There is an urgent need for Ahmedabad to provide public spaces for community building and public events. In this project, the intensity of the liminal conditions of the pols found in the Old City is transported to the Sabarmati Riverfront Project, where the vast openness of its currently empty banks might be seen to offer sites for the future higher education of its residents. By proposing a college aimed at locals, the project elaborates the idea of learning, landscape and materiality.
The city of Ahmedabad has dense buildings, many stepwells and a range of richer and poorer areas. The objective of this design is to investigate ways to bridge the relationship between different citizens, to the effect of greater shared intellectual and civic prosperity. The project will prepare a blueprint for Indian students which focuses on education equity and cultural renaissance. As such it will connect these the range of economic and cultural situations: poor and rich, old walls and new walls will now co-operate in the same civic spaces. The project is distributed over a large area of the riverfront as a Mat-building. It was conceived as a national institution that would offer progressive education to students from all communities in India.
My objective is to reconnect with the Ocean of Wetness – a way of thinking environment that employs the dynamic conditions of all seasons and all parts of the hydrological cycle rather than either privileging or condemning one. Following traditions of Ganga, water plays an important role as a material that defines thresholds, creates atmosphere and responds to the rainy context. Inspired also by the Mughal manuscript illustration and its relationship to water, the building connects to the river step typology, creating different ways to access water. The design proposes the vertical positioning of different layers of water for the interior environment, using the stepwells’ functions of human congregation and water source management.