little pockets of light & sky between brick boxes & a rare green cloud
images & drawings courtesy archohm
Fifteen slum settlements constitute the Taj Ganj area – the neighbourhood abutting the south and west of the world heritage monument. It is alleged that people’s displacement due to the Taj Mahal led to the creation of these settlement. Several open drains meandering through this ravinous wasteland, collect the waste of multidues of houses and workshops to converge into the East drain & Flow into the Yamuna.
Five Community Centers have been built to cater to a population of about sixty thousand. Although the project mandate was of establishing seven community centers, owing to severe contestation of space and impending litigation, only five sites could be secured through great negotiations, shrewdness & stubbornness.
Each of the designs addresses scarcity of open space and the need for sizeable and adaptable indoor spaces, resulting in compact architecture of courtyards, verandahs, rooms and terraces. The aesthetic and construction vocabulary has been borrowed from the context – employing load-bearing walls, spanned with steel girders allowing stone formwork for concrete floors with light reinforcement.