While strolling through the local streets and communities, we glance at the surface-level visuals. There is no effort to look into the idea and concepts behind this. But after keenly analyzing and studying Architecture for years, one comes to realize the motives and justifications behind designing such spaces. When man’s basic needs were fulfilled, they began a journey towards the advancement of lifestyle and technology to make their life easier. 

The need and hunger for power, wealth, and space intensified as the period of growth advanced, this altered how designers perceived and pursued the configuration of a place. The architecture and building sectors were established for a broad range of reasons. Nowadays it entails more than simply building homes and shelters; it also includes symbolic and metaphorical elements. It might mean anything, from a monument that embodies a city’s culture to a museum that contains the geography and history of the surrounding territories. It may be a community area where people mingle and have a good time. It could be a neighbourhood that enables them to work and reside simultaneously. It may be a modest home where a family resides.

In current times, the Architecture industry has revolutionized realities. The tale and the times modify the perspective. Each person’s experience is unique. Some see it as just a structure or a dull place, but others see it as a work of art or as a memory. The human mind’s complex and dynamic viewpoints have a tremendous influence on the field on a broader scale. The perspective of looking at architecture holistically has always altered as a result of these developments. Progress occurs whenever the things change over time, which stimulates creativity and breakthroughs. 

Looking at many aspects of planning and designing reveals a much better grasp of the specifics and thought process. When creating spaces, a number of factors, including site context, scale, volumes, balance, and harmony, are taken into consideration.

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Urban district in Mumbai depicting community spaces as well as living_©Sasaki

Architecture and designing have been an integral part of life. The perspective of viewing the Architectural industry has transformed over the period, depending on the designers, cultural changes, geographical and climatic changes. The refinement of civilizations has happened and changed the perspectives of the designers right from the ancient to contemporary times. As we progressed towards industrialization, we were more focused on building mass housing, skyscrapers, and tall buildings. Due to this, the spaces required for community and socializing started becoming obsolete. But now in current times, we are feeling a need to bring back those organized and small communal spaces where people could simply meet and interact with each other. These evolving community areas can now be seen thriving day by day due to the increasing demand. This could be explained by taking up a few examples in India, where there is a massive amount of people subsisting in community/societies. 

India is a picturesque region with both urban and rural settings. According to the needs of the populace, we can see how the idea of public places changes. In this nation, we can observe how individuals have embraced cooperative life and carved out niches for themselves within that setting. We might consider the spatial design approach used in such settings. By preserving each and every component, we can observe an individual’s outlook and modify it. People have an impact on the design of such surroundings. Social spaces are thought to be gathering places like gardens, parks, and other natural settings that are close by. Individuals may connect and meet. This is what led to the development of thoughtfully designed and operated community spaces that might symbolise many ideologies. Examples might be used to demonstrate and justify this.

Jetavan Centre, Maharashtra:

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Centre inculcates the principle of the relationship between humans, nature, and building_© Edmund Sumner

Taking into consideration these ideas of bringing humans, nature and buildings, an example of Jetavan Spiritual Centre comes into the picture. This project designed by Sameep Padora and Associates in Maharashtra acts as a congregational space for people in the surrounding rural settlements. It works around the concept where the whole Centre is designed around nature’s elements like climate, lighting, ventilation, and green areas. The idea behind this was to bring the community together and not make them feel out of place. The Architecture of this space, not only aided in changing the perspectives of people in terms of creating an aesthetic space but also help in evolving the emotional mind state of a person. 

Urban Flyover converted to community gathering space, Mumbai

Due to industrialization and development, many areas of the city were unused and just used up for litter or illegal habitation. Mumbai architects Studio POD, along with Dutch designers MVRDV, turned that idea into reality with the One Green Mile development directly below the Senapati Bapat Marg flyover in Mumbai. The project gave a complete shift from a defunct space to a utility garden where users from all age groups may come in and have assorted activities according to their choices. Spaces like walking, jogging areas, play areas for kids, bike paths and outdoor gyms have been provided throughout the site. Such a project is an absolute game changer. This piece of community space is one such example where the architecture of the space has influenced people and made it into something creative.

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MVRD and StudioPOD collaborated on the One Green Mile project in Mumbai_©Suleiman Merchant

Manav Sadhana Centre, Ahmedabad

This Centre is located in Ahmedabad, India is designed by Yatin Pandya (Footprints E.A.R.T.H). The structure is a prime example where the architecture has rehabilitated the surrounding slum development areas into a better neighborhood. The Centre acts as a congregational space as well as a source of livelihood for many people. It caters to users of all age groups, right from the day care Centre and kindergartens to employing the population living in the vicinity. The Centre is designed according to climatic responsive conditions along with sustainable and vernacular materials. The building acts in the holistic development of the rural node alongside improving the quality of life.

Manav sadhana Centre gently merges the surroundings and natural elements into one_ ©Sarvesh Srinivasan

In conclusion, as we continue to progress, sustainability, knowledge, and technology will form the foundation of the emerging economy. It is imperative to fundamentally alter the viewpoint through which the places are perceived. Designers, planners, and architects must assess and tackle the problems of the contemporary age with viable strategies. Change of direction is required in order to proceed with better explanations and answers. This desire would change the objectives and targets for creating for the forthcoming, new generations.

Citations (Reference List): 

Online Sources: 

www.cpkukreja.com. (n.d.). An insight into public space design of India and Brazil – CP Kukreja Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.cpkukreja.com/an-insight-into-public-space-design-of-india-and-brazil.html [Accessed 12 Oct. 2022].

‌Spring wise. (2022). Urban flyover converted into playful community gathering space. [online] Available at: https://www.springwise.com/innovation/architecture-design/an-architect-turns-Mumbai-concrete-infrastructure-into-a-green-community-space/ [Accessed 13 Oct. 2022]

Divisare. (n.d.). sP+a, Edmund Sumner · Jetavan. [online] Available at: https://divisare.com/projects/398124-sp-a-edmund-sumner-jetavan [Accessed 14 Oct. 2022].

Issuu. (n.d.). TURNING SPACES INTO PLACES IN MUMBAI. [online] Available at: https://issuu.com/stipoteam/docs/cael_ebook_def_single-pages/s/11210000. [Accessed 12 Oct. 2022].

‌footprintsearth.com. (n.d.). Footprints E.A.R.T.H 02 Manavsadhana Activity centre – Institutes – Projects Footprints E.A.R.T.H. [online] Available at: https://footprintsearth.com/projects/institutes/manavsadhna.html [Accessed 14 Oct. 2022].

Author

An explorer at heart, Kasturi Kunte is on a journey to discover the diverse world of art, architecture, and technology. She is a young architect who believes architecture is about binding humans, nature, art and built spaces together. She is currently exploring the field of writing and researching Architecture.

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