With the Central Railway planning to air-condition the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), the Sir JJ School of Architecture has been roped in as a consultant for the project.
“We are planning to air-condition the CSMT station and the JJ School of Architecture has been appointed consultant for the project. We are seeking the expertise of the faculty members and students of the school before executing the project. The ultimate aim is to retain the heritage of the station and make the necessary improvement,” said Sunil Udasi, spokesperson for Central Railway (CR). The historical station not only serves as an important connection between the city and suburbs, it is also the CR headquarter.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 130-year-old structure was designed by British architect Frederick William Stevens, a visiting faculty at JJ School of Art and Architecture. However, parts of it were also designed by the then students of Sir JJ School of Architecture,” said Rajiv Mishra, principal of Sir JJ School of Architecture.
Mishra said the school was in possession of a copy of the original designs of the architectural marvel. “We are in discussions with the Central Railway and the initial meetings have taken place. The school will strive to keep the heritage of the 19th century building intact,” said Mishra.
The school has earlier helped the University of Mumbai air-condition its Cowasji Jehangir Convocation Hall at the Fort campus. It has also designed the Textile Museum for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. According to Udasi, the school will provide inputs on how to go about the project and the actual execution will be carried out by the Central Railway.
“We have often sought advice from the experts at Sir JJ School of Architecture for various maintenance and conservation-related issues. In this project, the school will act as a consultant and an agreement is likely to be signed soon,” he said.
Apart from air-conditioning the railway station, the Central Railway is also planning to convert the heritage building into a transport museum.