Narratologies of Ahmedabad is an architectural proposal based on the inquiry into stories that haunt the city. Traced through narrative figures, structures and places, as well as our own narratives, our proposals draw out a possibility for the future while remaining grounded in the enquired narratologies of past and present.
As outsiders, we uncovered Ahmedabad through the event of The Salt March, an act of non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. Through the study of body and building posture the relationship between the perception of narrative event and architecture was discovered. The anatomy of narratological absence and presence resulted in a series of tectonic speculations in hauntology.
Through exploration and measuring, the unique constitution of the present Ahmedabad was revealed. On a city scale, when put in series, the analyses of the various city territories display narratives of past visions for Ahmedabad, which today are are sensed like disparate fragments strewn across the carpet of the city. The proposed Sabarmati Riverfront City affords the space to bring the fragments together constituting a new possibility for Ahmedabad.
The new assemblage for the Sabarmati Riverfront City hauntology is tested technologically and ecologically through three projects: Dandi Crematorium, Sabarmati Pol and Sabarmati Business District offer programmes of life and death, dwelling and community, and economy and environment. The new series of enzymatic territories parasite as an architecture of non-violent resistance to neo-liberal compulsions along the riverfront wall to re-engage with wetness to reintroduce the liminality between city and Ganga.
Having crossed the open banks of the Sabarmati The Salt March entered the brimming old city. The urban thickness that Gandhi and his followers met were the pols, the housing typical to the walled city of Ahmedabad. Derived from the Sanskrit word pratoli meaning to enter an enclosed area or the Greek word polis connoting a city of common good, the characteristics of the vernacular housing align with both these conceptions. The communities within each pol are tied together through a commonality, usually a religion, a profession or caste; perhaps this shared relationship could be of something equally connective?
Narratologies of Ahmedabad provides a series of strategic connective social and architectural tissues for Sabarmati Pol using a devised hauntology of The Salt March as the basis for developing a transpositional tectonic language. While this programme could not previously exist on the temporal Sabarmati, the riverfront wall provides a new space for parasitic intervention of liminality. This proposed architecture is of thickness, thresholds, texture and lushness, antithetical to the current condition. The territory mediates the two adverse infrastructures of the stagnant Sabarmati and polluted road through the programme as a FABB Agency. Sabarmati Pol is a community with an e-rickshaw conversion workshops [factory], market and community space [amenity], contemporary pol dwellings [bed] and systems of wetness [butt].
Traditional Pol housing has a range of names used for particular rooms, however, these designations are not so much functions of spaces but thresholds of privacy. The experience of entering into the pols should have the perception of increased privacy. This is a key spatial feature, where boundaries aren’t separated by gates and doors but by a tightly connected community.