Location: Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Project Work Status: Competition Projects
Area: 26 Acres
Client: City Industrial Development Corporation Of Maharashtra
This project defines the architecture of housing as social organization of space and built form. The primary objective was to create a new urban condition in which communities are formed by diverse people who have do not necessarily have any prior relationships or common background. Community formation here is born out of the urban necessity to manage and maintain environment and infrastructure, rather than out of any romanticized notions of identity. In effect, the nature of the space compels people to form groups based on tangible circumstances held in common, rather than on intangible, and therefore potentially more dangerous, perceptions of identity.
The larger community is disaggregated into condominiums (loosely structured housing associations) of 96 families each, who take full charge of their condominium, including building maintenance, open spaces, services, and the collection and disposal of waste, which is ordinarily done by paying user charges to the administration.
Within condominiums, the disposition of space and buildings ensures that families can form groups on social scales of 12 at the level of a building, 24 at the block level, and 48 in a cluster. This enables further decentralization and autonomy. A decentralized water supply, for example, ensures that 12-16 families are provided with underground water storage and are, from then on, free to allocate and use it any way they want to. A variety of social agreements thus emerge out of this process.
Since landscape platforms and underground service networks are formatted on separate grids, the community at a cluster level determines the nature and texture of the landscape for themselves, thereby generating a variety of landscapes at the neighbourhood level. 80% of the site area is thus brought under user control.
The rich varieties of experiences within this small space are reminiscent of a larger experience in a historic city.