Sunday, January 31, 2010

Artist Village: Then and Now!

In this blog article architect Luke (he is one of those guys who don’t say their surnames) mentions of the Artist Village in CBD Belapur, New Bombai, where I live:

“In some regards, this isn’t the fault of the architect, as people have advanced and want that expressed in their built environment. But, at the same time, it has put strain on those at the bottom of the ladder in this particular context. It seems as if gentrification is clearly taking place in this housing scheme, and how exactly is an architect supposed to challenge that. He did propose a plan for the houses to grow and improve, as people garnered more income, while still keeping the language of the community. But, recently, the incremental growth switched to total growth and the new homes challenge the language of the community and further increase the inequity that this proposal was supposed to limit. Should incremental housing and growth incrementally change the people that are living there as well? It is possible that the original language of the housing was too rural to be able to support the changing aspirations and dreams of the modernizing urban Indian citizen?”

Yes. I came to live in Artist Village in 1988 and in those days my house was a mere hut, built around squares imitating the Indian village. Gradually I added to it incrementally, as Charles Correa had originally intended, and after the software/capital market boom (remember, I worked in both these sunrise industries), I got enough money to remodel it to my requirements. Today there are very little traces of the original huts Correa built. It is all RCC construction and flat roofs now. How things change!


luke w perry said...

hi john. thanks for directing me to your you find your neighborhood a quality one. what did you think of correa's original design. it is really possible to design and anticipate change, or will larger factors trump it?

what parts of the original correa house remain for you? would you have rather just torn it down and built a new one if you had the money all at once?

John said...

Luke, the neighbourhood is good as there is a lot of open space, which my neighbours in other areas of New Bombai do not have.

Yes I have torn down the entire old structure as execution was bad and I found that it couldn't withstand the vagaries of weather, mostly the hard monsoon we have here.

Thanks for commenting.