The cultural and social relevance of work space and dwelling is affected when commercial and political ideals of ruling institutions attempt to change urban space for the better. Global and local seasonal demand for the products of Indian cottage industries have resulted in extreme population shifts, amplifying problems of housing and infrastructure. The problem is not just seen in quantitative terms but in the erosion of meaningful landscapes supporting traditional economies and the fragmentation of city spaces according to class or economic distinctions. With changes in income groups and demographics, so will demand for housing, business and communal spaces. The studio investigates such changes to emergent need in an attempt to prevent cultural and social erosion. The following questions guided the research:
If economic activity and dwelling have extremely fluctuating demands on land usage, how are these relationships understood in spatial terms in the context of Kolkata?
If the workforce comprises craftsmen and artisans of different classes, then how does this condition distribute space in a contemporary work-dwelling? If there is a great divide between space standards for the modern and traditional production facilities, then what possible solutions would lead to social and environmental improvement?
What public interfaces arise from new forms of dwelling in the settlement? What resources are collectively shared and how do these form a network of social spaces? What is the relationship between dwelling, city and space in the context of commercial viability? What extent of infrastructure has to be developed to enable improvement in productivity and dwelling conditions?
The answers to these questions concern the survival of traditionally dense settlements which remain viable in a global economy.
Third Prize: No.1245430 Kumartuli Kolkata
Students: Chen Yuxun ,Tan Ruixiang, Eugene Aw, Grace Chen and Heng Yinghui
Tutor: Dr Joseph Lim
Department of Architecture, School of Design & Environment, Singapore.
The third placed scheme after analysing their selected area, decided to maintain much of the existing city-scape and suggested eight infill projects to repair the most damaged parts of the city. Five of these eight projects were then worked out in detail, showing an integration of residential, educational, social and commercial activities. Natural ventilation and passive energy systems were adapted where appropriate.
The scheme was exemplary in the level of energy and commitment shown by the students and displayed some charming drawings and thoughtful design work.
Prof Frank Lyons Chairman of the Jury
About the Competition
For the 6th International Association of Humane Habitat (IAHH) Student Competition, members of the Jury were
1.Prof. Frank Lyons ,Plymouth,U.K.– Chairman
2.Prof .Peter Rowe, Harvard, U.S.A.
3,Prof. Rodney Harber, Durban,South Africa
4.Prof.Tom Fookes, Auckland, New Zealand
5.Prof. Neelkanth Chhaya, Ahmedabad, India
Over 90 teams from 20 countries across the world registered for the 6th competition. There were schemes from North & South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. 87 Schemes were submitted and seen by the Jury.