Photo Documentation of Mumbai’s Deco

Our documentation initiative catalogues Art Deco buildings spread across Mumbai’s neighbourhoods. An update as we complete 3 years of this initiative.

Mumbai is known to have the second largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world but until 3 years back this fact was not widely known and nor was there a comprehensive inventory list of these buildings available in the public domain.

With the objective to validate and quantify this claim and create the first and only archive of its kind of modern living heritage, Art Deco Mumbai through their documentation initiative, has been identifying and mapping Art Deco structures across Mumbai. This initiative draws from the organisation’s deep-rooted belief that documentation is an important and essential first step towards conservation. We also believe that it can help bring unprotected and underappreciated buildings in focus and in turn empower its stakeholders to take conscious and informed decisions related to their built heritage.

Since our inception on May 12, 2016, we have had the opportunity to work with numerous individuals, professional and students, with diverse backgrounds such as architecture, conservation, design, history, and visual communication to execute this programme. While working with us they have contributed towards our efforts to bring Art Deco buildings into Mumbai’s mainstream dialogue on heritage.

We have carried out our photo documentation campaigns across socio-culturally diverse neighbourhoods in the city bringing to light the diverse expression of Deco present within the city of Mumbai, especially in terms of aesthetics and use of materials. Interestingly, these endeavours have also helped validate that there is significantly larger collection of Art Deco building in the Northern part of the city as compared to South Mumbai, especially in Dadar and Matunga. Although we have covered many neighbourhoods we don’t think we are anywhere close to done. In the coming years, we will continue this exploration and discover many more architectural jewels that are spread throughout the city hidden in plain sight.

Research / Conservation efforts