Restored 100 year old SBI building, Chennai built in typical ''Palladian style''

Renovated SBI building  Chennai. Palladian style.

100 year old SBI building, Anna salai,

No doubt next to Kolkata, Chennai has the largest number of more than 100 year old  colonial buildings and also heritage structures. There  are  many landmark structures on the busy Anna Salai,  Chennai (Madras) where offices and commercial establishments are functioning. The one that grabs our attention is the old State Bank of India (SBI)  building which had already completed 100 years in January 2020. Any person visiting this place can not miss the white building with huge  and tall cylindrical columns at the entrance and a tall double arched portico. The pediment atop the tall columns has no ornamental features.  Quite impressive is it unique European styled design of Palladian architecture, a rare feature in this part. 

SBI building Anna salai Chennai.

Palladian style villa, wikipedia.

Above image:  Palladian style villa with a superimposed portico, from Book IV of Palladio's I quattro libri dell'architettura,  1736. Ornamental work was not much emphasized rather attention was paid to mathematical proportions. The design of  facades  with pediment was given  much care so that occupant could have clear view from all direction. This style continued from 17th to 20th century in Europe and not used for places of Christian worship. It was deemed to be pagan  for Roman catholic worship as  Palladianism had its roots  in ancient Greek temple.'s_architecture..................................... 

Inspiration of this style owes it origin to the designs of   the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) who incorporated in  his designs classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The design is  based on  main mathematical proportions rather than  rich ornamental style also characteristic of the Renaissance

SBI 100 year old building, Chennai.

 Above image:  SBI building Anna  Salai, Chennai, Front view. 

Chennai Anna Salai SBI branch, big columns

Above image: Huge columns at the entrance of the building in the portico of the State bank of India branch office, Anna Sala, Chennai.  Only few images are available on this old structure......................

Opened on 8 January 1920, the  single-story structure covering  22,000 sq.ft  housed  a commercial bank,  then called  Bank of Madras.  In the following year in 1921, it  was  renamed  Imperial bank  after the merger of three important   Presidency banks. After the formation of the State  bank  of India (SBI) on  1 July 1955, this branch has been serving  the customers without any break  and as of 2019 it  has a customer base of nearly 20,000 and went past  the ₹1,000-crore mark in business as on December 2019.

When the Banks senior officers got up the centenary celebration in January 2020  the highlight of the function was facilitating the Prince of Arcot,  a descendant of the rulers of Arcot  Nawabs who had close rapport with the colonial rulers. The unfortunate fact is the wily British betrayed the loyal  Arcot rulers when facing financial problems.

To meet the increasing demand from the customers and to improve the facilities in tune with latest  developments in bank operations, this 100 plus year old structure was renovated with care. The conservation engineers handled the problem of restoration carefully without disturbing the heritage elements in the building. No structural changes were made as   they might affect the original style. Deviation from old Palladian style  will complete destroy the old colonial ambiance. 

SBI bldg. Chennai, 1900s image Wille Burke.

Above image: The Bank of Madras was established in 1795. In 1802 - 1803 there existed a bank called Madras Bank established by  Governor Gifford and his Council, The first bank to have been formed as  a Joint Stock Company, was the Carnatic Bank, established in Fort St George in 1788; it followed by Asiatic bank in 1804.  The Bank of Madras in 1921  merged with the Bombay and Bengal Banks to become the Imperial Bank...............................