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Bathrooms, Bombay, India (1930’s)

Artist/Designer: Designer Unknown

Project Location: Mumbai, India

Figure 1: Advertisement for Armitage Shanks bathroom fittings, showing an
“integrated” bathroom. Bathrooms in the flats of Dadar–Matunga were disaggregated,
with the three principal elements (toilet, washbasin, bathing area) occupying different but
adjacent sites. Bombay Chronicle, February 21, 1921.
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 2: Attached toilet, accessed through verandah. R. S. Deshpande, Residential
Buildings Suited to India.
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 3: The only early design with the toilet actually within the house, rather than accessed
through the verandah. R. S. Deshpande, Residential Buildings Suited to India
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 4: Attached toilet located in separate block. ( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 5: Flexible design showing ground floor (A) and first floor (B) plans. This
building could be a house for one large family, or could be two, three, or even four separate
flats depending on how the toilets were used. Each floor offers either one large flat with
two adjacent toilets, or two smaller flats accessing toilets through shared veranda.
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 6: The toilet is firmly within the space of the flat. Architect: Marathe and
Company.
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 7: The toilet is firmly within the space of the flat. Architect: Marathe and
Company.
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 8: A typical late Deshpande design, with the toilet accessible immediately on entry
into the apartment from the outside landing. A person entering to clean the toilet could
access it without traversing the rest of the dwelling. Architect: Adalja and Noorani. R. S.
Deshpande, Modern Ideal Homes for India.
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 9: Deshpande was critical of the location of the toilet next to the kitchen in this
design. Architect: Kamtekar and Bhivandikar. R. S. Deshpande, Modern Ideal Homes
for India
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )
Figure 10: There are two doors from the stairwell into the flat: one leads into the lobby
and directly to the toilet and could be used by servants and cleaners, while the other leads
into the drawing room and could be used by family and guests. Architect: N. S. Gupchup. R. S. Deshpande, Modern Ideal Homes for India
( Source | Accessed : February 18, 2020 )

Style/Period(s):
No Style/Period Assigned.

Primary Material(s):
Ceramic, Plaster, Brick

Function(s):
Health Facility, Residential Structure

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
1920-1929

Additional Information:
In the 1930s, upper-class residents of Bombay were bombarded with ideas and products intended to make their homes modern. Showrooms, exhibitions, advertisements, and design books all addressed a consuming public newly interested in “the art and comfort of the home.” As Abigail McGowan demonstrates in Domestic Modern: Redecorating Homes in Bombay in the 1930s, attempts to remake Indian homes were hardly new; from the late nineteenth century on, sanitary reformers, girls’ educators, and urban planners introduced new principles of home management and hygiene into domestic space.

Publications/Texts in Print:

Building Address: Unknown

Significant Dates: 1930's

Tags: Bathrooms, Modernisation in India, Middle-class homes

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