Excerpt: The Interlace – Interweaving Tangible and Intangible is an Urban Housing project by Prajit Gupte focuses on affordability, community driven spaces along with light, ventilation and thermal comfort. The project’s final outcome attempts to create a response at the smallest scale, i.e., unit, by crafting the climatically and spatially beneficial spaces for the users. This cluster system helps create the desirable housing density in any natural shape of the site, making it replicable.
Introduction: When we talk about affordable housing projects, high-density community living, and slum rehabilitation, there is a vast amount of focus on creating community-driven spaces, infrastructure, and interventions for the community. Hence, the actual buildable units suffer in light, quality, ventilation and, most importantly, thermal comfort.
In the context of Amravati, where the climate is hot and dry with humidity going as low as 28% in peak summer (May), community spaces made to gather people become open plots due to heat. Hence, there is an attempt to create a balance between the thermal comfort inside the units and through the cluster formation by using climate study and integrating socio-cultural aspects in the final design project.
The site is located in the central part of Amravati city. The slums predominantly existed during the British era as labour for wood transportation through railways. Therefore, the site creates an important street edge and opportunities for commercial infrastructures for the people of Hamalpura.
The design process started by understanding the nodes through diagrams and superimposing the existing internal network. The street edge helped in understanding the cluster differentiation along with orientation. The clusters were designed through a back-and-forth process focusing on hierarchy, quality of larger spaces, and thermal comfort in units. The cluster was then refined through wind analysis and lux level analysis. The master plan was developed through a series of iterations that looked into aspects of spatial qualities, hierarchies, geometries, and focal points and created a network of spaces and thoroughfares.
These fundamentals, i.e., units, clusters, and cores, are then modified through a set of rules derived through the site creating a system that can be replicated to achieve the desired density on any given site in the context of Amravati.
The project’s final outcome attempts to create a response at the smallest scale, i.e., unit, by crafting the climatically and spatially beneficial spaces for the users. The clusters are designed in such a way that they can be modified into a system that can be altered, modified through a set of rules on any given site in the context of Amravati. This cluster system helps create the desirable housing density in any natural shape of the site, making it replicable.
Due to the arid climate of Amravati, an attempt has been made to passively cool the units by using materials and screens in a way that resonates with the design and the function.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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