Thursday, March 20, 2014

Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George Town: Indo-Saracenic Monuments of Chennai

Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Rajaji Salai, George Town, Chennai - Facade
 Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Rajaji Salai, George Town - Fine Indo Saracenic Architecture
 Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Rajaji Salai, George Town - heritage buildings of the British era
Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Rajaji Salai, George Town - Showing pattern of ceramic ornamentation
Chennai Metropolitan Magistrate Court (Rajaji Salai, Chennai) is the one of the subordinate courts functioning at the historic structure, built during the British rule in India.

 It is a court with lean strength of judicial officials (Metropolitan Magistrates) in the city. This architecturally decorated 3-storied building stands in between the two heritage buildings i.e, State Bank of India and the General Post Office and both of them are huge, complex solid structures. Often the architectural historians often points out this subtle contrast.

The rectangular shaped three-storeyed court building structure appear like a box. Like the other heritage buildings of the British era, the court building has the brick - jelly of Madras terrace roof. This kind of terrace was constructed using teak wood beam, (with or without) steel sections, high strength bricks (1”x3”x6”) and lime mortar. The British engineers played key role in laying such flat roof during British era.

The facade of the building exhibits a series of symmetrical pointed arches framed within rectangular panels. The most amazing pattern of ceramic ornamentation is unique and captivating. Among the British period construction, this is court building alone show such unique ceramic ornamentation pattern.

The court building, like the other heritage structures of Chennai, also confronting conservation oriented issues. A serious issue is the coal dust deposition on the walls and roofs. INTAH is involved in the restoration of the structure according to international historical structure preservation norms.
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