Every public space is unique by itself and functions differently according to its context, giving it a unique identity. We have been thinking about how a space gets its identity. In our research, we had found that the identity for the ashwath katte at Sirsi circle in Bangalore comes from it being located at the “circle” that indica ted the beginning of Mysore road. Public spaces seem to work at the intersection between the built environment and the social life.
In the case of an ashwath katte, its identity can come from the canopy of the Peepul tree and its shade-giving quality, from the religious, social or economic activities that are carried out around it. It can also come from the ritualistic objects at the ashwath katte - the sacred thread or the framed deities at the base of the tree. For instance, at the katte at Bisulu Mariamma temple in Doddamavalli, the identity of the space comes from the serpent stones.
In your neighbourhood community space, what do you think are the elements or activities that determine its identity?
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Identity for my city, which is Ahmedabad would be people's love for food. Places like Manek Chowk in old city of Ahmedabad, is the best example to show how a space transforms from a busy jewellery market to a happening hotspot for foodies at night. If one visits that space in any time of the day, visualising it to be used for another purpose is difficult.
The one and only World UNESCO heritage city in India, Ahmedabad which is famous for buildings and compact planning in the old city of Ahmedabad, better known as Pol houses of Ahmedabad, came up around 600 years ago. There are famous buildings in institutions like CEPT, IIM, NID and various housing schemes designed by famous architects like Charles Correa, BV Doshi, Le Corb, etc. There also other places we can talk about when we are thinking about identity, places like Sabarmati ashram, teen darwaza, and riverfront. Ashram gives you peace and calmness and views too as it is located beside the river.. Gandhiji himself asked Charles Correa to design it in a minimalist approach. On the other hand, Riverfront, teen darwaza are like congested spaces. Always hustling and bustling. But there are some cities like Kolkata where food has become their identity, be it rasgulla, balushahi, malai chomchom and many more 😋
When you are in Hyderabad it is the Islamic Architecture and Charminart that is an identitiy in itself. If talking about the details specially the Chowmahhala palace..Nizam palace, In Chowmahalla palace it was a wonderful construction, proportions, mouldings, materials.. I like everything about it, do visit if possible. Though Charminar is a crowded place and we can find Chowmahalla palace and Nizam palace near by Charminar at a walkable distance, where if you come to the Charminar, you can visit about 4 places, even Mecca Maszid too. Thats really amazing about this place and people will definitely be satisfied with these places when we talk about details like styles and construction and everything.
I'm from Libya, lives in Amman-Jordan since 2014 now. I think the urban stairs in the old neighbourhoods of Amman are very special. They are extended beyond their purpose of transition to be a space for sociocultural activities and small scale business.
If I say Delhi then I would say it's metro works as the identity, in Kolkata, it is the white and blue side way paths, yellow street lights, yellow taxis..... I love travelling and picking up ideas about spaces. The city has a lot of stories I feel.
It's basically the calm a space holds which determines its identity. Also, colors, materials, elements, form, architecture or design style, shape. Weekdays are full of work, sundays are full of household chores. I am usually unable to spare time for visiting these spaces, but yeah I try visiting them once in a while. These are few pictures how Jaipur sees colors in its heritage.
In Mumbai, it's history and heritage setting. We have Marines and Churchgate area as there are many old buildings still existing. 100 year old libraries, banks, etc. But there are many cities in India of historic importance but are ignored. People demolish 100-year-old houses. 🤦 My thesis is about reviving the heritage setting, the site is a city called Morbi in Gujarat. The 'Ceramic City', its a heritage setting near a river and connected by two sides of the river by an old pedestrian bridge. They have preserved it and yes they have a beautiful palace alongside the river. In our community, as architects, we need to share and more work we do also spread awareness about heritage importance. This is the one in Morbi.