Mumbai, an international trading centre and an important port city, implemented an ambitious urban development plan in the second half of the 19th century. The confluence of European and Indian styles brought about Mumbai's Victorian Gothic and Art Deco urban developments, two very distinct and contrasting styles of architecture. Various 19th century Victorian Gothic public buildings like the Bombay High Court, University of Mumbai, Rajabai Clock Tower, and 20th-century Art Deco residential buildings bordering the Oval Maidan are examples of this. They represent the rich heritage of Mumbai and the architectural evolution of the city.
94 buildings in the Fort precinct in South Mumbai are part of the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai. This collection of buildings reflects the modernisation of Mumbai over two centuries. In 2018, this ensemble was declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site under the "Cultural Site" category.
These sites have been largely preserved without significant changes and retain their architectural form, design, material, and function. Despite these buildings being famous landmarks, people remain unaware of their historical and architectural significance. Effective and uniform signage helps create awareness and a sense of public responsibility towards these heritage and cultural sites. It helps visitors navigate through this ensemble of buildings, inspires visitors to explore the surrounding areas of interest and increases awareness about its historical significance.
The Heritage Project collaborated with the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) and is funding the development of a large-scale signage plan for this ensemble of buildings. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Federation of Residents Trust (FORT) are important stakeholders involved in the implementation of this project. We have ensured that the 206 signs being installed across these sites are mindful of the historic fabric, streetscape, and buildings, and help enhance the heritage consciousness of the city.
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