Mumbai: The iconic century-old Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station has been lit up with at least 16 million colourful lights. This was done to boost the city’s tourism. The brain behind this splendid illumination is Pune-based architect Kiran Kalamdani who was appointed in September 2009 by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) for the project work.
Kalamdani who works as an architect for Kimaya, a Pune firm, was partnered with MTDC and Central Railways. “I was entrusted with the work of illuminating CST building for which our team worked round the clock for three months. We had to study the minute detailing of the carvings on the building to bring them into focus through lightings,” said Kalamdani.
The total cost of the project for illuminating the building was estimated at Rs 5 crore. Earlier, there were only floodlights used to illuminate the building which did not reflect the minute detailing on the building. The building was constructed during the Victorian age and is known to have carvings which portrays aspects of Hinduism, Islamic and Christianity.
“The central dome of the building reflects western culture. The building is being constructed using Yellow and Malad stones. It has also been designed using coloured materials called ‘polychromy’ which is a method of design used during the Victorian era,” said Kalamdani.
Colourful lights were required to illuminate the use of ‘polychromy’ for constructing the building. “It was important to use lights to reflect the arches at the top of the building. There are curved arches which signify the Hindu temple and this was also reflected using the coloured lighting,” said Kalamdani.
The heritage structure is lighted using 25 themes which changes during every festive occasion. The technology of RGB LED fittings which has more than a million combinations of lights has been used to illuminate the station building.
Recently, there has been a demand to use more lights during important days like Independence Day, International Women’s Day and other solidarity days. “The building was illuminated using pink colour to reflect the significance of International Women’s day. The station building is otherwise illuminated using blue colour to depict the working class of Mumbaikars and colourful lights are used during the weekends,” said Kalamdani.
There has been a sea change in the technology used to light the iconic structure in the past one decade. More dynamics will soon be brought up to light the heritage structure which would express the diversity of culture and tradition of the city.