LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems

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LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems

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Excerpt: Ajay Chovatia, CEPT University student, designed Urban Housing project considering a tight budget, rigid service layout & land cost. This resulted in rubber-stamped housing blocks that don’t comply with the existing lifestyle of the people. The project aims to address the inevitable socio-cultural and climatic needs of the place through system-based approach to High density housing.

(“Text as submitted by student”)

Vision for Transformation: 

Slum rehabilitation projects are often compromised as a result of a tight budget, rigid service layout, and land cost. This results in rubber-stamped housing blocks that don’t comply with the existing lifestyle of the people. 

At present rehabilitation schemes disregard the fact that the need of people changes with time and delivers a rigid layout that doesn’t allow much modification. This project aims to achieve flexibility in terms of growing family needs with time. 

It is evident from the site study that Outdoor living spaces such as Ottas, street, terrace, and foyer are inevitably occupied for diverse activities throughout the day and hence this project aims to achieve such strategically Integrated shared spaces. 

The project aims to address the inevitable socio-cultural and climatic needs of the place through system-based approach to High density housing. 

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Site Context

In Surat, the poor migrants and slum dwellers contribute immensely in running the lucrative industries like diamond and power looms. The maximum slums are in the zones where these industries are located. 

Ekta Nagar is one such Informal settlement, due to its location in the city center, size of settlement, occupational structure and coexistence of mixed migrant community, It becomes an appropriate site for Intervention of a system based Affordable housing scheme that can be later on applied to the other parts of the city as well.

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Site location and Imagery

 

Site condition: people come out to sit in the main street and get relief in the morning and evening

Settlement : Ektanagar 

Location : Ektanagar, Ankur cross road, Ak road, Surat – 395008 

Site area: 8,600 sq.metres/ 0.86 Hectares 

Total Population: Approx 2438 

Number of Dwelling: 336

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Site demographics

Community type: Mix of migrant population from states like U.P, Orissa, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Gujarat. 

Community Profession:
The majority of the population from Ektanagar works in the following four sector: 

  1. Textile Industry workers
    2. Diamond Industry workers
    3. Shopkeeper and Vegetable vendor 4. Housekeeper 

Design Process

  1. SITE STUDY AND ANALYSIS 

Students were required to choose three different slums in their city, with one of them serving as the main site. Each student carefully planned the major site according to the faculty’s guidelines. The primary site was mapped in depth qualitatively and quantitatively, while the other two were documented for the purpose of testing the “system” towards the end of the design process.

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Study of existing street activity by mapping existing cluster
LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Study of existing living condition of the unit through mapping and sketching
  1. PROGRAM BRIEF 

Based on the site analysis, each student prepared a design brief stating their vision, design concerns, and a detailed statement of house types and amenities. 

  1. MATRIX OF IDEAS 

The design process of the studio is focused on three aspects: sociocultural aspects, topographical aspects, and material technological aspects. Each student prepared a “Matrix of Ideas” under these three aspects, wherein design ideas and concepts were sketched and presented in the form of a table. The key here is to think about each aspect totally in isolation while listing the ideas and concepts in the matrix. 

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Design matrix for socio-cultural and climatic aspects
  1. SUPERIMPOSITION OF IDEAS 

As a further step in the design process, students chose ideas from each of the Matrix’s components and began superimposing them to explore design options. At the cluster and unit level, the investigation was carried out using physical-digital models and drawings. In order to arrive at specific design decisions, performance-based analysis was done using various digital tools for wind flow and lux levels. 

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Exploration of multiple design matrix ideas through conceptual model
LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Cluster formed by staggering units together
LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
CFD wind flow analysis helped in deciding the staggering of the units for cross-ventilation in humid climate of Surat

Final Outcome

  1. FINAL DESIGN: MAIN SITE 

After many design interactions, all of the students arrived on a final design scheme for their primary site. There were three levels to this scheme: unit types, duster type, and site plans.”

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Proposed site plan
LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Unit cluster and social spaces
Basic Unit types A, B and C
LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Lateral section
LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems
Elevation showing diagonal streets and stepping terraces
  1. SYSTEM 

The next step in the design process was to evolve a system with the help of a design scheme. Students worked at various scales, ranging from architectural elements, unit and cluster types, and site plans. The ‘System’ was represented in the form of a ‘Kit of Parts’ and the rules for arranging them at all the various scales mentioned above. 

This “system” was tested at the other two sites that each student had selected at the beginning of the semester, to make them versatile for diverse conditions thrown at the “system”.

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems

LIVING STREETS : Making Flexible Dwelling Spaces | Urban Housing as Product of Types, Density & Systems

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