The Architecture of Houses in the Motichhipwad Locality, Old Surat

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Published on: 14 December 2018

Binita Tamboli & Nikhil Sanjay Shah

Binita Tamboli is an architect by profession and is pursuing masters in Ekistics from Jamia University. Her research work majorly concerns history and philosophy.

Nikhil Sanjay Shah is a researcher based in Surat, with keen interest in urban issues, historic studies and conservation, sustainable development, community participation and earth architecture.

The locality of Motichhipwad in the old city of Surat contains the dwellings of the sailors engaged in the pearl trade. As a result, it contains houses diplaying a wide range of influences reflecting the regions across which the marine trade flourished. Some of the later houses also display a lavishness and refinement befitting affluent seamen settling down after several years before the mast. They display exquisitely carved motifs over the architraves and a multitude of non-native influences such as Baroque and early Art Deco ones.