iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Aarefa Johari, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 13, 2013
If you find the neo-gothic architecture of Central Railway’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) breathtaking, you will be even more enchanted by its architect’s original drawings of the building.

These drawings will be on display at Sir JJ College of Architecture, Fort from February 13 to February 22, in an exhibition titled ‘Stevens’ Terminus: Frederick Williams Stevens’ Drawings of the Victoria Terminus’.

The exhibition, inaugurated on Tuesday, features more than 20 hand-drawn and hand-painted plans that Stevens, a 19th century British architect, envisioned for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway Terminus (later named the Victoria Terminus), which took 10 years to build and was finally opened to the public in 1887.

This is the first time the fragile, 130-year-old drawings are being exhibited in public. The blueprints, which have been contributed by Central Railways, are displayed alongside contemporary photos of the corresponding sections of the terminus, now a world heritage monument, revealing how loyal the final building is to Stevens’ vision.

In fact, Stevens was so involved in the creation of the building that he drew every detail himself, rather than leave it to his assistants.

“All of Stevens’ designs have been drawn to scale, down to every intricate carving. He even designed some of the furniture for the building,” said Mustansir Dalvi, curator of the exhibition and an architecture professor at the college.

He said that the ubiquitous floral carvings were most likely made, as per Stevens’ design, by former students of the JJ School of Art.

The exhibition will be held from February 13-22 from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free