The ITC group, the promoters of the Grand Central are known to root their buildings in history and the Grand Central reflects the vibrant architectural legacy of Mumbai city. Situated in central Mumbai locale of Parel-this 250 room hotel is the first luxury hotel built on the mill lands which is gradually witnessing an upsurge in real estate developments.
It is one of India's tallest hotels and soars to a height equal to 35-floors. By its very basic nature, the skyscraper suggests an imposing scale. The pyramidal roof goes on to enhance the overall persona of grandeur. This pyramidal roof is again a reflection of old Mumbai and is a derivative from the High Court building in the Fort area.
The strict linear geometry of the tower is broken by a series of terraces, which give a sense of vitality to the severely cubic profile whibt creating an interesting form. The lower levels of the building are elaborately detailed with the human scale in mind. The idea was to create a visual connection where people could appreciate the ornate details. The sight of the opulently detailed dome is another striking feature and complements the pyramidal roof of the tower.
The red brick facade echoes the classical architecture and is the strongest external manifestation of the historical expression. The brick facade is abo broken down and varied with light orange and dark earth coloured bricks, which imparts a feel of depth and intensity. The brick cladding abo has an engineering side to it. In view of the fact that the structure was a highrise, the bricks would act in response to the wind and seismic loads applied on it. So, all the lateral loads acting on the brick had to be transferred to a backup
system. The solution was to secure the bricks with the means of steel ties and braces to the inner structural wall.
As one moves into the hotel, the curving entranceway along the arched windows is evocative of the old colonial architecture and presents a dramatic sense of arrival. The entrance is in fact a very distinguishing feature, one walks into a modest courtyard instead of the usual plush lobby. The courtyard is again evocative of old architectural style. It creates a sense of warm homely ambiance. The architects have tried to create an environment that is inviting rather than intimidating.
Public and in-house circulations and movements were handled by creating separate entries for the resident guests and the general guests who would use the restaurants and
banquets. Keeping with the classical character, the basic layout captures a sense of proportion and symmetry. Interior spaces are articulated with a series of framed vistas of the court. The guest room towers are set away from the road. The highest level of the tower culminates into what is perhaps the most stirring space in the entire hotel- the Sky Lounge. Just below the pyramidal roof cover, the sky lounge offers uninterrupted views of the multi-faceted island city of Bombay - which was in essence the ultimate inspiration in creating the architecture of the hotel.
ITC Grand Central, Mumbai
The strict linear geometry of the tower is broken by a series of terraces
The red brick fagade echoes the historical architectural language
The lower levels of the building are elaborately detailed Decorative detail
The ornamental column support of the entrance canopy
The entrance canopy