System Of Interlacing Landscapes
By Elankumaran S
Productive Bricolage, creates a resilient ecological system for the Central Vista at Gandhinagar. It intends to rethink vista from an ornamental and underused space to a more lively and eco-productive common. The project unfolds as an interlaced landscape in the urban fabric through three strategies, one; eco spine as a breathing lung in the middle of the vista, two; urban inserts that activate the edges for a lively public space, three; regulations guiding the urban form development in the abutting blocks. The landscapes are designed in the spine in a way to create ecologically dense plantations and for people to experience it. While the inserts look at activating the public space through various activities. The regulations on the FSI and block growth emphasize on walkable and lively public spaces and street fronts while being economically a prime zone to leverage the vista. Through these driving principles and designed strategies, the vista is aimed to become highly productive in terms of ecology for an activated public center.
City Level Analysis and Strategy
Mapping Existing Central Vista
The above mapping shows the central vista as a representative cartography depicting the usage patterns across three times a day. The mapping shows that the central vista a large patch of land that is manicured with lawns that consume gallons of water but not being productive. Activity mapping depicts that the space is barely used by the public and not being a lively public space.
Analyzing the existing Vista
The above catalogue shows few instances of the vista through impressionist representation where the the imagery strongly depicts the typical view in the vista, a foreground of lawn or a hardscape, a public utility or an infrastructure, and a scenic background with of tree cover. Therefore the analysis leads to a set of thoughts on how the vista can be re-imagined as a productive common.
The above set of diagrams represent the processes that led to the design framework. The process has been such that the vista is thought in different layers, under the grounds of ecology, public access, utility, landscapes and also maintenance for a vibrant vista.
Design Framework – Principle – Eco spine
The Central Vista is proposed as a common ground for various activities and also for a ecological corridor. To achieve this the strategy is to develop a common ecological center in the middle of the vista ranging to about 50m that open up and narrow down like a spine. This acts as a soft-soaped that is intertwined with dense vegetation, experiential landscapes, waterbody, catchment, swales and also continuous walkways for people to walk in and appreciate the landscape patches while experiencing it.
Design Framework – Principle – Urban Inserts
There are also certain urban inserts that look at activating the edges abutting the primary road. The interventions connect the pedestrians who can access for various utilities that are mentioned above that are opened up both ways from the eco-spine and also the walkway. These inserts of about 200sqm also act as leveraged spaces that could maintain the swatches of the landscapes that surround them within the vista.
Design Framework – Principle – Built form regulations
One of the other important aspects as a design principle is to look at the urban development in the future of the vista that are abutting the vista, marked as green institutional zone in the current GDCR. Although there is no other specified information in the regulations, the design aims at leveraging the commercial zones to again activate the edge from both ends. The rest of the built form can be occupied by mixed use or commercial usages. To achieve this, the block is divided into 100x100m grids, further with setbacks of 3m and a built to edge frontal. The plots are further divided in a way to maintain a 60-40 built to open ratio. The regulations are developed as a form based approach according to the built volumes, ranging from FSI 3.1 to 4.
The proposed plan cumulates the design processes and the principles into a spatial approach towards a productive vista, with an eco spine of various native species, active edges with urban inserts and also the surrounded built form that supports a holistic design approach for the Central Vista.
The above sections depict the details of the vista where the eco corridor is at the center where swales, walkways and a home for various native species are created. The edge conditions are designed in way to prioritize commercial zones from the arcade and also pedestrian zones for continuous walkways near the vista.
Seasonality in Vista
The design appreciates the vista through seasons where in the above case, the water catchment is filled up during the rainy months and the becomes an active spot for other activities even during summer and in the periphery of an urban insert.
View showing the lively ecological spine that is connected to the urban insert within the fabric of the proposed block form, together representing the proposal as an interlacing landscape.