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SOCIAL INTERACTION IN HOUSING A CASE STUDY OF LOW- RISE HOUSING APARTMENTS IN AHMEDABAD MANUNI PATEL GUIDED BY PRATYUSH SHANKAR

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SOCIAL INTERACTION IN HOUSING A case study of Low- rise Housing Apartments in Ahmedabad

Manuni Patel Guided by Pratyush Shankar

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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This thesis would have been impossible without the people whom I’ve been around these years and have supported me through out this journey. I would like to take this opportunity and thank to all people who have made my journey possible.

Firstly, I am grateful to my guide, Pratyush Shankar, for his time and involvement to help me develop the initial thoughts and ideas into something meaningful. I appreciate his constant motivation, positiveness and those out of the topic discussions that helped me keep going on during the thesis.

I would also like to thank Kashi Sir, Sachin sir and Urvi ma’am for their valuable inputs that helped me during the initial stages of my thesis and reviews.

My constant support, Mummy and Daddy, a very big thank you to them for believing and encouraging in me to be capable of what I am today and also Dadi, for her curiousness in knowing what I am doing always.

A thank you to my dearest bhai, Dev and Pankti bhabhi to always encourage me whenever I talk to them over phone.

I am very grateful to my dear friends who have made these six years memorable. Starting with Dhwani, who breaks pinky promises but is always there when I need her. Aman, the constant partner to share all the best times of my life. Kishan, for the non stop laughs and craziness that we did and feeding me good music. Krishna, to be the best room mate for the unforgettable five months of exchange. Monik, to constantly irritate me and make me laugh as well. Nishita, for being a motherly figure when I make mistakes. Vedanti, for sharing the same cone of vision and to share those good Bangalore days. Prasik, for being the energetic and Sagar, for his charm when he is around. Hiren and Nirnay for all the good times. A big thank you to all!

Thanks to Shalin, for proof reading the thesis and the last minute suggestions. Malay, Tej and my school friends, thank you for being there.

Lastly, I would like to thank my 2011 batch mates, the best times we all had together in these six years, seniors, juniors and faculties who have helped me and mostly importantly this campus for shaping me up and building the confidence to be something. 9


CONTENTS

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III

IV

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Overview

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Introduction

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Research - Aim - Objectives - Research question - Methodology - Scope and Limitations

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Man Environment Relationship - Built Environment and Behaviour - Behaviour Setting - Privacy - Personalization - Territoriality

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Housing as a response to Industrial Revolution

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Departure from Pol Housing

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Mass Housing and Social Issues - Crime and Security - Children and Old people - Women in the house - Different caste staying together - Vehicle as a hindrance

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Ahmedabad city Introduction

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Housing Typologies wrt social interaction - The idea in general - Chawls - Row houses - Apartments - Bungalows

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Case Studies

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Lake View Apartments

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Amrakunj Apartments

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Avadh Apartments

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Conclusion

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Bibliography

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OVERVIEW

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Part I

The first part of the thesis consists of three chapters. The first is a brief overview of how to read the thesis. The second gives introduction and beginnings to the research. The third states the aim, objectives, research question, method and scope and limitations of the research.

Part II

The second part of the thesis includes theoretical background of the research. It consists of six chapters. The fourth chapter talks largely on fundamental concepts of environment and human behavior focusing on man- environment relationship by stating works of other researchers, architects, environmental psychologists and behavioral scientists. It also focuses on the idea of behaviour setting, privacy, personalization and territoriality. The fifth chapter focuses on housing as a response to Industrial Revolution. The sixth chapter talk about departure from traditional pol housing. The seventh chapter focuses on mass housing and social issues like crime and security, children and old people, women in the house, different caste of people staying together and vehicle as a hindrance. The eighth chapter talks about ahmedabad city in general, location, climate and house forms. The ninth chapter talks about different housing typologies wrt social interaction - Chawls, Row houses, Apartments and Bungalows.

Part III

The third part of the thesis focuses on the case studies of low- rise housing apartments. It describes the parameters for analysis of the case studies. The tenth, eleventh and twelveth chapter describes three case studies. It first describes the general information for each case study. Each case study is then observed through activity mapping and certain spaces in each case study is selected which are analyzed in terms of proximity, scale and proportion, enclosure, shading, materials and textures and architectural/ landscape features. For each case study, the effects on people is described for each space.

Part IV

The fourth part concludes with the final chapter by discussing the findings and the inferences that are made in each case study.

