup Sarbadhikary. Signage,
graphics: Siddharth Das.
Period of construction: 2002-03.
Supporting architects: Dhanashree Sawant (landscapedesign), Harsh Goel.

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