Pune: Newly-restored Jaykar Bungalow, an iconic heritage structure in Pune, was inaugurated on Sunday by Minister of I&B Prakash Javadekar.
The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) is housed in the bungalow located on the city’s Law College Road. Established in 1910, Jaykar Bungalow acquired its name from MR Jaykar, the first Vice Chancellor of Pune University.
Over the years, its ownership changed hands from Jaykar to Indian Law Society to FTII and then to NFAI, which has been functioning from there since 1973.
The two-storey building is designed with wooden floors, a narrow staircase, high bookshelves symbolising typical British architecture, as per the Film Facilitation Office website. It is built in a load-bearing system with the use of coursed stone ashlars masonry with lime mortar.
A release on Sunday said the renovated bungalow will have a digital film library to allow researchers to access archival database, and will also have personalised viewing spaces for watching films from NFAI’s collection.
Javadekar also released a special booklet ‘Parampara: An ode to Jaykar Bungalow' that chronicles the history of the bungalow along with the story of its restoration.
A special feature of the booklet is the experiences shared by renowned film personalities including Shabana Azmi and Rehana Sultan. The two had stayed in Jaykar Bungalow as part of FTII girls hostel.
Javadekar also launched a mobile app to book slots for viewing films at NFAI. The minister said Jaykar bungalow has a special place in the art and architecture of Pune.
The release added that for many years, large portions of the bungalow remained unused as main activities of the NFAI shifted to its present building in the 1990s.
"Therefore, it was felt that restoration should be carried out to give it a major face-lift. A most significant rule of restoration was applied throughout the project that is to use maximum salvaged materials," read the release.
"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.
Prasanna Gokhale, the great-granddaughter of Jaykar, was felicitated at the function.