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Emergence of an Amphibious mudscape for the local community in Varanasi,India How can Varanasi’s large floodplain ‘void’ become a rich ground for harvesting resources?

The Ganges continuously brings down minerals from the Himalayan source and replenishes the soil along its journey. This project proposes an amphibious mud station where the village community can, according to the seasons, harvest mud to take religious baths, fabricate mud bricks, prepare the purified gobbar-mitti with cow dung, and grow floating crops. This process of formation, dissolution and regeneration is symbolic of the continuing cycles of days, seasons, years, lives, and parallels the Hindu’s belief in reincarnation.


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Temperature anomaly (째C) in the months of June-July-August at the Gangotri Glacier, source of the river Ganges, over the pa +1째

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1870

-1째

Varanasi

Tibetan glaciers are retreating at a higher speed than in

Climate disruptions also cause the balance between sa


ast 130 years

2000

n any other part of the world, and according to previsions, they could melt entirely by 2035.

Global warming is speeding up the hydraulic cycle: increasing the rate at which water evaporates and falls again as rain or snow, making it more difficult for snow and ice to behave as natural regulators -storing/releasing water-, and therefore leading to longer droughts between more intense periods of rain

alt and fresh waters to change: as there is less fresh water in the delta in period of drought, salt water invades Life, death and rebirth of the Ganges. Understanding the river’s cycle from source to delta and the possible effects of climate change on natural patterns.


City of Varanasi built on the Ganges’ West bank, Hindu devotees greet the facing sunrise

Dense urban life, use of the river for domestic tasks, religious activities on the ghats and in the water.

Urban

River

Floodplain

Bustling Varanasi polluting the Ganges’ water: cremations, garbage, sewage

Rural

Crop


10 am

ps of maize, sugarcane, cotton, rice and wheat grown in rotation

8 am

6 am

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W

Fertile floowplain followed by villages and farms, agriculture feeding the city of Varanasi and providing goods

E S

Understanding the interdepedence between the two sides of the river.


Water levels setting the rhythm for human activities: amphibious living.


Varanasi’s East Bank: the Fertile Mud of the Floodplain How can the floodplain be occupied to take advantage of the changing water levels? How can this large ‘void’ become a rich ground for harvesting resources?


Designing the device to harvest the mud and animating it.


Sectionned Front View

Plug-in system in wall wher harvestors unload collected Release of seeds

Distilling of mud

Thick porous wall allowing mud to travel through

Top View Floating bamboo grid structure: growth of floating crops

Circulation space through the floating crops

Study and storage of extracted minerals and seeds, experiments about different growing species

Cocoons seedbank preparation space for the floating crops and gardens

Classified minerals, lab studies

Outdoor public space: heart of the p crossroads of all activities and place of between community and resear


re mud d matter

Transfer of minerals

proposal f exchange rch

Heavier industry: chambers where processes such as distillation and fragmental separation of components take place

Outdoor pools and tanks for mud drying Process takes place in public area of proposal: interaction with the community

Mud harvestor

Sectional model of the initial proposal.


Physical model showing new spatial arrangement of programmes: radial instead of linear.


S A N D

Straw

Timber M Bamboo Poles Water Hyacinth Seeds Mud Research Lab

Solid state: Mud Bricks Fabrication of Floating Crops

‘Gaseous’ state: Minerals Extraction

M U D

Start of the Process: Harvesting of the Mud

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Cit

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fV ara

nas

Workers - Construction & Agriculture Villagers Researchers Transport

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Moulds

Pigments Cow Dung

paintings smudged by activity of family

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Solid/Liquid state: Mud Plaster

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tio

nw

ith

Vil la

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Liquid state: Mud Baths

Input of resources, income of people. Axonometric diagram explain the different processes happening with the harvested mud and the respective characters involved.


Plan and sections, in both dry and wet seasons


Perspective view from the riverside in the dry season.

Amphibious Mudscape  

Emergence of an Amphibious Mudscape, 2010

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