LED system proposed to illuminate the heritage structure

Ripon Buildings, the Chennai Corporation’s headquarters and a heritage structure that entered its centenary last November, is set to sport multiple hues at nights.

Officials have proposed an LED system to illuminate the building, under renovation, in at least 26 different colours.

The renovation work that began in 2009 with funding from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) will be completed in July. Over 75 per cent of the work has been completed.

As part of the restoration initiative, three sides of the building will be illuminated with an automated LED system with the option of changing colours.

“The brightness and hues of the lighting can be modified to suit different occasions. The building will be painted in ‘shell white’ and will have a different colour at night,” an official said.

On Independence Day, the lighting system will be programmed to illuminate the Ripon Buildings in saffron, white and green at different intervals. Other colours to suit different occasions will also be decided by the Corporation Council every month. The system is likely to have aspects similar to illumination of the Gateway of India, Eiffel Tower and the Golden Temple.

Ripon Buildings was inaugurated on November 26, 1913, by Viceroy and Governor-General Charles Baron Hardinge of Penshurst.

The centenary celebration in 2013 had to be shelved as work was not completed for lack of skilled stapathis. The restoration is being carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 22.7 crore.

Official records state that the building was built by P. Loganatha Mudaliar and that he received his share of Rs. 5.5 lakh of the total Rs. 7.5 lakh set aside for the work.  Before moving into the Ripon Buildings, the Corporation functioned from Fort St. George and also from a rented premises on Errabalu Chetty Street.

G.S.T. Harris was the designer of the building, whose attractions among others include the 130-foot tall clock tower.

The Corporation has already announced creation of a large landscaped area of 9.5 acres with seating facilities after demolition of several structures built recently that did not aesthetically blend with the heritage structure.

The civic body will soon shift its departments, presently scattered in poorly-designed structures within the premises, to the Ripon Buildings Annexe which is being constructed alongside the heritage structure.

More In: Chennai | Society