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Shortlisted: Almudena Cano PiNeiro, Madrid, Spain

An ambitious scheme to develop new public spaces in Ahmedabad with a coherent architectural language

The Pols of Ahmedabad have a traditional settlement pattern that responds to both climate (with a close urban grain to protect from the sun) and social structures (with carved wooden gates to protect the courtyard shared by a small cluster of houses). Currently UNESCO is deciding whether to list the Pols as a World Heritage site.

A graduate of Escuela Técnica superior de Arquitectura de Madrid in Spain, Almudena Cano Piñeiro sought to improve the public space and infrastructure of the Pols while being respectful of their architectural heritage. Combining a mapping of traditional daily activities with a catalogue of technical tools − from structural systems, climate control mechanisms and low-cost recycling technologies − the proposal creates a kit of parts that can be used to make adjustments to the fabric.

Despite the range in scales and functions, all the interventions have a shared architectural language, which could perhaps be described as ‘shoe string high-tech’, and the judges praised this resolution, as well as the student’s clear championing of the idea of architecture as an agent for positive change.

Zoom in

Sensitive small-scale interventions throughout the settlement respond to traditional patterns of use with ‘shoe string high tech’ solutions

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