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Stories from the House

Your insider guide to Kathiwada City House

Edition II – September 2022

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Thank you for the overwhelming response to the launch of our newsletter last month. August saw Kathiwada City House reflect the onset of the festive season. We had a specially curated six-course Japanese meal with Chef Peter Liu, a Kirtan Sacred Circle in collaboration with Way Well, a quilting workshop by artist Saviya Lopes (pictured above), a photography workshop by Kuber Shah as well as the opening of the exhibition of his Deco photographs, ‘Space. Structure. Storey.’

This month, do drop in for the screening of ‘Liberty’, a film produced by Art Deco Mumbai, coinciding with an exhibition walkthrough by Shah. Kathiwada City House along with Walkitecture Mumbai will also take you around the bungalows of Worli. A big shout out to The Revolver Club who is organising a vinyl-listening session at a secret location, exclusively for KCH members. Stay tuned to know more!

In our Meet the Members’ section, we are delighted to feature Luigi Cascone, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, and Samira Rathod, architect and designer. Both have been an integral part of KCH since its early days. 

Things to do

This month you can look forward to...

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Space. Structure. Storey. – Art Deco Through the Lens of Kuber Shah

Until 18 Sept; 11 am to 7 pm

A vignette of Shah’s body of work, comprising images of Art Deco structures, is on display at the Central Gallery.

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7 Sept; 6 pm - 8 pm

Screening of a short film, produced by Art Deco Mumbai, followed by a walkthrough with Kuber Shah, whose ongoing exhibition pays homage to the iconic theatre.

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Walkitecture x Kathiwada City House

24 Sept; 8 am - 10:30 am

Join architect Nikhil Mahashur on a walking tour of the last surviving bungalows of Worli. Later, unwind over some hot chai at the KCH courtyard.

For bookings, call +91 91372 7762

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Meet Fellow Members

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Samira Rathod

Principal Architect, Samira Rathod Design Atelier

Recognising her flair for the arts from a young age, architect Samira Rathod’s mother invited Ramakant Deshpande, an art teacher and brother of the well-known filmmaker PL Deshpande, to teach her the finer nuances. Rathod recalls pouring over images of paintings by world-renowned artists and having long conversations around their work – an exercise that shaped the way she views the world.

Art, she says, is a way of thinking and therefore, no different from architecture. Rathod graduated from the Sir. J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai in 1986 and soon after completed her Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign in 1988. She had the distinct opportunity to work on several projects under Don Wald & Associates based in California, including personal projects of movie maverick, Clint Eastwood. More than the academic qualification, what Rathod took away from her time in the States, was a “strong courage to dream, and dream big projects at that.”

Upon her return to India, she worked with architect Ratan Batliboi for a few years before starting her own partnership firm RLC in 1995. In 2000, she founded her solo practice Samira Rathod Design Atelier, which has grown over the years. Amongst the many memorable projects she worked on in her early days with Baltliboi, is a beautiful beach house in Alibag. 

Much later, when she emerged on her own, she collaborated with one of the  forerunners of sustainable fashion and a member of the Kathiwada Royal family, Sangita Devi Kathiwada, on her Karjat home. Rathod and the owner and founder of Kathiwada City House enjoy a special bond. She, after all, has been the architect for all her Mumbai-based projects including Kathiwada City House.

Another equally gratifying recent project she counts is the school of Bhadran. Located on a plot of land, surrounded by tobacco fields in Bhadran (a village in Gujarat), the design of the terracotta school grew rather organically. Its remarkable design – characterised by asymmetrical arches  – has earned the reputation of being the school of dancing arches. According to Rathod, the design almost challenges the concept of nature.  Much like many of her furniture pieces that she has been creating since her first solo furniture exhibit ‘Liasons de Formes’ in 1996. 

Her passion for writing, theorising and discussing architecture led her to be the editor and creator of SPADE and founder and director of SPADE INDIA RESEARCH CELL, which investigates and researches the condition and impact of design in India. She’s also an adjunct faculty member at the Kamla Raheja Institute of Architecture in Mumbai and has been invited to be a part of juries and panels all over the country and abroad. One of the biggest learnings she finds herself constantly reiterating – and one that she imparts –  from her incredible four-decade-long  journey is knowing and learning what the client wants. “It’s not always about you,” she insists.

