After nearly a year of delicate refurbishment and some touches of modernity, Tata Group’s iconic headquarters near Flora Fountain, the Bombay House, will reopen on July 29, the 114th birth anniversary of JRD Tata.
Article by Vijay Tagore | Mumbai Mirror
Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata and group boss N Chandrasekaran will inaugurate the renovated British-era structure, which was closed for business for the first time in its 94-year history in August last year.
One of the new features of the heritage building is digitisation of security and operations.
Chandrasekaran had said last year that the group wanted to “create a workplace that’s more collaborative, contemporary and youthful”. The façade of Bombay House has been left untouched; only the interiors have been refurbished. A kennel has been built to house stray dogs which famously milled around on the property and enjoyed Ratan Tata’s affection. The Homi Mody Street that leads to the building has been beautified.
Mumbai-based architect and urban conservationist Brinda Somaya oversaw the Bombay House renovation. She had earlier told Mirror that this was the first-ever restoration undertaken inside the three-storey building and that it would also involve creation of a state-of-the-art lobby. Over 550 employees of various Tata firms and interests were shifted to Fort House and other locations last year as the work began. They will be moving back in this month.
A Tata Sons spokesperson confirmation the inauguration, but refused to comment more.
Bombay House came up in 1924. It was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, who was also behind Mumbai’s gems such as the Gateway of India and the Prince of Wales Museum.
The building was supposed to undergo repairs in 2016, but the plans were reportedly put on hold as the Tatas battled a series of allegations by ousted Tata Sons chairman Cryus Mistry.