Visualisation - Paradise Pomegranate
Visualisation - Shade at Auction House
Visualisation - Shade and Urban Oasis
Visualisation - Sunsets & Pomegranates at the Sabarmati
Project description

Ahmedabad’s Old City is a ruptured pomegranate. 

The thickness of the old city walls has been peeled back; its seeds have spilled to the periphery. Simultaneously fruit production is facing challenges due to inefficient post-harvest systems, poor irrigation and decentralisation. Large transport distances result in high wastage and reduced fruit quality, diminishing farmers’ profits.  Paradise Pomegranate tests the potential of Ahmedabad’s old city walls as an instigator for reconfiguring Ahmedabad’s fruitscape, and its consequential role within the larger metropolitan network.

 

Visualising the [in-between] zone of the Old City Walls as both an inside and outside, three architectural agencies of Selling, Growing and Dwelling become the apparatus for forging fruitful interventions and creating conditions of continual wetness. The intensity of this liminal condition is transposed to the Sabarmati Riverfront Project, where vast openness offers potential for further cultivation. As the agencies emerge, so does the etymological link between Culture and Cultivate: tilling the land, and the acquisition of skills. Paradise Pomegranate does not aspire to utopian ideals, but gestures instead towards evocations of lushness and delight, rooted in the modest origins of the word Paradise in Old Iranian as a ‘walled enclosure’.

 

In Invisible Cities, Calvino writes: “‘My Empire has grown too far towards the outside. It is time’, the Khan thought, ‘for it to grow within itself,’ and he dreamed of pomegranate groves, the fruit so ripe it burst its skin…”. (73).

Pomegranates & the City
Pomegranates-&-the-City
Pomegranates & the City 2
Pomegranates Spillage
Pomegranates Spillage 2
[A]-Transpositions-at-the-Auction-House-01.jpg
3 Abstractions of a Pomegranate
An Auction House

Based on an architectural language derived from the pomegranate - of Skins, Membranes, Mesocarps & Seeds - the Auction House mediates the worlds of old and new Ahmedabad. Simultaneously fulfilling a civic duty to mend the city walls and re-establish the functionality and sociality of the stepwells; whilst introducing the infrastructure for economic potential of a centralised fruit-network. This building is the first in a series that will emerge over a period of many years, as the pomegranate trees come to bear fruit, and the potential yield increases. 

An open stepwell intersects the Auction House in half, creating a separation of producer and consumer, that is crossed by a bridge. Stepwells are not only a method of water collection, but also are a space of refuge from the heat and noise of the city and were once considered amongst the greatest charitable gifts that the wealthy residents could give to the city. By creating a presence of absence in the form of the stepwell, the excavated clay earth – the absence of presence – is reused to create rammed earth grounds and walls across the rest of the site.

Whilst attempting to provide the infrastructure for the Market and Auction House to function, an awareness of the idea of ‘slack space’ has always been present – creating spaces with enough ambiguity and flexibility which allows them to be appropriated by the users. Like the propagation of a seed, the Auction House roots itself in the ground, develops its own network of water transport and storage, provides shade from its canopy, and grows outward over time.

[I]-Auction-House-Exploded.jpg
Section Through Stepwell & Auction-House
Section Outside-the-City-Walls, Looking in
transposition1
transposition2
transposition3
transposition4
[A]-Auction-House-from-the-Stepwell-worms-eye.jpg
The Auction House as a Water Basin

The building acts as a water collection device during the monsoon season, and channels water from the roofs in a series of gutters and water baths to be stored, treated and used. The collection of water is also a natural cooling device.

Auction House as Water Basin
Skins & Connections
Perspective Section 1:20
Interface Detail
Model of Well Wall Connection
Auction House Ground Floor Plan
Auction House First Floor Plan
Auction House Roof Plan
Ecologies of Transposition

After considering the small dense spaces of the inner city, the same principles were taken to the vacant open space of the riverfront.

The idea of ‘transposition’ was important– the process of moving and drawing across the city, bringing pieces from place to another and seeing what agitation was produced. It started with a white paper card model which split the old city wall into tiles based on the city blocks and I could move pieces of the west wall, where we thought the urban conditions were desirable, over to the east well.

Transpositions-in-the-Old-City
Triptych---Before,-During,-After-Auction
Triptych---Before,-During,-After-Auction-
Transposition---Building-a-New-Riverfront
A New Visualisation for the Riverfront

A place which is now just bare concrete, roads and un-used land, starts to take on the architectures developed in the inner city in an attempt to create a similar lively, busy, layered atmosphere.

 

The Sabarmati Riverfront Project is a government-led development which has repurposed over 200 hectares along the 11km stretch of river that cuts through Ahmedabad. Described as an “environmental improvement, social uplift and urban rejuvenation” project, it has instead inserted a sea of concrete and sterility to the centre of the city, void of activity, personality and purpose. The project also involved damning the river, the disruption of which to the natural water cycle has caused flooding elsewhere in the region. The stagnant body of water is one of the most polluted in the country. 

[SET]-Riverfront-Isometric
2-Elevations---River-and-Inner
BLG-Riverfront-Elevation
Section - The Thickness of the New Wal
SET-Riverfront-Transposition-Plan
Schematic-Riverfront-Plan
Thickness-of-new-Riverfront-Collage
An Exhibition - of sorts

The absence of a physical degree show also felt like an absence in trying to find an appropriate ending to this 2 year project. The following pages act as place holders in my imagination which have allowed me to explore how I might have started to display my work and the work of the thesis. In doing so, it has also helped me consider what the important drawings of the thesis are, and how to best show them physically – and to scale – after over 12 months of working almost exclusively digitally and on a screen which abolishes any concept of fixed ‘scale’. 

This location of the degree show is in a west facing room of my Flat, a lovely period featured Georgian tenement on Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

exhibition
exhibition floor plan
exhibition south wall
exhibition east wall
exhibition north wall
exhibition drawing table
Student list
open list

Architecture - MArch

student list
close list