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Rathod's architectural prowess at KCH

Favourite thing to do in the city

Visit art galleries

My indulgence

Eating at little cafés and restaurants

How I unwind

Swim, walk and enjoy wine with friends

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Luigi Cascone

Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai

Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, Luigi Cascone, describes his year-long tenure in Mumbai, as “Challenging and enriching in equal parts.” “It pushes you to learn something about yourself and I couldn’t be happier,” he says. 

Much before Cascone became a Diplomat, he worked as a journalist for a newspaper in Italy as well as an assistant to members of the parliament, where he managed their communication, social and traditional media.

 Cascone was always keen on pursuing politics. In 2017, he fulfilled his dream of being a Diplomat and worked in Rome for four years. “We had to pick a place after my four year tenure and had a choice between Shanghai or Mumbai,” he recalls. “My younger brother, who is an architect, was working with an Italian architectural company and his first job was to design the Bandra-Versova bridge as well as the Navi Mumbai airport project. It’s a coincidence.”

However, that isn’t the reason that inspired Cascone to consider Mumbai over Shanghai. The first thing that struck him about Mumbai was the incessant honking. “It seemed vibrant,  crazy and overwhelming, but it just felt that the city had so much character and that would give me an opportunity to learn so much more,” says Cascone, who made his life-altering decisions within 12 hours.

The global pandemic, however, delayed the plan. Cascone arrived in Mumbai in May 2021, during the peak of the second wave. Apart from the first three months that were mainly restricted owing to a subsequent lockdown, Cascone started to move around to learn more about the city’s ethos and stumbled upon Kathiwada City House during a watchmaking workshop.

Over time, Cascone has extended the space to the expat community that was unable to meet because of Covid 19 restrictions, and what better way than to organise an evening over Italian food, drinks and music.

When the students pursuing management of art at Bocconi University were in India, Cascone invited them to KCH, where its founder Sangita Devi Kathiwada conducted a talk on art and its management in India. “Though my work entails a fair amount of business and finance, in my free time I want to be surrounded by everything related to beauty, culture and wellbeing,” he says. “Kathiwada City House was everything I was seeking – to be in an environment where one can flourish.”

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Bocconi University students at KCH

Favourite thing to do in the city

It doesn’t matter which movie it is, I like the big screen and I love watching movies.

My indulgence

I have many. However, my favourite Sunday indulgence is Tennis in the morning, massage in the afternoon and pizza in the evening, while watching a good Italian movie. 

How I unwind

It might sound peculiar knowing the Mumbai traffic, but I unwind by wandering around in my Piaggio Vespa. Mumbai is a city that is so different from all the other cities I have lived in so far and I love to discover new things. 

Past Events

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RARE India Meet: 2 Aug

Shoba Mohan, founder of RARE India, shared a specially curated itinerary around art for the Kochi Muziris Biennale and spoke about the lesser-known destinations in the Indian Subcontinent.

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Quilt A Story: 6 Aug

Members enjoyed a lovely morning quilting along with artist Saviya Lopes. The artist shared fond memories of quilting with her grandmother, while teaching the fine skill she learnt from her.

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Japanese Dinner: 13 Aug

Renowned chef Peter Liu curated a scrumptious six-course Japanese meal for our guests, who thoroughly enjoyed the delicacies.

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Creating Corners: 27 Aug

Photographer Kuber Shah conducted a workshop on photographing homes. Participants were encouraged to create their own little corners at KCH.

Archive Corner

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Founder of Circle 1434, Digvijay Sinh’s passion for cricket can be traced back to a close relative, Sir Natwarsinhji Bhavanisinhji, the former Maharaja of Porbandar. India’s first Cricket captain rescued this tour from near cancellation in 1932. Following in his footsteps, Digvijay Sinh Kathiwada, is encouraging and helping the youth of Kathiwada by nurturing their passion for cricket and sport.

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Kathiwada City House

69, Sir Pochkhanawala Road,

Worli, Mumbai 400 030. India.

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+91 93728 59864
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