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Revitalization of Abandoned Quarry, Chennai

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The industrial revolution provided us with the engineering and power necessary to make profound economic and social change. However, with this unprecedented growth and new found prosperity, an abuse of natural resources and our environment initiated a trajectory of unforeseeable consequences. Today, we are leaving our historically wasteful and turbulent manufacturing economy in favor of a seemingly more stable and mainstream digitally driven era. With this, we are seeing the massive areas of disrupted land that once stood to represent the height of innovation and success appearing as abandoned wastelands all over the world. With the quest to redevelop these areas lies the opportunity to re-imagine the definition of public space and green infrastructure.

This thesis takes a critical eye to previous and current design strategies of industrial landscapes and identifies new typologies relevant within this construct. Using a Gravel quarry with abandoned area as its site, this thesis proposes a master plan to reclaim, restore, and reuse the quarry as an alluring recreational green space for the surrounding community. In seeking a redefinition of the urban park, this thesis argues that a new type of cultural parkland is needed that envelope structures, that conversed and ground that responds to 21st century living.

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Ecological evolution of the Quarry
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Careful analysis of Site conditions was carried out to assess its potential.

This proposal uses a series of architectural interventions to respond to sites visual character and fill the recreational needs of the community. How can a forward looking architecture acknowledge a surrounding context defined by its past? This thesis aims to capture the knowledge of previous violent enterprise, physical industrial remnants, topographic qualities of a Quarried landscape, and the character of the surrounding community in order to fuse architecture with its industrial surroundings. Through this entwined relationship of architecture and its surrounding landscape the project is able to provide unique amenities that embrace the quarry’s industrial heritage. The proposal sees what has been abandoned not as waste, but as an opportunity to redefine the cultural park in order to create dynamic and engaging spaces.

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Zoomed in segment of the plan (Refer attached document for better viewing)

 

“The modern park is no longer seen as a quiet rural green, but as a sparkling and overcharged urban crossroads” – AdriaanGeuze

 

Creating the Urban Landscape of tomorrow

The evolution of industries in the last quarter of the 21st century has been characterised by the abandonment of industrial areas. This trend is ongoing and is pushing rapidly toward urban areas. With this, cities are confronting change by reprogramming these postindustrial spaces, and people are changing their aesthetic sensibilities and attitudes toward natural and man-made environments.

By redefining these sites as public green space, we can capture the unique qualities and benefits of their industrial past to provide green infrastructure that hosts new architectural opportunities and amenities for its surrounding community. The recreational services provided by these sites will have both environmental and social benefits. The parks of tomorrow will become the basis of a thriving metropolitan culture. Parks implemented in these post-industrial areas will allow for shared experiences that give rise to mutual respect in the community and act as landmarks within our cities that represent growth and prosperity the way their previous industrial nature once did.

This thesis accepts the challenge that lies in incorporating natural processes into architectural interventions and looks to the land itself to identify design opportunities. The form and content of the pavilions and constructed landscape is developed through historical traces, local associations, indigenous plants, and regional materials in order to provide a new form of public space, while simultaneously embracing the identity of the monumental landscape defined by man.

Periswamy says, “My thesis is a conversation…. Not a silent one but a celebration of the gorgeous laid down mass – THE QUARRY”

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This publication is a collaboration between Hashtag Urbanism and Nikhil Sriram Periaswamy, based on his Undergraduate Design Thesis, “Revitalisation of Abandoned Quarry, Chennai.”, compiled in the document below. (Zoom in to the document to view the beautiful detailing of the spaces.)

 


Institution – MEASI Academy of Architecture, Chennai.

Review Members – Prof. Priya Sasidharan, Prof. Sachidanandam, Ar. Aravind Rangan (Aravind Varuna Associates)
Thesis Guide – Ar. S.F. Salma.

Noteworthy mention – Winner, NIASA (National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture) Thesis Awards South Zone, Top shortlisted entry in ArchiPrix International 2017, Shortlisted- ISARCH Awards.


Nikhil Sriram Periaswamy is currently pursuing his Master in Architecture in Chennai and graduated Bachelors in Architecture from MEASI Academy of Architecture, Chennai. He is currently involved in testing various methodologies in urban systems to understand and create “Liveable” urban spaces, and a series of art compositions called GEOMETRY which is at the publication state.


