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Urban Intervention in Jodhpur, India

Part 1 Project 2003
Avni Davda
Sebastian Latorre Sabogal
Daniela Cantor Romero
Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute Mumbai India

During our visit to the market, the imposing structure (Clock Tower) was not even felt, it was almost negligible; while the chaos and motion in market area was more overwhelming. As one experienced the square, their senses went into an overdrive. Vibrant colours of brilliant tactile quality in the form of textiles and handicraft wares. There was a spicy aroma lingering in the air of the market, which was a result of the spices displayed by vendors. One could almost say that the whole of Jodhpur could be summed up in this market. It clearly spoke of the culture and traditions of the place. This market also leads to the fort. The market not only displays trade activities, but also served as a place where information and knowledge were shared. The older people invariably sit around such squares to watch the world pass by. Children play here; festivals like holi etc are celebrated here. The square was a place for everyone to congregate, community-gathering place.
This square made by the British was congested (in terms of space) and hustled and bustled with activities, where the Clock Tower failed to make its presence felt. In my intervention I have made an attempt to envelop the Clock Tower, in terms of height and the length (along the axis). At the same time increasing the size of the square, there by letting the activities continue at the lower level; also placing of activities like the performance area on the ground level (square area) will definitely enhance the functioning of the square in the same manner. While at the upper levels it is connected to the Clock Tower.
Keeping these in mind the, Clock Tower remains untouched because of the heritage value associated with it. It has now been given a visual function. The focus was to enable the viewers to have a closer view of the Clock Tower whilst engaging in their routine activities. It is taken as central piece of exhibit, in the midst of the entire structure; which in turn acts like a gallery where all the activities take place at different levels. The elements used are Skylights, Glazing and Levels. Skylights and glazing have been used for ventilation while Levels enhance the visual connectivity that the visitors have with the Clock Tower
Since the square forms such an integral part, the structure has been raised in a manner that does not interrupt its normal activity as well as continues to serve as a market place. Also provides a shaded area in the already harsh weather. However this (market) now happens vertically around the Clock Tower (programme). The square has been traditionally used as an informal gathering space for children and senior citizens alike.
The primary reason people would come to this square is to visit the market. The fort is a significant attraction as well. For this, reason an accentuated vertical axis and a closed horizontal axis (done by adding blocks).

Avni Davda
Sebastian Latorre Sabogal
Daniela Cantor Romero

The project explores the concept of “an urban mask”. The colonial square accentuated by the centrality of the clock tower sited amidst the pre-dominant “courtyard, street” typology of the surrounding urban fabric of Jodhpur en-route to the historic fort makes interesting reading. The square, housing the clock tower is swallowed by the market activities and events that unfold within its physical, psychological confines. The project “masks” the clock tower on two sides, releasing the visual axis enroute to the fort. This walled insertion allows for a series of vantage points framing the clock tower throughout the almost ritualistic circulatory core of the project. The ground plane is released for the existing market activity to unfold trough-varied timeframes, seasonal as well. The ground allows for a series of existing performances such as puppet shows, festivals, gatherings, traditional folklore, sale of handicrafts etc.At a formal level the dichotomy of solidity and transparency makes interesting reading. The transformation of this three-dimensional mask from a monolithic exterior face, to releasing this solidity of its austerity through a layering of transparency, positions this project an attempt to use tradition as a springboard to dive into the future.
--Nuru Karim


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