A friend and I were enjoying a nice cup of coffee at kemps corner just a few days ago. Now the wacko that my friend is, she says to me "Do you see that building?" I look and see this typical, concrete structure, the sorts that seem to have become a part of Bombay's landscape since this last decade or so. "I think its a spaceship!" she continues... What?! "Yeah. Everytime I look at it I think it's gonna take of any second now...3,2,1...zooooommmmm!!!"
My friend had me in splits...but honestly when I think about it now , she's right. Some of our so called skyscrapers that are supposed to make the Bombay skyline resemble Shanghai, couldn't look more ridicilous or out of place even if they tried. While spaceship building, what with its suddenly protruding balconies (or whatever they call it these days) is just one such structure, there are several more. Thankfully the low FSI permit in South Bombay doesn't permit too many of this, so yours truly (a SOBO girl) is more than glad. But take this thin, tall, tall, tall structure around Bombay Central, Grant Road area...it looks like one of those ridiculously thin models or the latest victim of the size zero phenomenon!(spare me.)
Now I'm not against tall buildings...but hello, can they not atleast look a little appealing to the eye, instead of resembling ridiculous, modern, but cold looking structures. Attended a conference on tall buildings recently, and got back a brochure with some of the best tall buildings in the world. Let me tell you I couldn't stop gaping at them..
Bombay was (hopefully was) in the last few years going through, I think a tall building craze, just like the one America was going through in the 1930's. The difference...they produced some gems like the beautiful, art deco structure, the Empire State Building in New York City, which stood as America's tallest building till the World Trade Center was constructed in the 70's.
Built in a span of less than 18 months, today the building is going through renovations worth $129 million to make it more eco-friendly.
And as if we haven't already wasted enough, we, a few years down the line will have to invest some more on our very own anorexic or space-ship like structures. Yeah I can already see Bombay looking like Shanghai, albiet a far uglier version, and losing some of its great art deco architecture or gems like our good, old chawls in the process. Long live chrome, glass, steel...to make some scary living and working spaces.