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INTRODUCTION

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Due to rapid urbanization, cities are growing and changing continuously day by day becoming larger and denser with a growth in residential sector. This has been an object of curiosity for a very long time. Present day housing demand is increasing with population growth and need for shelter. The construction of high density low- rise housing apartments was an attractive option for lower and middle- income buyers- as the cost of construction is less for such developments making the purchase affordable for them. In such dense living environments, it is important to know whether the social and psychological needs of people are fulfilled in order to achieve a healthy physical environment. Housing is a composite commodity that fulfills several human needs. The major need is dwelling, but one can argue that having a social space to interact and socialize with family and friends, or to be able to reach a desired social status, might be some reasons for which individuals demand some housing services. Thus, from a social point of view, housing is more than a dwelling unit and its objective characteristics, since it also provides security, privacy, neighborhood and social relations, status, community facilities and services and control over the environment. The needs of human are vast and changing form one person to another so that it is important to be informed from the relationship between people and the physical environment while designing the built environments which can best afford their needs. An architect plays an important role in the process of designing and developing the residential area. He is responsible for providing meaningful environment which moulds the social behavior of people. The built environment is responsible to serve human purposes rather than simply carrying out activities efficiently. Sociologist FJ Langdon (1966) perceives the role of theorybuilding and design as follows: “we need to study the social environment so that we can create surroundings which make it easier for people to do what they want to do, live the way they want, and make it unnecessary for them to do things they don’t want or would otherwise not do�. The study focuses on the characteristics of spaces in lowrise housing schemes that influence the social behavior of the residents. It brings clarity to the issue how people feel, perceive, sense and interact with their surrounding built environment. The findings from the study will have the potential to inform design guidelines that will enhance social engagement in future living facilities.

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RESEARCH

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AIM

This study aims an approach to analyze built environments to understand the role of physical and social environmental features of low- rise housing complexes influence social engagement behaviors of residents.

OBJECTIVES

• To identify and analyze different housing schemes for low rise housing apartments, study their overall configuration, nature of blocks, community spaces. • To understand the effect of social interaction among residents by studying different housing schemes with varying physical environments. • To analyze architectural characteristics of built environment that affects social interaction. • To understand user’s response through documenting and mapping activities that happen in the housing schemes. • To understand the role of social behavior in the design of housing schemes.

RESEARCH QUESTION

What is the role of physical and social environmental features of built environments in influencing social interaction among residents?

METHOD

• The intention of the study is to understand social interaction in housing schemes; hence the case studies selected are low rise housing apartments with varying physical environments and similar socio- economic background. • Studying different spaces in housing schemes through drawings, on- site observations, activity mapping, and interviews with the residents. • Intensive reading on the existing research material on environmental behavior studies, inside outside spaces and housing and social interaction.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION

• The study is limited to analysis of low rise housing apartments and the observations are limited between the months of March and May. • The case studies are limited, although care has been taken to choose example that are not unique. • The study will not consider the social, cultural factors, religion that govern the way people inhabit space. 17


MAN ENVIRONMENT RELATIONSHIP

“Man not only survives and functions in his environment, he shapes it and he is shaped by it.” Rene Dubos

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Scholars in a number of fields have come to recognize the vital importance of the built environment to the social lives of people. The study of mutual interaction between people and built environment has been a major concern in the last few years. Scholars and professionals from a number of disciplinesarchitecture, planning, psychology, sociology, social psychology, geography, and so on- have begun to address questions about environment. 1) How do people shape their environment- which characteristics of people, as individuals or groups of different sizes are relevant to shaping of particular environments? 2) How and to what extent does the physical environment affect people, i.e., how important is the designed environment and in which contexts? 3) What are the mechanisms which link people and environments in this two- way interaction? The relationship between man and environment is reciprocal in nature. Physical environment directly or indirectly affects human behavior. It includes both physical reality and socio- cultural phenomenon that surrounds us. Reciprocal relationship deals with two- way process in which the environment influences human behaviors and human beings affect environment. In order to understand various types of interaction it would be useful to understand various types of environment. Physical environment- it includes both physical reality and sociocultural phenomena that surrounds us. Social and Cultural environment- it includes the aspects of social interaction including its products such as belief, attitudes, stereotypes. Psychological environment- it includes perceptions and experiences pertaining to any environmental setting. Environment can be seen as a series of relationships between things and things, things and people, and people and people. These relationships are orderly, that is, they have a pattern and a structure- the environment is not a random assemblage of behaviors or beliefs. Both are guided by schemata that act as templates, as it were, organizing both people’s lives and the settings for their lives. In the case of the environment, the relationships are primarily, although not exclusively, spatialobjects and people are related through various degrees of separation in and by space. But when environments are being designed, four elements are being organized (Rapoport, 1977) Space Time Communication Meaning

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In the discussion of the nature of social interaction, Giddens (1984) borrows heavily from the seminal work of Goffmann (1963), who distinguishes between gatherings and social occasions. A gathering is any set of two or more individuals who are co present. Gatherings therefore tend to have a loose and transitory form, such as fleeting glances or exchanges as people pass in a hallway. Social occasions, on the other hand, are wider events involving a plurality of individuals. They are usually specifically bounded in time and space and are often facilitated by the use of particular equipment or furnishings. Social occasions range from routine aspects of daily life, such as an office work-day or the preparation and consumption of food, to events such as funerals or weddings that are more irregular, formal and delineated in terms of their spatial and temporal boundaries and the composition of their participants. As the context of these interactions, built space is more than just their backdrop or stage, but is an integral part of their occurrence and, by extension, the negotiation of social statuses, roles, and identities. Kurt Lewin, a German psychologist, differentiated between physical environment and psychological environment. He introduced the concept of life space to explain the relationship between person and environment. According to Lewin, life space is the whole psychological reality that determine the behavior of an individual. Life space (L) includes everything present in the environment (E) that influences an individual’s behavior. The environment (E) contains everything outside the person (P), including physical, psychological and social aspects. Lewin calls the person (P) in the environment (E) as life space. Mathematically, life space can be described as: B = f (L) = f (P.E) The four basic theoretical positions regarding the relationship between environment and behavior can be identified as (see Porteous 1977): 1) Free- will approach- it suggests that the environment has no impact on behavior. 2) Possibilistic approach- it perceives the environment to be the afforder of human behavior. 3) Deterministic approach- it is the belief that when people are acting out of apparent free will, they are really controlled by their heredity and environment. It is the environment that is the major determinant of behavior. 4) Probabilistic approach- this position recognizes the uncertainty of the systems within which human behavior takes place and within which environmental designers act, but it assumes that human behavior is not entirely capricious. It underlies most of the recent research on the relationship between behavior and environmental design. 20

BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND BEHAVIOR


Research in environmental psychology over the last halfcentury has generated a vast body of data that convincingly demonstrates the important influence on human behavior and interaction played by room size and shape as well as the presence Intimate Space and characteristics of various architectural materials, features 0’-1.5’ Personal Space and furnishings (e.g., Bechtel and Churchman, 2002; Gutman, 1.5’-4’ Social Informal 1972; Stokols and Altman, 1987; see Fisher, 2007a). Edward Hall’s 4’-8’ Social Formal (1966) pioneering work in proxemics, the study of people’s use of 8’-12’ Public Space space as an aspect of culture, is especially significant for drawing More than 12’ attention to the relationship between interpersonal spacing and human sensory perception during social interaction. Based on his observations of several cultural groups, he concluded that there Fig 1: The four distance zones of proxemics are conare four distinct distances, ranging through intimate, personal, cerned with distance between people social, and public, at which various types of interaction take place (Hall, 1966). While subsequent work has questioned the precision of his zonal measurements and pointed out the need to take into account various social and environmental factors that modify proxemic distances (e.g., Altman, 1975), a large body of research has generally supported Hall’s qualitative observations. Clearly, room size and shape have a role in influencing proxemics, limiting the number of possible participants in social interaction and the potential distances between them. In removing the geometrical properties of space, access analysis fails to consider the significant effects of these properties on social interaction. Edward T. Hall (1966) identifies three fundamental types of layout patterns: Fixed feature space- enclosed by elements that are not easily movable: solid walls, floors, windows and fittings. Semi- fixed feature space- space in which furnishings can be moved around. Informal space- space which lasts only as long as an exchange between two or more people lasts. It is not a sated space and occurs outside awareness. These elements can combine, according to display rules, to convey a variety of social information. Rapoport (1988, p. 323) asserts that the semi fixed-feature elements are the most important for communicating meaning and therefore influencing behavior. Desired Meaning

Encoding

limited palette behavioural of elements + consequences + Schemata Images Ideals Status Power etc

From these a particular retportoire is selected: size height color orientation location materials decoration

Transmission

elicitors Rules of combination and of appropriate use of “filters”

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display rules Result: a setting with a specific set of characteristics and cues

Decoding/ Perception

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comprehension > rules Filters which decide whether cues are noticed, understood, obeyed

(Inter)action

built environment Behaviours occurring within the setting

Fig 2: A nonverbal communication approach to the built environment (adapted from Rapoport, 1990, Fig. 17)

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Environmental designers use different terms for environment that change to afford different activities: adaptable and flexible Adaptable layout affords different standing patterns of behavior at different times without requiring physical changes. Architect Robert Venturi (1966) notes: “There are justifications for the multi- function building. . . A room can have many functions at the same time and at different times.” The placement of doors, windows and built furniture very much affects the adaptability of spaces. Many designs severely reduce the affordances for different room geographies and the activities that accompany them (Van der Ryn and Silverstein 1967, Sommer 1947b). Flexible layouts are those in which structure is easy to change to accommodate different needs. This is more than in general implies by semi-fixed feature space. Roger Barker’s work is directed at describing patterns of behavior in relationship to their physical setting. A behavior setting is considered to be a stable combination of activity and place. It consists of: A recurrent activity- a standing pattern of behavior A particular layout of the environment- the milieu A congruent relationship between the two- a synomorphy A specific time period The same physical setting may be part of more than one behavior setting if different standing patterns of behavior occur within at different times. A standing pattern of behavior may consist of a number of different behaviors occurring simultaneously: Overt emotional behavior, problem- solving behavior, gross motor activity, interpersonal interaction and the manipulation of objects. The combination of these behaviors, which constitutes a particular standing pattern of behavior, occurs within a particular physical setting- its milieu. A behavior setting enables a person to achieve a “multiplicity of satisfactions” (Barker 1960). It may meet different needs for an individual at different times. An environment with houses close together, with their windows offering easy natural surveillance of the street and with mixed land- use patterns, affords easy interactions and necessitates movement of its residents through the area. This type of environment is congruent with lifestyles, particularly lower income lifestyles that stress family- interaction and group integration rather than individual achievement. An area of spread single- family detached homes does not afford this lifestyle very effectively (Gans 1962, Michelson 1976). The nature of the environment is affected by the geographic environment, climate and topography of the place. The pace of life, the use of houses, buildings, and open spaces, the nature of activities, reflect the natural feature and the climate of an area. Nevertheless, there is a strong relationship between the activity patterns of people and the natural feature of their environment. 22

