The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has named the winners of an international competition to redesign the city’s the Maharashtra Nature Park and the pedestrian/cyclist Bridge over the Mithi River. From 30 multi-discplinary teams from around the world, the expert jury selected a longlist of 8 teams, a 4-team shortlist, 2 finalists, and finally, an overall competition winner.
The winning team will now work with the MMRDA to develop their master plan to meet the environmental guidelines and construction regulations required to allow the project to be executed following approval from local authorities.
SAMEEP PADORA & ASSOCIATES, DESIGN CELL & RATAN J BATLIBOI CONSULTANTS PVT LTD (Mumbai) with Schlaich Bergermann Partner (Germany) and Ladybird Environmental Consulting LLP
Project Description via Sameep Padora & Associates.
A. The waters’ edge as soft infrastructure The design proposal at the regional level proposes a re-imagining of the existing waterway edges as a dynamic ecosystem that absorbs the monsoon overflow and serves as a green filter remediating outflows into the water from the immediate surroundings. Simultaneously, physical filters are proposed at the estuarine end to filter out some of the solid waste being brought back by the high sea tides. This is aimed at improving the quality of estuarine water, which will make this area more attractive from all banks- Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and MNP.
B. Bridge as a destination The proposal imagines the bridge as a series of linked nodes; place-making for people. The moment the quality of estuarine water improves, the bridge has the potential to become a destination rather than just a cyclist/pedestrian connect, developing a format of urban space missing from Mumbai’s city fabric today. It supports temporally varied activities ranging from bird watching for enthusiasts to pop-up schools. Our proposal imagines the bridge as a space where Mumbaiites can celebrate this forgotten connection with the estuarine delta of the Mithi River and its connection to the city’s open spaces. The bridge will not only serve as a non-vehicular visual icon connecting BKC and Dharavi but
C. Spaces for All: The MNP Originally a land fill capped in the 1970’s the Maharashtra Nature Park was developed with the best intentions but has been marginal in the city’s perception of an avalibe and active public space. Our aim is to integrate the MNP into the fabric of the city and its citizens for which the park site itself needs attention . We through four pronged landscape strategies of 1. investigation/remediation 2. Densification 3. Visitor Engagement & Facilities 4. Valorizing the Edges (Social infrastructure) without disrupting its flourishing ecology. Carefully planned educational and leisure activities include a boardwalk connector along the mangroves and mudflats expand the scope of the MNP into a continuous loop along with the park’s immediate ecology of the estuarine ecosystem. Design interventions ranging from elevated look-in points to bus stop shelters along the road front create a more engaging interface of the MNP with the city.
Comprehensive Strategy Summary:
- Treating the water flowing through the Mahim Estuary will create a more pleasant environment on both the BKC and MNP banks.
- Linking the two banks with not just the pedestrian bridge but also a mangrove boardwalk creates a recreational pedestrian/cyclist loop that will also rejuvenate the unused BKC cycle trail and make the entire area a vibrant community space.
- Creating attractive landing points at both ends of the bridge- a plaza/amphitheater at the BKC and an overview into MNP at the other end- will invite more people to use the bridge, avoiding the fate of the foot over bridges that fail due to low foot fall.
- Integrating the pedestrian bridge as one part of the MNP built structure brings more connectivity to the Park, and reduces the amount of net built mass in the park.
- Providing amenities, albeit temporary, for the local residents at the presently encroached eastern end of the MNP, in the form of public toilets addressing the current issue of open defecation. The bridge embedded in a series of remediating landscape of reed beds etc, forms a sensitive boundary without being an obvious hard edge to the park.
- Attempting to understand and alleviate the ecological issues that ail the MNP, the interventions will include measures like detention ponds that will aid and educate visitors on rain water harvesting, reed bed technologies to treat waste water of the toilets etc
The shortlisted teams included:
- VIRMUELLER ARCHITECTS (New Delhi) with Aldayjover Arquitectura Y Paisaje; Shaheer Associates, Buro Happold Engineers India Pvt Ltd & Jhaveri Associates
- STUDIO FOR HABITAT FUTURES PRIVATE LIMITED (New Delhi) with M/s Prabhakar B. Bhagwat; OIKOS; The Ecological Sequestation Trust; Dr Prem Krishna & Paul Malcolm Blanchflower & Paritosh Tyagi
Longlisted teams were:
- GRANT ASSOCIATES (United Kingdom) with Paul Baker; Neil Thomas; Pradeep Sachdeva; Mike Wells & Pankish Goel
- THE URBAN PROJECT (Mumbai) with Hrishikesh Phadke; Green Angle; Dr Dattatreya
- RACHANA SANSAD ACADEMY OF ARCHITECTURE (Mumbai)
- SOMAYA AND KALAPPA CONSULTANTS PVT LTD (Mumbai) with Urbanology; Balmond Studio; ADF (Adao da Fonseca) CONSULTORES; Sunjoy Monga; The Landscape Company; Anuradha Mathur; Dilip Da Cunha & Junya Ishigami + Associates
More information on this competition and images from all of the longlisted entries can be found here.
News via MMRDA.