Well defined pedestrian connectivity along with safety, plays a major role in urban fabric. The pedestrian networks not only serve as transitional corridors but also act as a place for social interactions. In most of the cases in India the pedestrian networks are potential unorganized bazaars, city services, parking lots, garbage bins and many more, which is disturbing the core values and functionalities of a network. These ill-managed majors are forcing pedestrians to traverse on carriageway and increasing the chances of meeting up with accidents. Identifying and connecting or adorning the pedestrian walkways with the right dots of social drama in a pragmatic manner would help in easing the city’s social life as much needed breathing spaces over the pedestrian networks.
Fergusson College Road acts as a major spine connecting Deccan chowk (cross road) and Agriculture College chowk (cross road) with a distance of 1.8 Km. a stretch mostly characterized by significant architectural heritage structures with undertones of education, prominent food joints & shopping pocket. The road majorly witnesses youth pulse & heavy vehicular traffic throughout the day, with a huge necessity of quality congregation spaces.
A walkway was identified for renewal for the local governing body. The stretch in its size is opportunistic 3.3 meters wide and 70 meters long or rather 35 meters long on either sides of main entrance gate of Fergusson College with full grown existing trees, which acts as pivotal part of the project. The stretch was littered tree pits and ripped off pavers, with a beautiful dappled light filtering through the trees and the wrought iron gates speaking colonial architecture language which reinforced the need of revitalization.
The concept was to express and articulate the stretch as an open exhibition and engage people to interact with the insert. The selected stretch has transformed into a well defined urban social space, through the intervention of art pavilions & benches. The art pavilions are in modules of 2.6 x 3 meters and 5.6 x 3 meters respectively and placed at regular intervals.
These pavilions are articulated in 100x100mm mild steel box section as a main structural frame and infused with 50x50, 50x25 & 25x25mm mild steel box sections & perforated sheets painted with vibrant colors acting as an overhang. Scale acts as a key backbone of the project; special stand was taken to keep the pavilion intimately low at 2.7 meters from the finish level. These art pavilions are adorned with paintings of city’s architectural, traditional & cultural identities on the panels of variant sizes from 1200x1200mm to 600x600mm. Special provision has been made on the panels using perforated sheets on which temporary exhibits of painting, photography and social awareness are few to relate that can be easily put up, making the space more dynamic in character. This idea of an open exhibition can encourage individual or group of artists to exhibit their talent in unique way. Trees as an existing context are included as the integral part of the project which are fused elegantly with the intervention. The benches are expressed with natural stones as basalt & leather polished kadappa with half inch grooves defines the precise workmanship and placed at regular intervals along the walkway. The cast iron electrical poles & fixtures are placed along the walkway, jells firmly with the overall design language.
The walkway becomes more interactive during different phases of the day as it turns into a magnet for the locality which attracts people from different age group who uses this urban link not only for the walk but also as a leisurely pause.
The transformation is identified as much needed interactive space for students & pedestrians in everyday life and a creative platform for artists as well.