The Refuge and Resaturation of the Ravivari River Bank Ravivari Bazaar,
Kalakruti ni pol: Women's Refuge and Textiles Guild
Ravivari Bazaar, Sabarmati East Bank, Ahmedabad, India.
The Kalakruti ni Pol contains an agency rooted in the social sustainability and ecosophic spatial quality instilled within Ahmedabad's Old City architectural vernacular. The pol is an architecture of containment, of defence but also community, interdependence, culture and sanctuary. The Kalakruti ni Pol is a women's refuge for those suffering domestic abuse. It is a hub for producing and trading traditional fabric crafts; it is a place that promotes the education of critical skills that will empower economic independence while keeping alive textile traditions under threat by the rising Gujarat fast-economy practices.
Architectural stitching now closes the desiccated seam between Ahmedabad's new and old city walls, Ambdavadis, and the watery artery of their city. The project sits between the Sabarmati and the centuries long-established Ravivari Bazaar. With its prominent purchase on the Eastern bank, this urban speculation represents a new phase of the textile legacy and counterbalancing landmark to the associations of cotton mill owners and the metropolitan city they represent on the Western Bank.
The project tests an ecosophic approach to urbanism and placemaking: an ode to thresholds, and a reimagining of ground, it explores the balance of passage versus enclosure to elevate the harmony of many independently moving parts to function as a collective agency; safe and fortified rather than imprisoned. The design aims to enable Ahmedabad's people to reclaim and re-saturate the riverbank as a vital part of their cultural and commercial landscape.