Stone façade, arched windows and entrances, and an almost palace-like structure on a sprawling plot of land in the midst of a heritage precinct.
No, this is no century-old heritage monument but a modern structure coming up on the KG Marg-the New Maharashtra Sadan. The architecture is based on the traditional style of a Maharashtrian wada-a sprawling mansion with small and big courtyards.
However, except for the façade and arches on the windows and doorframes done in stone, the rest of the new Maharashtra Sadan-being built to compensate the highly inadequate accommodation and other facilities at the existing sadan on Copernicus Marg-is a modern structure.
"The main entrance has a mix of the style of arches found at the Vishrambag Wada and the Shaniwar Wada in Pune while the arches are based on designs of wadas across Maharashtra," said Shekhar Patki, who is leading the architectural firm that came up with the design.
As it falls in the Lutyens' Bungalow Zone, the challenge lay in making the design gel with the area's needs. "Apart from restricting the height to ground plus one structure, Delhi Urban Arts Commission ensured that we did not build an eyesore of a project," said a Maharashtra government official.
The built-up area on the about 25,000 sq metres would only be about 16,105 sq metres with landscaped gardens and lots of greenery. With a rainwater harvesting system, facilities for reusing water for gardening and flushing, sewage treatment plant as well as double-glazed windows to prevent heat loss, the new Maharashtra Sadan would be a classic green building.
Said BM Sankhe, chief architect of the Maharashtra Public Works Department, "The building may be completed within three to six months from now."
Once completed, Delhiites would be able to enjoy Maharashtrian cuisine and several cultural programmes as well as a permanent cultural gallery in the new premises.