Ar. Rajratna Jadhav
Ar. Rajratna Jadhav, Ar. Rishi Vora, Ar. Hardik Dedhia, Ar. Ashley Fialho, Ar. Esha Tipnis, Ar. Mythili Kowshik-Shetty, Ar. Yagnik Bathija
‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for its not the same river and he’s not the same man.’
Mankind has experienced change along the water edge across time and topography. The constant change in contextual pragmatics through natural and human stimuli, leads to the arising need for development and resilience. We are also a witness to the evolving physical manifestations of objective and subjective human perspectives across timelines. Hence, we can affirmatively say that we do not have the option of a stop button, because we as a society are ever evolving and always adapting.
When we speak of needs and aspirations, it is essential to understand that each group of stakeholders have certain ambitions for themselves. Exploring the architectural potential at the water edge defines the social quotient that these concerned stakeholders (namely – Mumbaikars, Kohli’s, Tourists and the Biodiversity) would share among themselves.
The aim is to look at the land-water architecture as the grey edge to allow the intervention to be a means of resilience rather than pose resistance to the ecology and the society. Just as ecological resilience demands sensitivity, awareness and policy reinforcements, societal resilience involves tapping into social justice and heritage protection.
Undertaking a holistic approach towards heritage – be it monumental heritage or cultural heritage, there is a need to protect and cherish the very identity that it gives to the city and also respect the sentiments of the natives that are attached to it.
The land-water edge is not entitled to anybody. Thus, it becomes critical to make this space socially justifiable. Indiscriminate physical and sensory accessibility to the architectural intervention can help achieve that niche in the city that holds people of all age, gender, caste, culture, interests and abilities.
Going beyond the physical form of architecture, let us look at architecture as means to enjoy sensory contentment that the waters have to offer. Imagine, walking barefoot on the sand or the sound of the waves crashing or the cool breeze with the orange sunset against the blue expanse of the waters. Through these experiences, we realise that the water edge caters to all our five senses, enabling us to truly experience aesthetics.
This symbiotic edge between architecture and water can be explored and enhanced to create a space of social justice and therapeutic sensorial experiences.