HVN bungalow, Bengaluru- an heritage structure is getting back to past glory!!


HVN bungalow, Bengaluru deccanherald.com

At a time when lots of heritage buildings - both classified and unclassified across Bengaluru city  are facing the wrecking ball, the good news is steps were taken toward the end of 2020 to restore the  HVN bungalow, Malleswaram that was built in 1915 by H.V. Nanjundaiah, the founder-president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, It was  his the first residence  and it had not been taken care of for a long time.  Sri H. V. Nanjundaiah, in the later years  donated building  to the government to start a girls’ high school. When it started crumbling due to poor maintenance, heritage lovers, residents and others took to the street and protested to get the old structure repaired as early as possible. Cracks were developed in many places due to overgrowth of vegetation and wild plants. Much of the damages on the outer walls were primarily due to root-wedging.

Measuring 78 ft by 78 ft  Nanjundaiah was particular about starting an educational institution exclusively for the young girls. HVN had a distinguished career in the area of education and administration.  He was  the acting Diwan of Mysore during the reign of  Krishnaraja Wadiyar and given the task of starting the Mysore University. Being duty-bound, as he was, he was keen to bring in scholarly people to teach at the institution.  Dr. S Radhakrishnan, an eminent philosopher and later the President of Indian Republic was one among them.

HVN bungalow, Bengaluru,thehindu.com

For decades the bungalow had served as a school until the 1990s.  Till the restoration work began  the  office for school staff and   the Karnataka Open University were functioning  there. According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), all government and civic schools were  being renovated and upgraded in  the Malleswaram Assembly constituency under the guidance of C.N. Ashwath Narayan, then Deputy Chief Minister in 2021.

interior, HVN bungalow, Bengaluru cknewsnow.com

According to the architect Yashaswini Sharma of Esthetique Architects with a view to maintaining the heritage aspects, they sourced the construction materials  that almost matched the ones used in the past. Experienced workers from kerala were employed in the masonry and carpentry work in the building. To sustain the authenticity, the restoration team used Matthi wood instead of teak wood  and stained glass  made by sandblasting method,  In the case of former, there was difficulty in getting the right teak wood and in the latter case,it was a tough job to reproduce  the Victorian pattern glass extensively used in the building. 

Restoration work (began toward the end of 2020) was undertaken in two phases at the cost of roughly Rs.2 crore in 2021 and the second phase of construction would include gallery and museum. The restoration team carefully planed the work so that the restored structure could be reused, thus saving saving money and purchase of another site for this purpose.  Initially proper steps were taken in several damaged portions  to prevent the vegetation from creeping into the walls,”

 added. Malleswaram is Dr. Narayan’s constituency.