The Street Smart International Design Competition has been won by A Cube Paradigms for their flexible plan for the rejuvenation of the streets of Trivandrum. The competition invited architecture teams across India to reimagine their streetscapes using a town of their choice with which they have everyday experience.
The winning submission involves a highly adaptable system called Street Stem which enables the designer to take a basic form and manipulate it for a variety of uses, for example a bench or an outlet for passers-by to wash their hands.
A Cube Paradigms arrived at this notion following an analysis of Trivandrum’s streets. They determined: “Streets occupy approximately 20 percent of the total land area in a typical city and they are the most important and ubiquitous form of public space. Streets make a city livable.
“They not just allow residents to travel from one place to another but act as a place for people to meet, interact, share, do business and thus develop a social contact and community living. Indian streets are deeply associated with the traditions, culture and social relationship of the place.”
Vast population growth and a dependency on vehicular traffic have drastically altered the use of the streetscape, meaning that little space is reserved for pedestrian traffic, social gatherings and business. Other problems identified by the team include hygiene issues through inefficient waste management, the safety of pedestrians and a lack of energy conservation.
To combat these issues, A Cube Paradigms suggests the integration of wash facilities, street lighting and signage, waste bins, outlets for street venders and public activities to enliven the streetfront, promotion of public transportation and bicycles, the integration of advanced technologies and the planting of foliage which may be watered by rainwater that collects atop bus shelters.
The Smart Stem system forms connections with hardscape elements and can be used for a variety of activities. The stem can be used to turn a bench into a sleeping platform, it can be used by street vendors, provide space to place dustbins or hand wash amenities and offer a base for lighting. It can also be used as a hammock, shading device and bicycle bay.