Oriental Buildings, Bombay (Mumbai). Designed by Frederick William Stevens (1847-1900), remodelled for the Oriental Life Assurance company from the previous building on this site (the Cathedral High School), 1893-96. Grey stone facings with white stone dressings, and red roof tiles. Standing on a triangular site between D. N. (Dadabhoi Naoroji) Road and M. G. (Mahatma Gandhi) Road, opposite the Flora Fountain and facing the Victoria (Chhatrapati Shivaji) Terminus, this is another of its architect's much-admired works: "it is an evocative affair with a spiky silhouette of spirelets, turrets and gables," says Philip Davies. Its outline gets definition from the tall five-storey tower at the junction, with its tiled pyramidal roof topped with fashionable wrought-iron roof cresting, typical of the period; and the steepled towers at the end of the ranges at each side of the triangle. Although this building has to compete for attention with the other grand ones here, especially the Victoria Terminus itself, it is, says Davies, "an excellent climax in the townscape" (177).
Photograph by Ramachandran Venkatesh, and text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
Davies, Philip. Splendours of the Raj: British Architecture in India, 1660-1947. London: Penguin, 1987.
Michell, George. Southern India: Guide to Monuments, Sites & Museums. New Delhi: Roli Books, 2013.
Created 27 June 2016