Designing Life Around a Metro Station

Published: 23rd March 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2015 12:38 AM   |  A+A-

Swadheet Chaturvedi

Students of School of Planning and Architecture-Bhopal (SPA-B), have aced Transparence 2014, an annual design competition sponsored by Saint Gobain Glass and held for students of architecture and design. The finale was recently held here at Hindustan University.

The competition required the students to design a metro station complex. The aim was to create the environment for life around an already busy metro station and prove that there can be much more to the station than just the platforms. “The focus was not on the design. We had to go beyond that. We were given hypothetical site plans and were free to choose any location. We chose to design AIIMS Delhi Metro station,” says Aditya Singh, a third-year BArch student.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is swamped with patients on most days, as a majority of them, who are from deprived backgrounds, come here for the subsidised treatment provided by the hospital. Relatives travelling with the patients suffer the most for the lack of a habitable place near the hospital and end up sleeping on pavements, as the patients wait their turn for hours. SPA-B students worked on their plan keeping this context in mind. The students’ plan turned the space around the columns into dharamshalas.

“Giving flexible dormitories at subsidised prices will help visitors coming from far off places. Our prototype was four metres above the ground. It had three floors, steel sections and glass walls,” says Aditya adding that while patients could look through the glass walls from inside, people from outside couldn’t see inside both during the day and night, thus ensuring privacy. The first floor was meant for temporary accommodation for the patients, while dining facilities and family rooms were provided on the second and third floors.

The jury, comprising eminent architects Sanjay Kanvinde from Kanvinde Rai and Chaudhary Associates, Sohrab Dalal from DPA Design Plus and Rohit Saxena from Perkins Eastman, were impressed by the social utility value of SPA’s design, says Aditya. The team reserved the ground floor for an open air theatre, vegetable shops, groceries and children’s play area. “The idea was to make the neighbourhood the focal point of the design. It is economically feasible and can be adopted to any other surroundings,” he says. While the other teams focused on making their metro station look iconic, SPA-B stole the show and walked away with a prize of Rs 75,000. 




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