BEHAVIOR SETTING


PRIVACY

Privacy is closely attached with personal space and territorial behavior. It can be defined as the ability of individuals or groups to control their visual, auditory and olfactory interactions with others. Westin (1970) identifies four types of privacy: solitude, the state of being free from observation of others; intimacy, the state of being with another person but free from the outside world; anonymity, the state of being unknown even in a crowd; and reserve, the state in which a person employs psychological barriers to control unwanted intrusion. The use of walls, screens, symbolic and real territorial demarcators, and distance are all mechanisms for attaining privacy. Privacy differs from person to person and from group to group. Difference in privacy is due to the social roles people play in the society and their socioeconomic status. The development of a person’s attitude toward privacy is part of the socialization process; it is a learned value. As children grow older they need more privacy and use more privacy markers (Guardo 1969, Meisels and Guardo 1969). In any particular housing type, space is an indicator of status and becomes a symbol of it. In lowincome groups, crowded living conditions force a lack of privacy so privacy norms are much less severe than for high- income groups. In case of low- rise housing apartments, privacy is attained in different manners as compared to detached individual houses. The number of people living in low- rise apartments is more so there are less chances of privacy as they are sharing all the common facilities except their own apartment. There can be certain kind of anonymity which the user can attain by choosing with whom to interact and socialize within the wide variety of neighbours available. Social Isolation (achieved privacy greater than desired privacy)

Standing pattern of behaviour

Desired Privacy (ideal)

Interpersonal control mechanisms

Achieved Privacy (outcome)

Optimum (achieved privacy = desired privacy

Crowding (achieved privacy less than desired privacy)

Fig 3: Source: Adapted from Altman (1975)

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Personalization refers to the marking of places, or the accretion of objects within them. It often occurs as a desire for territorial control and an expression of aesthetic tastes as well as the result to make environment fit activity patterns better. Personalization depends on the material of its structure, the intensity of inhabitants’ need to change it, how large a stake they have in the place, and the social norms and administrative rules of the context (Rapoport 1967, Goetze 1968). Personalization of places serves psychological security and symbolic aesthetic as well the adaptation of the environment to meet the needs of specific activity patterns and marking territory. Above all, personalization marks territory.

PERSONALIZATION

Personal modification of the environment not only allows people to give their homes meaning, but also facilitates changes that enable occupants to stay, rather than move, as family size and needs change; it also encourages neighbour cooperation in the swapping of ideas, tools, and skills in do- it yourself home improvements. The cumulative result may be a naturally occurring complexity and variety in the exterior visual environment, which most people regard as a necessary component of aesthetic attractiveness. There are many examples of personalization in built environment. People add creepers on their walls and balconies in the exterior giving a feeling that the place is well kept and cared for. Painting walls with a wide variety of colours and enclosing balconies with grills to hang clothes and a give a roof are very commonly seen in apartments. The original “pure� form is lost, but what appeared to be hard architecture turns out to be soft.

Historically, territoriality first pertained to the sovereignty of nations. During the twentieth century, however, it was adopted, first, in zoology to refer to the ability of animals to defend a specific area of land and, subsequently, in social science to describe a similar quality of human behavior. Territoriality refers to how people use space to communicate ownership or occupancy of areas and possessions. Leon Pastalan (1970) gives the following definition for human territory: A territory is a delimited space that a person or a group uses and defends as an exclusive preserve. It involves psychological identification with a place, symbolized by attitudes of possessiveness and arrangements of objects in the area. The way people demarcate territories vary considerably. The demarcations may consist of real barriers such as doors and walls or they may be symbolic markers such as a sign or change of materials of floors. These markers all differentiate between one area and another and identify them with the people who control them- individuals or groups. Hussein El- Sharkwawy (1979) identifies four types of territory: 24

TERRITORIALITY


Attached- an attached territory is one’s personal “space bubble”. Central- central territories are likely to be personalized like one’s home, a student’s room or a work station unless there is strong administrative opposition to it. Oscar Newman (1972, 1979) refers to these as private space. Supporting- these are either semiprivate or semipublic. Semiprivate spaces tend to be owned in association, while semipublic are not allowed by the users. Peripheral- peripheral territories are public space. They are areas that may be used by individuals or group but are not possessed or personalized by them. The most influential application of human territoriality to architectural and urban design was Newman’s Defensible Space, Newman (1972) defines defensible space as Defensible space is a surrogate term for the range of mechanismsreal and symbolic barriers, strongly defined areas of influence, and improved opportunities for surveillance- that combine to bring an environment under the control of its residents. A defensible space is a living residential environment which can be employed by its inhabitants for the enhancement of their lives while providing security for their families, neighbours and friends. Newman identifies four characteristics of the layout of the environment that on their own or in conjunction with each other create defensible space. They are 1) a clear hierarchical definition of territories, from public to semipublic, semiprivate to private; 2) the positioning of doors and windows to provide natural surveillance opportunities over entrances and open area; 3) the use of building forms and materials that are not associated peculiarly with vulnerable populations; 4) the location of residential developments in “functionally sympathetic” areas where residents are not threatened.

