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Response to Fragile Ecosystem | Kartik Nakkana, Aswin Senthil
Hollywood Basti is a Marwari settlement in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with households engaging in indigenous idol making. Most people living here primarily as daily wage workers. The basti is located in a prime location in the western zone of Ahmedabad. Disconnected from the development happening around, the basti has been existing in its micro environment for years. The land parcel of Gulbai tekra is abutted on 3 sides by road and has an overlay TOD zone. It is in close proximity to MRTS corridor and CG road. All these factors have added up making Gulbai Tekra a potential site for real estate development.
Hollywood Basti is usually described as Dharavi of Ahmedabad and like any other slum suffers from lack of sanitation, over crowding, Lack of ventilation, Lack of safety. Since the land doesnt belong to the users, theres a constant fear of evacuation and hence the occupants have very less regard for organised living conditions. The street acts as a extension of their living rooms.
Theres a constant fear of a child being run over by a vehicle since they are running around on the main road for the lack of play areas and unorganised occupancy of the land. The bordering belt is occupied by Idol makers with the idols usually ending up in the middle of road or an encroached invisible footpaths. Though theres a strong sense of community feeling amongst them, there are no community spaces for gatherings and Congregatory aspects. This unorganised chaos pushes the Basti to be looked down upon by the citys Elite and builds and an invisible wall between the basti and the urban fabric.
The design intervention addresses the aspects leading to bringing urbanity back to the site while throwing light upon the how the occupants of the basti view themselves and there place in larger context of the city. The design though takes an empathetic route towards living conditions of the occupants and there sensitive economic situation, takes a more logical Real estate based approach which not only organises the living chaos but also opens up avenues for the occupants to reak monetary incentives via use of space.
Idea of Impermanence
Since the land doesnt belong to the occupants and weighs heavy on the possibility of EVACUATION, the design aims to address this complication with providing material system which is temporary in nature through an assembly based construction system and opens possibility of migration. The system helps in easy assembly of the living unit and has posssibility of customisation as per the need of the occupant. The construction material is DISMANTLEABLE and EASY TO TRANSPORT or SALVAGABLE.
Celebration of their identity
The structural system allows the occupants to build with different materials opening the possibility of customisation. The individual living units are HALF BUILT which allows the user to expand the unit in material or construction of their own choice and thereby enabling an expression of there own IDENTITY.
Bringing the city back to the Basti
The design is divided into Public and private spaces splitting it on two different levels where the upper deck acts as a residential complex with living units, community spaces and toilet blocks where as the ground floor acts as an expansion of the street placing a commercial zone mainly catering to marwadi community where they can practice there own occupation or rent it out other parties. This opens up multiple commercial oppurtunities and normalises the space and eventually brings back the city to the Basti.
Kit of parts
1. (4-8) Steel Columns
2. (4-8) Steel Beams
3. Cement fibre Boards& Framework
5. Thatch roof
Different iterations of corrugated sheet envelopes are the most commonly used material in the Basti for construction. Thus making the inhabitants comfortable with construction process involving corrugated sheets like asbestos or tin sheets.
The frameworks allows an open unit which can be used as community spaces, open workshop areas for idol making, multipurpose zone and also for a space to be rented out.
Recycled shipping containers can be accommodated as housing units in multiple iterations depending on inhabitants choice and usage.
Brick is also a dominant material in the within landscape of the slum making it easy to access and for application.
A complete unit with provided kit of parts
POSSIBLE ITERATIONS FROM KIT OF PARTS
The individual unit owners can be provided with a kit of parts to assemble ones own dwelling unit as per their own financial capability and construction feasibility. This helps them build their own home in their own IDENTITY and hence providing them with a sense of OWNERSHIP and belonging.
A certain level of architectural intervention in planning is required so as to not create an Urban slum again. The planning provides with congregatory communal spaces. These communal spaces form a community tenure ship where these space’s ownership is split as UNDIVIDED LANDSHARE.
The individual units are concieved as an inverted funnel which allows warm air to escape through sky light creating constant exchange of air, dropping internal temperatures. During the summers, the warmer indoor air raises up through the building and escapes at the top through Sky light. The rising warm air reduces the pressure in the base of the building, drawing cold air in through either open doors or windows. During the winter the stack effect is reversed but is typically weaker due to lower temperature differences.
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