The city of Pune is widely known for its cultural and institutional diversity. It is the second-largest city in Maharashtra state, after Mumbai, and eighth-most populous city of the country. The city offers variants of architecture styles co-existing efficiently and one of these is Wada architecture. This article highlights the importance of traditional Wada culture and its adaptation to the new trends of Pune.
Poona settlement originated in 937 BCE, as a part of Rashtrakuta dynasty. It has been under the rule of several emperors. The most impactful and transformative period for this settlement was sixteenth century onwards, during the rule of Maratha dynasty. That’s when Wada culture was introduced to the region. A Wada can be described as the smallest unit of a neighbourhood planning system. It demarcates the residential structures. This building concept originated in parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra to combat with harsh climatic conditions that prevail in the region. A typical Wada is designed to accommodate three zones which are public, semi-public and private. These zones are bound together with provision of a courtyard which serves two purposes – buffer and passive cooling promotion. Usually, a Wada comprises of two courtyards providing ample space for cross-ventilation and natural light to all the rooms.
Continue reading “Modern-Vernacular Fusion: A Case of Wada Architecture in Pune”
Before visiting Morena, I had a frightening image of the ravines of Chambal. Originally this image has been propagated by Indian cinema and the advice not to travel after sunset is passed as the standard antidote. This instruction was also taken full care of. But this journey provided me with a golden opportunity to get to know and feel the life that is bursting in the rugged terrain of Chambal. After discussing the past and present conditions with the local people, it was concluded that the difficult phase has passed and now the situation has become normal. However, the gun culture in the area is still alive today. People openly carry a gun with them. Due to government efforts, ravines have been made cultivable to a great extent, in which the growing crops are increasing the prosperity of the area. This visit not only cleared the misconceptions about the ravines but also introduced me to the beauty and grandeur of the great temples like Batesar, Mitavali, and Kakanamath. I am accompanied by Neeraj on this journey. In this part of the travelogue, we will visit the Batesar temple complex.
Continue reading “Batesar Temple Complex: The Surprise of Chambal”
Note: There are many instances where design appears to fail, where people through their use or behaviour subvert or reject design intentions, in the public realm that remains in plain sight and goes unnoticed by most of us in everyday life. This study revolves around and maps out instances where trees become the anchor point to interpret the correlation between the design intentions and behaviour of various users of public spaces. The study focused on the 3 km stretch from University Road to Navrangpura Gam in Ahmedabad.
Trees in the city play an important role, they are widely distributed from the middle of the road, on the pavement, in between the boundary walls. They are living landmarks that define space, contribute to air quality, and connect us to nature. Despite their ubiquity, most of us take trees for granted and know little of their civic virtues. The photo essay looks at the problems and possibilities of the trees in structuring the public realm of a street. In what way they are considered a liability by the designer while an opportunity, to inhabit, appropriate and exploit spaces they create, by the users in various ways. Continue reading “To Tree Or Not To Tree”