Fig 4: Sketches illustrating Oscar Newman’s concept of defensible space. Left: “territorial definition reinforced with surveillance opportunities.” Right: “defensible space hierarchy in multi-level dwelling.” From Newman 1972: 9, 10

The first of these can be established through the use of symbolic barriers like surface textures, steps, lamp posts or of real barriers such as walls. It subdivides a development into zones over which people establish proprietary interests. The second occurs when people can see the public and semipublic areas of their environments as a part of their day- to day activities. (Jacobs 1961, Angel 1968, Newman 1972); this reduces the possibility of antisocial behavior. The third occurs when the massing, site planning, and materials have positive associations for people (F. Heider 1946). The fourth reduces sources of antisocial behavior. The layout of the environment does not cause or stop criminal activity.

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HOUSING AS A RESPONSE TO INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

“It would have been foolish to stand upon our dignity in a place where there was hardly room to stand upon own feet.” Mark Twain 26


The Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th and early 19th century in some Western countries. It began in Britain and spread throughout the world, a process that continues as industrialization. The effects spread throughout Western Europe and North America during the 19th century, eventually affecting most of the world. Living conditions during the Industrial Revolution varied from the splendor of the homes of the owners to the squalor of the lives of the workers. Poor people lived in very small houses in cramped streets. These homes would share toilet facilities, have open sewers and would be at risk of damp. As a result of the Revolution, huge numbers of the working class died due to disease spreading through the cramped living conditions. The “Western Indian City� signifies the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The city has undergone two phases pf its growth, namely the pre- industrial phase (1411- 1859) and the industrial phase (1859 onwards). Over the pre- industrial phase of roughly four and a half centuries, the region was ruled by Muslims, Mughals, Marathas and lastly by the British. Under these rulers, the city acquired the position as an important center of commerce and administration. The city suffered from quite a few political changes and natural calamities. It went through a short period of destruction during the Maratha rule which continued until the city was taken over by the Britishers. The Britishers restored the law and order, got the city walls reconstructed, revised the tax on trade and commerce and local self- government started. A number of secondary organizations came up. With this background, the city entered its industrial phase from 1859. The industrial base of Ahmedabad is found in its textile industry. The first textile mill in the city was established in 1859 and it started production in 1861. Gradually, the number of mills in the city went on increasing. There was a lack of competition within the city which helped the textile industry to develop. Various other factories also came up in the course of time. Since there was a growth in the city, the population increased. The growth of population in the city reflects the role of migration on population increase. The migrants increase the population of males to females in the city, they increased the percentage of workers of the city, their arrival from different parts of the country added to the heterogeneity of the city and they created additional demands on housing accommodation in the city. The city meets these requirements partly through building new houses and increasing the municipal limits, The pressure of population both through natural increase and migration keeps on adding pressures on housing accommodation and increasing density of population. Most of the population lived in rented houses compared to living in their ownership. The three fourth of the housing accommodation became apparent due to the significance of pols. 27


DEPARTURE FROM POL HOUSING

“Who is secure in all his basic needs? Who has work, spiritual care, medical care, housing, food, occasional entertainment. free clothing, free burial, free everything? The answer might be nuns and monks, but the standard reply is”prisoners” Erik von Kuehnelt- Ledddihn

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A pol is a residential neighborhood with well-defined boundaries. There is an entrance through a main gateway, a primary street, and secondary streets along which a cluster of houses adjoin. The character of the pol itself is defined by the transitional spaces called ‘Otlas’, a small verandah like space connecting the house to the street. Individual houses have a deep plan with the small size facing the street. A pol would get organized generally by people of the same social group or community. Thus the city characteristically grew very organically into a dense built fabric. The pols had developed their tradition of neighbourhood living in the pre- industrial phase of the city’s growth. According to historical records, the need for security felt over the years could have given rise to the tradition of pol living. The arrangement of houses was such that entry was restricted and one watchman could look after the pol from one gateway. Increased population caused by heavy industrialization created a demand for housing and this provided a situation in which the poldwellers could rent out a portion of their house and supplement their income. There were two mechanism required to support it: 1) A mechanism which could compensate partly, if not wholly the loss caused due to not renting out the house and 2) A mechanism which could prevent outsiders from entering the pol. The traditional phase of the growth of the city of Ahmedabad is connected with the emergence of a strong government. The city was a part of the Bombay province till independence. The period of the last one hundred years has been characterized with efficient police arrangements. The general condition of law and order improved all over the region. The habitation began to spread outside the city walls, and industrial area grew prominently in the outer zone. The population also grew fast. These conditions reflect the rise of confidence in the people regarding the maintenance of law and order which created scarcity of house in turn. Consequently, the traditional form and nature of pol became redundant and its utilitarian approach and application became obstructive and worthless. People residing in the city now enjoy greater security and safety even without living in the pol with well-established system of law and order. They can also rent out their house or a portion of the same to tenants and supplement their incomes. Under the impact of the new forces if the pol was to maintain its form, it could only be done through adding certain new elements to its traditional way of life. Then the pol could prove its worth and acquire facilities suiting to the new demands of people.

