Resurgence of the City Center
Urban Design and Historic Preservation Project, India (2012)
In this urban theory studio during my undergraduate studies in architecture, the aim was to study and implement a plan for the resurgence of the center of the city of Vadodara, India, long known for its Colonial architectural style. Our study involved unearthing the deep history and cultural nuances of its bustling market streets, each known for a different art and craft specific to the communities that have resided there. Attracting thousands of traders, students and worshippers alike, to its fading glories and inadequate infrastructure, the area was in dire need of unclogging and restoration. Another area of concern was the decline in local artisanal handicraft.
We proposed plans for a new public transportation system that would ease vehicular congestion while also including informed decisions of 'urban surgery' to unclog the center. The design of an art revival center and exhibition space, housed ironically in a decaying palace in the center of the area while conserving it, was the challenge in terms of how much and what to build in an already overtly dense space. The proposal was planned taking the many stakeholders and layers involved into consideration including the residents, the fading architectural history, the cultural nuances and the idea of long-term sustenance. For this we interviewed several locals including residents, hawkers, door-men, and the city officials.