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Cathedral & John Connon Schools, Mumbai

The cathedral & john connon senior school is the four school buildings that has been taken up for renovation and upgradation. Located at the junction of amrit keshav naik marg and purshotamdas thakurdas marg which is off dadabhoy naoroji road, fort, mumbai. This school building is to be completed in two phases, of which phase-i was completed in june 1996. The senior school building, like the middle school consists of an original stone load bearing structure built in 1896 and r.c.c. extension consisted of slits and three floors with staircases connecting different levels and toilets built into corridor on completion of phase-i, the school has all levels including the old stone building, fed by a common staircase, the toilets are located in a central block accessible from both the old stone building and the r.c.c. extension. This has cleared all the corridors for circulation, as well as simplified the drainage and plumbing services. Contemporary materials like glass bricks, aluminium windows, structural glazing, etc. Have been introduced in this r.c.c. extension letting in a lot of light, air and thus improved the ventilation. A secondary entrance has been introduced and accentuated by a school crest boldly displayed under the structural glazing.

Pre Renovation Pre Renovation
Pre Renovation

An additional floor comprising of a 2,500 sq.ft. Gymnasium has been raised over the existing structure by strengthening and jacketing the existing columns from the footings, phase-ii which started in february 1997 is in progress and expected to be completed by mid 1998. This phase consists of renovating and upgrading the old stone building. The problems encountered in this building are similar to those of the middle school i.e. cracks in the stone walls and corridors of cabins and toilets, puncturing of sewage lines through walls and ceilings and haphazard additions of a.c. and g.i. sheet chajjas. The architectural response to these constraints was to leave the façade of the building untouched except for removing the a.c. and g.i. sheet canopies and restoring the structural arches to their original glory a strong entrance canopy with the school crest will serve the main entrance from the south side.

Middle School
This stone masonry building was originally built some time around 1902, however, atleast two later Post Renovationadditions have taken place (exluding the present one) due to which ugly r.c.c. extensions has been attached to the main stone building, structurally the building was quite sound, however few cracks were visible in the old stone building due to weakening of the mortar because of old age. Some of the wooden joints had rotted and given way at the ends. The coba has deteriorated considerably over the years and had to be reinforced with steel before the new flooring was laid on, the ad-hoc additions in the corridors of cabins and toilets had caused a major problem of circulation and services with sewage lines puncturing corridors and running along ceilings and emptying into inspection chambers located on the ground floor corridor. The haphazard addition of a.c. and g.i. sheet chajjas to the old store building had also detracted from the stone arches and openings.
Post Renovation
The existing plinth of the building had to be retained and the height restricted even with the addition of a completely new floor, due to municipal regulations, any further expansions at ground level would have cut out on already scarce playing area for the children, the cluttered corridors needed to be cleared for all round access to the building by relocating existing cabins, rooms and toilets and reorganising and relocating service areas..
The architectural response to these constraints was to leave the façade of the old building untouched except for removing some asbestos sheet roofing and wooden add-on canopies which were ina state of near collapse and completely expose the arches and openings as they were during the inception of the Post Renovationbuilding, all rooms and cabins in the corridors were demolished giving easy access from one part of the building to the other without having to cut through the classrooms and at the same time increasing light and ventilation. The proposed entry into the building has been accentuated by the introduction of an entrance canopy and porch with the school crest boldly displayed in front, the original entry on the south had to be relocated due to the change in the traffic pattern, even though contemporary materials like glass blocks and anodized aluminium windows have been introduced. The feature of continuity is still maintained by matching the colour of anodized steel sections with the stone. The glass blocks tie into the white marble mosaic flooring which in turn extends from the r.c.c. structure to the old stone building. Ceramic tile borders jump from floor to skirting and back to the floor to give a feeling of continuity.

Designed & Maintained for
By  Seven Hill Naturstien Ltd.
Planet - Earth