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MASS HOUSING AND SOCIAL ISSUES

“Socialism is... not only a way of life, but a certain scientific approach to social and economic problems.” Jawaharlal Nehru 30


CRIME AND SECURITY

The structure of the physical environment can either reduce or enhance the probability of a crime being committed and can either limit or facilitate the detection of offenders. Physical characteristics that encourage “territoriality,” that create “defensible space,” and that promote “access control” have been the subject of much crime-environment research. The literature begins chronologically with Elizabeth Wood’s Housing Design: A Social Theory (1961) in which the author contended that the physical characteristics of public housing complexes minimize communication and informal gathering among residents and thereby preclude the development of a sense of community. Later, in 1961, Jane Jacobs expanded on this theme in her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Her central hypothesis was that there are two essential conditions which must be present in order for streets, neighborhoods, and residential areas to be safe: (i) “natural surveillance” or “eyes on the street” and (2) continuous and multiple uses of neighborhood facilities which create overlapping patterns of pedestrian movement and thereby keep “eyes on the street” at all times of the day (Jacobs, 1961). Eight years after Jacobs’ book, in 1969, Schlomo Angel wrote: The physical environment exerts a direct influence on crime settings by delineating territories, by reducing or increasing accessibility through the creation or elimination of boundaries and circulation networks, and by facilitating surveillance by the citizenry and the police (Angel, 1969). Talking about security in low- rise housing apartments, there are various points that must be taken into account. There must be surveillance by residents, management or security personnel throughout the day. In addition to that, a security camera could be installed with the housing scheme. Circulation patterns must be adequate i.e. pathways and walkways for movement of people with the sites. Social relations must be maintained within the neighbours and residents of the housing complex. There must be a sense of proprietary interest and feeling of territoriality within the residents. Physical barriers like the boundary wall should surround the site. Our personal neighbourhood can offer security and provide status. Urban life has many hardships, especially for the poor and those on the edge of economic insecurity. But even the more affluent experience the competitive pressures of work and the marketplace, the stress of congestion and rushing about, and feelings of being isolated in a crowd. All segments suffer from environmental deficiencies, and all face threats to personal safety. In this setting, home- extended to encompass the neighbourhood- is a safe harbor. It is a place where you want to feel at ease, put aside some of your worries, relax, be comfortable with people you know and trust. This is a major reason that most neighbourhoods house people with similar characteristics and contain a fairly limited span of socioeconomic groups and life styles (Hallman). 31


A child’s response to his environment is far more direct and energetic than an adult’s. He is constantly making discoveries about highness and lowness, nearness and farness, hardness and softness, light and dark. The physical objects through which he explores these concepts can stimulate his imagination and reinforce his joy of learning (Haase 1968, 9). A child’s social engagement is maximum in a low rise housing complex. Since children are the chief users of the space around the home, these areas tend to be critical. User needs research makes it clear that: 1) The more multi-family housing design accommodates the needs of children, the more satisfied the adult residents be with that environment. 2) The key to providing for children’s needs is in the sensitive design of the overall site plan. 3) The key to successful use and minimum misuse of the overall site is in lack of ambiguity. (Davis) The open spaces or play areas differ in low- rise housing apartments. Some might have a large open space vs some streets are converted to play areas by children to play. When a child go out of his apartment, the mother has no idea what happens outside. In low- rise apartments, the mother can have a look through the kitchen window or balcony, and call out. Audible connection is important. Thus the open spaces should be such that a visible connection is maintained with the apartments There seems no doubt that elderly residents value pleasant outdoor spaces. For elderly residents, comfort, safety and security, ease of access to the outdoors, and opportunities for meeting others and socializing become increasingly important aspects of outdoor use. Equally important are opportunities to enjoy nature and contribute to one’s health and exercise by taking a short walk or just feeling the sun on one’s face. The common spaces surrounding housing may take many forms, from a landscaped area around a single high rise building to a low- rise arrangement whose buildings enclose or define the outdoor spaces. In low- rise housing complexes, the arrangement of the building blocks play a major role, the adjoining street, the common space, the benches, the otla and the balcony. Usually old people prefer themselves exposed to the outside so that they can have a look at the surrounding and have a talk or share opinion with neighbours or anyone on the street. They have maximum free time on hand and are most anxious for company.

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CHILDREN AND OLD PEOPLE


WOMEN IN THE HOUSE

Another major user of the open spaces in a housing society are housewives. Women in low-rise apartments are a major user of the community spaces. They tend to interact with the fellow neighbours after finishing her household chores. Social engagement between women is much more during the evenings when they gather and talk outside their houses. Cross- cultural interaction and exchange of ideas happen via the women who interacts with her ethnically varied neighbours. Women interact with her children from the balcony and window while they are busy playing outside. It is difficult for working women to find out time from her busy schedule of taking care of the family for social interaction.