 

Map of the Week- Bridges in Chennai

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Bridges
Map showing Chennai’s Bridges over the Cooum River, Adayar River and the Buckingham Canal [Source: Triple O Studio, Chennai]
There are over 24 bridges over the Buckingham Canal, 13 over the Cooum River and about 6 over the Adayar within the Chennai Corporation Limits. These are more than just numbers- These bridges are the only places that the city connects with the rivers visually at the moment. While each of the bridges have their own history and story to tell, they could potentially be nodes that can revive the relationship between the city and its waterbodies. These nodes are more than just a LINK across the river- What if they transform into a PLACE to BE?


Every city needs to be explored, mapped and drawn! Hashtag Urbanism presents “Map your City”– an Open-source Archive of maps of Chennai done over the years by students and professionals of Architecture. To contribute, send your maps to hashtagurbanism@gmail.com. Be a part of this movement! Let’s map our cities!


Map Source: Triple O Studio, Chennai. (Project team: Tahaer Zoyab, Anupriya Subbian, Anisha Murali, Sabarish BP)


Map of the Day- Demographic Evolution of George Town

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Demographic
Map showing the Demographic Evolution of communities in George Town, Chennai. [Source : Study done as part of Gsen Trophy NASA 2012]

George Town is a unique amalgamation of various communities co-existing harmoniously in a homogeneous fabric united by trade prospects. The Buckingham Canal linked the port to Madras to various trading places along this aqua spine. The Telugu Chettiars shifted from Andhra to George Town to explore trading opportunities, bringing with them cultural, traditional opinions and unique way of living.Trade barriers were discarded, boundaries imploded and distances crossed when the Railway lines linked Madras with the rest of the country, attracting Marvaris from Gujarat, Rajasthan and other northern states.

The demography of George Town and Wall Tax Road reflects a  multi-ethnic society that acclimatised itself to the prospects of their potential new home.


Every city needs to be explored, mapped and drawn! Hashtag Urbanism presents “Map your City”– an Open-source Archive of maps of Chennai done over the years by students and professionals of Architecture. To contribute, send your maps to hashtagurbanism@gmail.com. Be a part of this movement! Let’s map our cities!


Map of the Week- Trade Spines of George Town

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Map showing the intersection of the three spines- The Buckingham Canal, The Wall Tax Road and the Railway lines near Elephant Gate Junction, George Town. [Source : Study done by Gsen Trophy Team of NASA 2012]

The confluence of the trade spines- The Buckingham Canal, The Wall Tax Road, and the Railway lines near the Elephant Gate junction and the merger of NSC Bose Road with Wall Tax Road highlights the importance of the segment of the spine. The permeation of trade through the Canal was a significant catalyst of trade and transit oriented development near the crux of the spine. This intermodal transit hub has immense architectural relevance with heritage buildings like Salt Cotaurs, dwelling units and the Buckingham Canal itself, a stellar architectural accomplishment unparalleled at that time.


Every city needs to be explored, mapped and drawn! Hashtag Urbanism presents “Map your City”– an Open-source Archive of maps of Chennai done over the years by students and professionals of Architecture. To contribute, send your maps to hashtagurbanism@gmail.com. Be a part of this movement! Let’s map our cities!


Map of the Week- Evolution of Trade in Chennai

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Chennai Evolution
Map showing Evolution of Trade and Commerce in Madras, and the significance of Wall Tax Road in George Town [Source : Study done by Gsen Trophy Team of NASA 2012]

The genesis of Madras as a British colonial enterprise, with the integration of the surrounding self-sustaining villages like Mylapore, Santhome, was the beginning of organized trade in the state.

The western side of George Town is the conflux of the three interdependent trade spines, namely, the Wall Tax Road, the Buckingham Canal, and the Railway lines leading to Chennai Central Station. These three mutual dependent trade spines, intertwined together, form the backbone of transit oriented trade in this area. Wall Tax Road further developed as an important link road between the arterial roads like Poonamallee High Road and Grand Trunk Road, becoming the face of commerce in George Town.


Every city needs to be explored, mapped and drawn! Hashtag Urbanism presents “Map your City”– an Open-source Archive of maps of Chennai done over the years by students and professionals of Architecture. Do you have a map to contribute? Send  it to hashtagurbanism@gmail.com. Be a part of this movement! Let’s map our cities!