This post has its beginnings on a hot summer afternoon in Mumbai, when I reluctantly accompanied a friend who was visiting the city to Palladium Mall in the Lower Parel. I’m not particularly fond of malls and do my best to avoid visit them; the visit to Palladium Mall was probably my second or third. If not for the fact that this was a dear and very close friend, I would not have agreed to visit the mall.
As my friend explored the various the various stores spread over four floors of Palladium Mall — Mumbai’s “first luxury and premium retail…destination” — I dutifully followed her around. At one of the stores in the uppermost level, as she made some purchases and paid for them, I decided to wait outside the store and look around.
As I leaned over the banisters into the atrium, beautiful floor patterns created from different types of polished stone looked back at me.
As I looked at the floor patterns created with different stone varieties, it was with a sense of nagging familiarity. It took me a few minutes to figure out they were Art Deco patterns. And then other Art Deco elements in the Mall — elevator, mirror, murals, banisters, grill — suddenly started popping out or should I say became visible.
The Mall’s website doesn’t mention anything about Art Deco and all it has to say about its design is that its “unique design expression makes the mall a striking structure in the architecture of the city that never sleeps”. I feel its a shame that there there isn’t more information about the architecture or design of the Palladium Mall, which just remains another glamorous, glitzy, glittery and posh place.
I must admit that the Art Deco elements at Palladium Mall came as a surprise and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was the last place I expected to see this style. I must also admit that it felt great to see Art Deco elements in a modern construction in Mumbai. And this is in a city where an area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Art Deco. It’s kind of perfect, isn’t it?
PS: I went back to Palladium Mall again a week later just to admire the its design and take these photographs. 😀
Mumbai Lens is a photographic series which, as the name suggests, is Mumbai-centric and is an attempt to capture the various moods of the city through my camera lens. You can read more posts from this series here.