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Commute - Community center at Palghar

Part 1 Project 2004
Ashish Sethi
Ghaeda Alshehri
Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute Mumbai India
It is interaction, and not places, that is essence of the city life.

The less the social distance, there is between the individuals greater is the probability of interaction of the same kind. Though today the sense of community has reduced or rather gone under transformation in its meaning. One is attached to community as his daily core of life. Space, which each individual occupies within the community, transforms it into space of his identity. The space gives the person his identity of skills, faith and gives him the chance to grow from that space. The community center acts as the platform for these developments, towards transforming each individual.

Palghar - this place is transforming itself from mere self-sustaining village into suburb of bigger economy. Its proximity to the metropolis like Mumbai becomes the reason for its development. The irony of this development is that, the place is loosing its characteristics of locally developed skills which newer generation are not ready to accept as their heritage.

The site itself gives lot of opportunity to develop the place into a tourist as well as commercial center for local trade and development due to its strategic location along a beachfront and within temple premises. The proposed community center is an attempt to respond to the need and aspiration of the people of Palghar, making the center as nucleus of the town Giving them flexibility and mobility of space. Where people from all background irrespective of social and religious classification, come together and grow socially culturally and economically.

The planning is generic, looking ahead, anticipating the potential and limitation of an organization and quality of life that can be provided to humans. The programmatic intervention was in such a way that even the physicality of each individual organization could be increased or decreased as and when require allowing the place to serve the bigger prospect. The vision was to make the site much mor

Ashish Sethi
Ghaeda Alshehri

Architectural Design Studio at KRVIA

The studio set out to create overlapping layers of events and ideas, eventually siting them in a programme and context.
It was important that we convey the idea of culture and the city as being a palimpsest of some complexity.
The early exercises involved understanding the work of an artist (chosen from a given list), and especially the context in which such works exist.
The second layer transformed the art work/ installation/ event by ‘siting’ it within a context. There was a great deal of variation in responses in class at this stage. The ‘museum’ was selected as a programme to bring into focus all these ideas which were emerging in the class.
The site was a steep slope on Malabar hill, an area with many urban resonances.
In her project Neha Sabnis dealt with ‘memories in the city’. (She worked with film negatives).
Neha went on to load the programme and site with building types (Textile mills, chawls, indo-colonial arcades etc.) A notion that Mumbai’s buildings are event markers in it’s history, and could be imbedded in her design to represent the city.
The ‘museum’ was interpreted as an archive, a repository where the everyday lives a city’s people are revered and can be reviewed. It became a place where people could lodge photographs and negatives which would be projected on walls high above the city on the hill (The hill is called Hanging gardens). The museum was a place of memories.

I like the emotional content of the project and also the fact that the buildings of the city are seen here as icons. Neha ‘s work was very intense and I think she could mature into a very promising designer.

Vandana Ranjitsinh


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