Reimagining Sangam

21 Feb 2014

Studio Symbiosis presents masterplan for Allahabad at the meeting of the Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati Rivers

Located in Allahabad, this master plan by Studio Symbiosis takes into account the single most important feature of the city ‘Sangam’. It is the meeting point of the three holy rivers of India; Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati. This is not just considered a spiritual marker and representation of unity and amalgamation but also a significant geological phenomenon.

The concept of ‘Sangam’ has been integrated in Studio Symbiosis’ master plan as a diagram of connectivity and unity. The universal symbol of unity creates a continuous loop defining three zones. These zones depicting the trinity have been inscribed as a formal as well as a programmatic element of the master plan. It is grafted in the core of the master plan and acts as a melting point for the city as a commercial and recreational hub.

The site is interrupted by existing settlements and ponds that cannot be moved. The design creates a sweeping gesture combining the site into one entity yet still accommodating the villages on the site. This results in creating a comprehensive, connected scheme.

The project brief requested a mixed-use master plan consisting of Industries, Residential, Housing, Institutional and Commercial entities. The various typologies have been morphed from one to another and correspond to the zoning resulting in an amalgamated master plan design whereby the perception during movement is of gradual change in the form resulting in a sense of unity of the diverse typologies.

The green network and the built environment are integrated into one entity, which seamlessly flows across the site. This unified system of built structure and green elements was important to create a city level and neighborhood green, which creates a sense of living within the nature in the master plan along with a layer of pedestrian access.

The star form of the green transforms from the unbuilt to the built feature of the buildings in the central Sangam area, along with the neighbourhood green morphing into urban green plazas. The functional diversity has been unified by a seamless skyline. This undulating skyline merges the various functional requirements of the master plan into a visually coherent system.

The master plan is designed as a sustainable master plan and a zero discharge city. At the planning stage the green percentage, porosity of the materials, transportation network and walking distances have been accounted for. In the second stage of the design implementation elements of Energy, Water and Waste management systems have been embedded in the planning bylaws.

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