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New Delhi : Newly restored Jayakar Bungalow, an iconic heritage structure of Pune, was inaugurated ton September 15, 2019, by Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at National Film Archive of India (NFAI). The bungalow will house a digital film library where film researchers can access the rich film database of the Archive. Also available would be personalised viewing spaces for watching a movie from NFAI collection.
The Minister released a special booklet ‘Parampara : An ode to Jayakar Bungalow’ that chronicles the history of bungalow along with the story of its restoration. A special feature of the booklet is the experiences shared by some of the renowned film artists including Shabana Azmi and Rehana Sultan among others, who had stayed in Jayakar Bungalow as part of FTII girls hostel. The Minister also launched a mobile app for booking the slot for viewing films at NFAI.
The Minister said the Jayakar Bungalow has a special place in the art and architecture of Pune and now after restoration this is being put in use for the benefit of film researchers. He felicitated Ms Prasanna Gokhale, the great-granddaughter of Barrister M R Jayakar, who was especially present on this occasion. The Minister complimented the NFAI team along with CCW and the Conservation team for the efforts taken to restore the building.
A Grade I heritage structure, the bungalow was built in the 1940s by Barrister M R Jayakar, a renowned national leader, Member of the Constituent Assembly and first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pune. Over the years, the ownership of the bungalow changed hands from Br Jayakar to Indian Law Society to FTII and then to NFAI. From 1973, NFAI functioned from its premises.
The bungalow built in Tudor style of Architecture, mostly found in Great Britain, is one of its kind in Pune. The exquisitely designed bungalow has wooden flooring, a narrow wooden staircase typical of British architecture, and massive bookshelves that stretch on almost to the roof. The two-storied bungalow is built in a load-bearing system with the use of coursed Stone Ashlars Masonry with lime mortar. Serene Interiors complete with ceramic tiles and wooden ceiling.
For many years, large portions of the bungalow remained unused as the main activities of the Archive shifted to its present building in the 1990s. Therefore it was felt that restoration should be carried out to give it a major facelift. A most significant rule of restoration was applied throughout the project that is to use maximum salvaged materials. In the first phase, all the later additions and alterations were carefully removed that let the structure breathe after many years. While maintaining the heritage status of the structure, new technology was introduced considering the current times and future usages. The bungalow has been restored to its most possible original form and put in adaptive reuse.
“We wanted to restore the unique architecture and aesthetic value to bring back the glory of the olden times. The objective was to conserve the heritage structure and make it contemporary so that it can be accessible for citizens and film lovers. The digital library and personalised viewing spaces are the steps in this direction. We want this place to be a hub of cultural activities where film lovers can come and engage into meaningful conversations,” said Prakash Magdum, Director NFAI, according to a PIB release.