Mumbai Lens: The art deco of Palladium Mall

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.

Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
Floor pattern in the central atrium of the Palladium Mall using different kinds of polished stone
Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
Floor pattern using different kinds of polished stone
Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
Floor pattern using different kinds of polished stone

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.

Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
Elevator Design
Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
Window grill
Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
A mural with art deco elements inside Palladium Mall
Art Deco, Modern Art Deco, Mumbai Art Deco
Another view of the mural

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. 😀


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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.


3 thoughts on “Mumbai Lens: The art deco of Palladium Mall

  1. Sometimes, the apathy is heartbreaking, isn’t it. The management probably doesn’t realise the art elements put in by the designer. But, great to see that someone thought about including Mumbai’s signature art deco elements in the mall design.

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  2. So amazing that you were able to observe and share! Maybe this conscious viewing and recognition by ‘audiences’ will inspire more art and start a trend- maybe designers and architects will even pay homage to our traditional art forms in them. Hoping this takes off like the “dashboard Gods”

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  3. Oh yes. The only time I had been to this mail, I noticed these pieces & commented to my friend about the art deco reference.. she said she hadn’t noticed them….

    Apart from these, the mall was so crowded and I couldn’t wait to run out…

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