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Unit 6 – London Metropolitan University

[Top 10 London Units: Part 2 level] Tutors: Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont, Bo Tang, Shamoon Patwari, Robert Barnes

Joint winner of the Derek Osborne Memorial Prize for the best all-round performance

Fifth-years travelled to Navi Mumbai and constructed a classroom for the children of stone-quarry workers. 4th years investigated three south Delhi settlements: Haus Rani, a dense poor area built over the ruins of the walls of the fourth city of Delhi; Lado Sarai, an up-and-coming urban village located between the new Metro and the ancient Mughal Q’tub Minar complex; and South Mehrauli, where the population squats amongst old Mughal tombs whilst new gated communities spring up next to the metro line.

Providing diversity within the serendipitous interstices of the planned and illegal, the Mughal and the modern, this hybrid landscape is part of a city where an extensive, highly efficient and accessible Metro rail network is being pushed through areas where there are no mains sewers. Capital of the world’s largest democracy, Delhi is at the forefront of technical and social change as it extends inexorably to enclose, engulf and urbanise villages and monuments; re-inhabiting the physical and re-inventing everyday life.

Each of the settlements studied are distinct in character, culture, history and urban grain. By surveying the physical landscape and consciously interacting with local people, students built a physical and cultural picture of each settlement. Student proposals have grown out of these investigations.

Unit references: Charles Correa, Ashok Lall, Balkrishna Doshi, Laurie Baker

Student projects

Vanessa Lee

A long brick shed scheme connects the existing urban matrix of a dense Islamic neighbourhood via the rooftops to the high street bazaar at a time when the new Metro station is raising land prices and ushering in gated middle-class communities. The red brick walls surrounding the inner mattress-making court open through chunky fabricated steel sliding doors onto a sloping landscape, which changes over the years from builder’s yard to nursery garden.

Amanda Rashid

Densely huddled over the linear bump, which defines the walls of the ancient city of Jahanpanah, the settlement of Lado Sarai needs de-densifying. By twinning sections of this 7 storey linear conglomeration with similar sized sections of adjacent land cleared for Metro development, the inhabitants themselves can spread out and prosper. The twisting lanes and courts, the rooftops and the external iron stairs and balconies both old and new can now breathe deeply exploiting natural light and shade.

Jonathan Buckland

A caravanserai in an abandoned four-storey concrete tower connecting the periphery of an urban village with the route from the new Metro to the Q’tub Minar archaeological park. The tower is matched with a new block and a connecting raised, stepped plinth and stage shelter basement workshops. Outside, striped fabric canopies mark out and protect a craft market on the edge of a new public forum.

Will Notley

Will’s main portfolio scheme was sited in Mumbai. The scheme stimulates the re-occupation of the romantically overgrown Tata Mills site in Navi Mumbai. A ‘Steel Bridge Bazaar’ over the railway connects to the city. The roof of an existing burnt-out north lit shed is raised to allow year-round cricket for local children. A neighbouring but isolated ridge community is connected into the new landscape via an existing chimney turned into a stair tower.

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