The Urban Intervention is implemented to rejuvenate a major road junction in Dadar, Mumbai. This intersection of Gokhale Road leads directly to Worli, which is a major hub for commercial and high-end residences. This is a widely used junction. The 5-meter-wide footpath, is usually used to park two wheelers and used up by the hawkers. Thus, reducing the usable space considerably.
To initialise the design, first conscious decision was to retain a 3.5- to 4-meter-wide footpath at every point. And secondly, use the rest of the space as a buffer between the oncoming heavy traffic and the people using these streets for commute every day.
We studied the demographics of the users, as it is a public pavement. The intersection is used by the people for various reasons ranging from people heading to work, to children going to school or people taking their evening walks. It is also a space for community gathering for elderlies.
The design strategy was to incorporate all these parameters and use this data to govern the base massing. A seating space has also been incorporated in the mass itself such that the divider transforms itself into a seat which can house 4 to 5 people at a time.
It was a major challenge to execute the organic design. The varying curves and sectional profile at each point scared a lot of contractors at first. Hence architecturally exposed structural steel was our first choice. Structural steel being strong ,durable and flexible.
Modern refinements in welding techniques, gave scope to a more complex and stylized design than ever before.
A sectional profile was fabricated and placed at every 500mm. Further the profiles of stainless steel were cladded on the ribbed framework. This framework was bent from all the three axis and welded at every joint. To ensure the smooth morphology without kinks, almost 200 sections were used. This process was much faster compared to the usage of brick and cement with shuttering.
Since the structure is by the road, durability of the product was the main concern. Hence noncorrosive, long-lasting materials were used, which also met the required specifications. Being a part of a major traffic junction, services and electrical points had to be housed precisely for MCGM. All the points were maintained and the manholes were replaced with sturdy FRP ones. The massing of the design was totally reliant on location and placement of services. The parts where we could cover some of these units were designed specifically such that it can be easily opened and serviced. For example, a drain system that needed to be integrated is design such that a part of the unit is attached on hinges which can open up for servicing, which helped us maintain the exact design and also maintain serviceability for the local authorities.
This Design helps to alleviate air quality and reduce considerable noise pollution. Instead of only being used for vehicle parking, multifunctional activities can be initialized by such design spaces. All trees around the site are maintained and given new gratings of COR-TEN Steel to complement the surroundings. Materials used were Steel framing with MS sheet covering since it is nontoxic for the existing plants and trees.
While designing the pavement, extra space was designed on the street not only for pedestrians but also to enhance future opportunities for planting of more trees and plants in the area. Which will also improve street furniture and landscaping.
This project has also helped us develop an eco-friendly design trend, which not only save our city’s heath but also gives our community the space and an aesthetic look. Here people can come together and build a stronger community. Through this we also wish to raise awareness to save our environment and help the community to build better intricate spaces.