Monday, May 12, 2008

Jagdip Mehta`s Family Home (Before and After Restoration)

This 100 sqm. ground cover and 260 sqm. built-up area ground and two storey house in Khadia III ward lay vacant for more than 18 years. Mr. Jagdip Mehta, who lived in the adjoining house and had bought this structure to accommodate the growing needs of his family, availed the loan facilitated by HUDCO and AHC subsidy to initiate its restoration in January 2004. The restoration work of the house was done with the collaboration of Heritage Department (AMC) and French Government.

The building represents a typical Ahmedabad house with a central courtyard and an elegant facade, which has a colonial influence in contrast to its internal veranacular layers.

The old structure was critically unstable with the entire woodwork - whether in the roof, floors, walls or posts - severely infested by termites, demanding immidiate treatment and repair, or replacement. Damaged elements and dead loads were removed and vulnearble wooden members structurally stregthened with steel.

The building had only bathroom khadki, and a toilet covering the otla next to the entrace on the ground floor. These were removed and the toilet and each of the three floors introduced to cater to contemporary lifestyle. A small shaft was chiseled out from the rooms to enhance the natural light and ventelation in the building and a part of a sloping roof was reconfigured into a terrace.
Most of the retrievable finishes flooring and dado tiles and tinited glass in fills - were re-installed. The existing deteriorated plaster-of-paris false ceiling was used to create moulds to recast a fresh ornamental soffit.

The traditional water harvesting system too was restored with cleaning up and minor repairs to the 15 000 litre tanka.

The significance of this building lies in the programmatic shift it accommodates. Connected to the adjoining old dwelling this building primarily performs as an extended living for the Mehta family. Besides the storage of his musical instruments and Mr. Mehta's rehearsals, the house is an active venue for frequent cultural events. It also hosts vistors and artists to the city having deep interest in heritage and culture.