Restored Jayakar Bungalow comes back to life on NFAI premises

Iconic: The bungalow was built in 1940s.  

The newly rehabilitated, iconic heritage structure Jayakar Bungalow, was inaugurated on Sunday by Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on the premises of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).

The bungalow, built in the Tudor architectural style and classified as a Grade I heritage structure, was built in the 1940s by eminent jurist and educationist Dr. M. R. Jayakar, the first vice-chancellor of Pune University.

“Jayakar Bungalow has a special place in Pune’s art and architecture and following restoration, is being put to use for the benefit of film researchers,” Mr. Javadekar said.

The restored building will house a digital film library where researchers can access the NFAI’s rich database. There will also be personalised viewing spaces.

The minister released a booklet titled, Parampara: An ode to Jayakar Bungalow, which chronicles the history of the building along with the story of its restoration. He also unveiled a mobile application for booking slots for viewing films at the NFAI.

“A special feature of the booklet is the experiences shared by film artistes, including Shabana Azmi and Rehana Sultan, who had stayed in Jayakar Bungalow when it served as the FTII girls’ hostel,” Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI, said.

Over the years, the ownership of the bungalow changed hands – from being Barrister Jayakar’s residence to the Indian Law Society’s premises and then being given to Film and Television Institute of India and finally to the NFAI, which has functioned from there since 1973.

The exquisitely-designed two-storied bungalow conceived in the load-bearing system is unique in the city for its fine ashlar stone masonry with lime mortar.

The interior has wooden flooring, a narrow wooden staircase typical of classical British architecture, with ceramic tiles and a wooden ceiling. Massive bookshelves line the walls.

Mr. Magdum said that for several years, large portions of the bungalow fell into disuse as the main activities of the NFAI had been shifted to the adjoining building.

“A significant rule of restoration that was applied throughout the process was to use maximum salvaged materials. In the first phase, all later additions and alterations were carefully removed in order let the structure breathe. Then, new technologies of restoration were applied,” he said. The bungalow has been restored to its maximum possible original form and put into adaptive reuse, he said.

“We wanted to restore the unique architecture and aesthetic value to bring back the glory of the olden times. The objective was to conserve the heritage structure and make it contemporary so that it can be accessible for citizens and film lovers. We wanted this place to be a cultural hub where film lovers can come and engage in meaningful conversations,” Mr. Magdum said.

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Printable version | Jul 21, 2021 12:04:14 PM |

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