DIFFERENT CASTE OF PEOPLE STAYING TOGETHER

In recent decades family studies have undergone several developments. Family studies in India are viewed within the institutional framework of a particular society. In each society, families vary in their extent of adjustment to accept norms owing to the family interaction pattern and external forces. Different castes of families stay together and forms a stronger bond in the society. They celebrate festivals and find varied opportunities for celebration. It is natural that people like to celebrate health, happiness and good fortune with their neighbours. There are cases where certain caste of people form a community and doesn’t allow other caste people into their community.

VEHICLE AS A HINDRANCE

A vehicle is the most aspirational thing for a low- income family. To have a car has become a supreme necessity then status symbol. The car, many families’ most valuable single possession, is essential for daily journeys to work, shopping or school. People are naturally concerned about its physical safety- from theft, vandalism or accidental damage. When it comes to parking, car owners like to have adequate space to park and park their vehicle very near to the homes to maintain a visible contact whether it is one car or more. The problem of vehicle parking is increasing even in housing societies as car owners are increasing with limited amount of parking space. The open spaces are converted to parking spaces. Neighbours fight for parking their own car which in turn create social imbalance within the housing. On the other hand, teenagers are seen hanging out on their vehicles and men are seen chatting with each other near their vehicles. It becomes a space to interact for the residents of the housing complex.

33


AHMEDABAD CITY INTRODUCTION

34


The city of Ahmedabad founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411AD, lies on the banks of the Sabarmati River. Ahmedabad, with a population of 5.8 million in the municipal area and 6.3 million in the urban agglomeration area in 2011, is the seventh largest metropolis in India and the largest city of Gujarat State. Ahmedabad has three distinct urban morphologies, the old walled city, located on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River; the eastern industrial section that is to the east of the walled city and western Ahmedabad, which is to the west of the river. The walled city was organized in pols or residential streets, with each pol being homogeneous in terms of religion, caste and community. Although separated thus, the different groups and communities in different pols lived in proximity without threats, restraints or fear (Jaffrelot and Thomas 2011). The area west of the river, then the green field sites, developed as the economically upwardly mobile, professional and business families, that were modernizing, began to move out of the walled city in 1930s and 1940s, in search of new housing. The new housing that came up west of the river was bungalow type housing. In this period, western Ahmedabad attracted the university and colleges and the city’s first public hospital. From the 1960s it also attracted elite educational institutions and new forms of commercial development. Post-2000, the western periphery has attracted many gated-communities and township developments (Mahadevia 2013). Ahmedabad district, on the north-west and south-west, has attracted automobile industries and hence there is a low-density urban sprawl on the city’s western periphery. The city is situated on the Western side of India. The city is considered to have summer all the year around. It can be described as a hot climate with average outdoor temperature between 20°C and 34°C. The weather is hot from March to June, the average summer maximum is 43°C and average minimum is 24°C. From November to February, the average maximum temperature is 30°C and average minimum is 13°C and the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill in January. The southwest monsoon brings a humid climate from mid-June to mid-September. The average annual rainfall is about 800 mm. The below image shows the climate graph.

Fig 5: Climate graph and Temperature graph

35


HOUSING TYPOLOGIES WRT SOCIAL INTERACTION

36


THE IDEA IN GENERAL

Housing is one of the major components of basic needs that offer the individuals and families privacy and security for living. The protection of individuals and families is directly dependent on the type of shelter they have. The creativity and competence of individuals is also dependent directly on where they live. The sense of social identity of individuals is linked very much with the kind of location the individuals have. Housing is described by the services it is supposed to be provide. The kind of services it provides may vary depending on ownership of houses by income- rich and poor, in rich and poor countries and in varied and different circumstances. Thus, housing is a heterogeneous product. Housing as a physical space may have both narrow and broad versions. The narrow version concentrates on the dwelling unit of the household with facilities for living available within the boundary of the dwelling unit. The broad version sets the dwelling unit in the context of neighbouring dwelling units, which is the human and ecological environment adjoining the space for living of any particular family. Housing is much more than a physical space and is anything but homogeneous. For the poor, it is a shelter for the night. For middle income groups, it is a space for living in comfort. For the income rich, it is a luxury that demonstrates more than it accommodates the family. For the rural houses, it is almost always boundary less, while for the urban houses it is accompanied by boundaries circumscribing the residential plot of land. Housing has not only social attachment but psychological attachment. It involves not only a relationship between the neighbours but also an attachment with local culture, language, rituals, belief, traditions.

37


With the expansion of the textile industry in the 1930’s, a housing system popularly known as ‘chaali’ was introduced for industrial workers. These are small- scale, less than 1 Ha high density private developments, scattered throughout the industrial area. They are generally rows of one room and a verandah (porch) in front with inadequate communal services. They are mostly privately owned structures providing accommodation to the worker class on a monthly rental basis. The word chaali or chawl means a ‘walk- through’ in Gujarati. These are alleyways which workers could rent at a lower rate. The chawls were sites of a new built typology, social and cultural space and urban political movements. The chawls were quickly constructed housing models catering to housing demands of industrialization in Ahmedabad. A usual tenement in a chawl consists of one all purpose room that function both as a living and sleeping space, and a kitchen that also serves as a dining room. Common toilets were shared by many dwelling units in the cluster. The urban industrial threshold unit was smaller than rural dwellings in terms of its spatiality, thresholds and sitting conditions. Its most rudimentary form was the general consensus of acceptance and silently did away with all questions regarding the viability of a space that housed members from different castes together. The problems in chawls were overcrowding, lack of expansion, deficient investments, pressure on services, deteriorated structural and living conditions, lack of adequate ventilation and hygiene, high densities and lack of open spaces. Due to lack of private open spaces for individual dwellings, the open space available is the narrow passage street separating two rows of dwellings. This passage street is used as an extension to the house as the enclosed area is extremely small for average size of family.

