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iGuzzini Travelling Award

Women's Refuge, Jagdamba South Delhi

Part 2 Project 2006
Angela Hopcraft
London Metropolitan University | UK
Deep between retaining walls, half a kilometre of open sewer houses the Jagdamba camp. A widows’ refuge was formulated through engagement with this landscape of regularly flooding, rambling brickwork and narrow footpaths, alongside the personal narratives of insiders and outcasts. Removing redundant latrines revealed a forbidden garden, backdrop to a graded choreography of movement on two levels. Entry to the tall heart is guarded by a terrace of blacksmith’s workshops: the widow’s customary friends. Between entrance and garden, an ‘impluvium’ catches water, whilst sheltering invited gatherings. Inside, the tall, top lit refectory, between garden and personal space, celebrates secure conviviality
Angela Hopcraft

Exploring how urban landscape is inhabited, made and remade through personal and collective acts, the studio searches out situations of rapid change and scarce resources.

Within a linear slum, straddling an outfall sewer this project demands that the drain is buried. Inadequate public facilities are replaced by individualised private sanitation and more access to the outside world.

The ruggedness and flexibility of local brick, the hazy polluted atmosphere, the widows narrative and traditional courtyard housing are combined to provide connected, interactive, busy and inquisitive spaces on the outside whilst being hermetic, protective, cool, reflective, mysterious and surprising internally.

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