Somaya & Kalappa Consultants restore an existing historical structure based on the notion of architectural metamorphosis, blending Neoclassicism with Art Deco, and reflecting today’s corporate narrative


Mumbai, India

Designed by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, Bharat Bhavan 2 is the Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd office building in Mumbai, that proves that architecture goes further than just creating functional spaces, following modern architectural expressions and respecting the roots of its history edging into the future.

Bharat Bhavan 2 by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants

Bharat Bhavan 2 has recently been awarded a 2022 International Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

The exterior of the building was restored, and the interiors were upgraded to reflect their corporate narrative of an international presence with state-of-the-art facilities.

Inspections and investigations of the original built fabric were undertaken to understand the various layers of additions/alterations done over the years. Precise steps were then planned to reverse these interventions, to restore the façade to its original. The conservation process involved improvisation and multiple changes to the initial planned stages, all along the execution process.

Bharat Bhavan 2 by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants

This was primarily based on the multiple execution challenges and newly discovered data after the building was further investigated at its bare basics. All issues were then understood and resolved tactfully with improvised execution techniques. The services were integrated to ensure efficient maintenance and the design method was based on sustainability to achieve a LEED rating.

Consolidation & structural intervention procedures were undertaken, for strengthening the original structural system while trying to maintain the authenticity of the building envelope and at the same time also making provisions for the incorporation of upgraded and contemporary services and security systems.

Bharat Bhavan 2 by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants

Sourcing materials to maintain the look and feel was an important aspect of the project. Identical materials were sourced after an extensive search to match the look and feel of the materials used during the original construction of the building in the early 1950s.

The design process involved doing a lot of background research, to define a high-end, yet well-balanced aesthetic, incorporating a futuristic and experience-driven theme. The concept for the Interior design is inspired by the BPCL logo the golden drops of oil, representing Yin and Yang, were used as a metaphor, the idea of ​​balancing the opposing forces.

Bharat Bhavan 2 by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants

The color scheme is kept neutral with the accent colors, one or two per floor, taken from ‘Mother Earth’. Metaphoric representations of the company’s identity such as Refinery, Geology, Fluidity, Circle, and Green initiatives are introduced through textures and art forms.

The materials used for the project are carefully curated keeping in mind durability and maintenance. The use of polished marble for the floor and walls in the main lobby area and toilets makes the space look luxurious.

The use of metal with copper polish, high-gloss PU-coated furniture, and texture paints simply adds to the beauty of each space. Hand-tufted carpets with custom colors and designs in formal waiting areas also enhance the interiors.

Bharat Bhavan 2 by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants

The building is equipped with fittings and features which contribute hugely towards LEED ratings. The use of LEED-rated wallpapers, tile carpets, toilet fittings, light fittings, HVAC, waste management, etc adds towards the idea of ​​a sustainable environment.

In collaboration with various art galleries & artists, SNK conceptualized over 175 artworks, representing the rich cultural heritage of Indian art, synthesizing it with sustainable methodologies. BPCL wanted its global headquarters to showcase these diverse works and become a platform to share the stories of artisans through their individual pieces, thereby playing an integral role in nation-building.

During the pandemic, work continued to be coordinated and curated with a variety of Indian artists and craftsmen who needed this support, particularly during this challenging time. To be able to keep these artists and craftsmen engaged with work was important.

Project: Bharat Bhavan 2
Architects: Somaya & Kalappa Consultants
General Contractor: ANJ Turnkey Projects Pvt Ltd.
Client: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
Photographers: Fabien Charuau

IAA23

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