Adaptive reuse of the Fire Station into a Art Center, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla, India


The above project is a small adaptive reuse project in Northern India, high in the plains, in a hill station town called Simla, which is about 8-9 hours drive from capital city of India, Delhi. Simla was the summer capital for the British when they were ruling India during the 18th-19th century. This particular building was used as a fire-station for the entire complex known as, the “Viceregal Lodge”. The Viceregal lodge (1884-1888) was constructed as a summer home for the then Viceroy of India, Lord Dufferein. The lodge was designed by renowned British Architect Henry Irwin and the rest of the complex was arranged by Lord Dufferein himself. The building and the rest of the complex is designed and resembles like a Scottish Baronial Castle. After Independence in 1947, the building was decided to be put to use for education purposes and was converted into the “Indian Institute for Advanced Studies” concentrating on subjects based in Humanities and Social Science.
The Fire Station building was put to multiple uses; some portion’s been as used as spaces for indoor sports like squash and also had an indoor swimming pool on the first floor. While the ground floor which was once upon a time used as a fire station, was kept as storage space and left abandoned. Until now, it was suggested to be completely revamped and used as an Art centre with a café and lounge on the ground floor and a compact auditorium is constructed on the space where the indoor swimming pool once existed. So the project will be divided into two phases, where the café will be done first on the ground floor along with services like toilets which is on schedule and the auditorium and the art gallery be done in phase 2.


Indian Institute of Advanced Studies