Transformation Of Abandoned Spaces
Aug 21, 2017 | Haritha Bharath
Architects need to play a new social role to improve neglected urban areas. Through creative ideas, innovative architecture, they can transform abandoned public spaces into sights of attraction. Can Schools of Architecture create a positive social impact on these derelict urban spaces by redesigning them?
Briefly designated as NASA India, a student association for the Undergraduate students of Architecture in India, has recently taken the initiative to redesign publicly abandoned places. It aims to provide the students a platform for interaction, where students from varied cultural backgrounds would learn and share their knowledge. To achieve its aims and objectives, NASA India hosts various events like The Annual NASA Design Competition (ANDC), seminars, workshops, etc.
The members of the Society for Students of Planning and Architecture (SSPA) with the support from the Department of Planning and Architecture, NIT Rourkela, lead by the Unit Secretary- Haritha Bharath and Unit Designee- Jezniah Anwesh Kerketta participated in the annual NASA Design Competition and tried to create a new imaginative place near the Birsa Munda School of Rourkela. The approximate amount spent was 10,000 INR and the work was completed by 11 PM of 14th August. On 15th August, the inauguration ceremony was held along with the Independence Day celebration in the school premises. The Chief Guests of the function included Dr. Basudatta Sarkar, HoD, Planning and Architecture, Prof. Binit Kumar Jha, Prof. Tuhin Maparu and Prof. Khaplianlam Tungnung. The Flag was hoisted by the Principal of Birsa Munda School and HoD Planning and Architecture. All students from the Department of Planning and Architecture were invited on this occasion.
The site chosen for the project was an abandoned land near the school, which had been left empty for several years. Presently, only 200 students from classes 1-7 are enrolled into the school. But the students are not regular in attending classes, as the school lacks scope for fun activities and the compound is dull and boring. An Anganvadi Center has been set up near the school, but it requires an outdoor learning space. Also, residents from nearby areas, especially women like to gather at the spot during evening hours.The site holds the potential to be a scenic public space, to serve as a playground for school students of the slum and also to serve as the learning space for tiny tots. The students of SSPA (Society for students of Planning and Architecture) chose the site as per the guidelines provided by ANDC. With their creative efforts, they succeeded in creating a new and attractive place in the region.
The students collected scrap material from NITR campus and used them in redesigning the venue. Just the way a bird creates its nest, the members of the group collected unused, scrap material from several departments and used them to redesign the spot. The students are thankful to the HoDs of the Department of Planning and Architecture, Chemical Engineering and Central Workshop for letting them use the scrap material of their respective departments. They are indebted to Prof. Arjun Mukerji, Prof.Tirthankar and Prof. Binit Kumar for being a constant source of guidance throughout the project. The project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the School Principal, local residents, and children who helped students in construction and kept their spirits high. The Unit Secretary mentioned that the entire project group was delighted after seeing the children playing on the rides and it gave them immense pleasure and satisfaction after contributing to the cause of underprivileged children.
Team MM congratulates the members of SSPA for their noble cause and wishes them with all the luck for their future endeavors.