38

CHAWLS

Fig 6

Fig 7

Fig 8 (The above figures show typical examples of chawls in Ahmedabad)


ROW HOUSES

Fig 7

Fig 8

Fig 9 (The above figures show photos of Jay- Shefali Park, Ahmedabad)

With the beginning of Industrial Revolution, the informal pattern of incremental growth yielded to more formal organization with changing attitudes. In one direction, a new house form emerged as ‘chawls’, as an economical housing solution to the working class. This house form lost certain basic human needs like identity, privacy etc. due to repetitive blocks and shared corridor. Today with the changing life styles, attitudes, and new materials and technology, the modern form of row housing has emerged, which nevertheless has retained certain common qualities of traditional housing. Row houses are evolved from the concept of low- rise high density form which maintains close contact with earth for sociocultural activities. Row houses are a popular form of housing for all sections of people due to anchorage to ground, suitability to social needs, provisions for further expansions and individual dwelling on own piece of land. They are appropriate with the increasing land pressure and land prices, for developers, quick construction with reduced cost. Row houses can be defined as, ‘minimum of three single family dwelling units which are in a continuous row and separated by parallel common walls’. It is a form of group housing where each dwelling in a row is flanked on both sides of the long axis by common walls, while the narrow ends are open for access, view, day- lighting and natural ventilation. Typically row houses are 2 to 3 storey houses situated on narrow or medium width plot, where each unit is bounded by private open spaces, one in front connected to the street as front yard and other in back as backyard. The function of the front yard is for outdoor living, viewing activities in open areas outside and for communication with neighbours. The opportunities for social interaction is more since the private open spaces are adjacent to each other but there is limited amount of privacy.

Fig 10: Plan of Jay- Shefali Park, Ahmedabad

39


Apartments became the housing of choice for those families and individuals who wanted to remain close to the hearts of the major cities in India. Such buildings, as a residential type, go back to the beginning of the twentieth century but have proliferated since then. In the 1930s and 1940s many architects drew on Art Deco concepts for inspiration; some later architects strove to draw on the mohallas for site design principles while adhering to Modernist ones in the housing itself. Many buildings in India have continued to be designed within the artistic paradigms established during the first two decades after independence.

APARTMENTS

Fig 11

Apartment buildings have existed for centuries. In the great cities of the Roman Empire, because of urban congestion, the individual house, had given way in early imperial times to the communal dwelling, except for the residences of the very wealthy. Apartment building has more than one dwelling unit, most of which are designed for domestic use. They prototypical units repeated to form a housing complex. They are designed keeping in mind mass of people and not the lifestyle of any user. There are two types of apartment housing. Low- rise and Highrise apartments. Low- rise apartments is a common form of housing built by both public sector agencies as well as private developers for all sections of the population. High- rise housing has become a common housing type for middle, upper middle and high income groups. The apartments on the same floor share the common facilities such as lifts, stairwell and the access space or lobby between the houses. These houses usually have open spaces on the outer edges of the built structure. Each apartments has balconies as their private space. The lower apartments in lowrise will have otla space while high- rise apartments have stilt parking on the ground floor. The outer common space in both is a very important space for the residents for social interaction.

Fig 14: Plan of Center Point, Ahmedabad

40

Fig 12

Fig 13 (The above figures show typical examples of apartments in Ahmedabad)


BUNGALOWS

A 1793 description of bungalow cited in Hobson Jobson confirms what has been noted below: Bungalows are the buildings in India, generally raised from the ground, and consist only of one storey: the plan on them usually is a large room in the center for an eating and sitting room and the rooms at the corner for sleeping; the whole is covered with one great thatch, which comes down low to one side; the spaces between the angle rooms are viranders or open portices… sometimes the center viranders at each end are converted to rooms (Yule and Bumell 2006, originally 1886).

Fig 15

Fig 16

Fig 17 (The above figures show typical examples of bungalows in Ahmedabad)

The bungalow was originally a dwelling conforming more to a colonial “Indo-European” than the traditional Indian model (King 1984: 55). In India, and in Southeast Asia, ‘bungalow’ implies a freestanding, ex- urban dwelling. In the nineteenth century it was usually considered to be of one storey. Increasingly in India in the twentieth century, houses of two or more storeys were still considered to be bungalows. The bungalow form was adopted and adapted by the indigenous populations of India to suit their needs and taken by British business people and officials to other parts of the world. The bungalow is a dwelling built within a plot of land that is clearly defined by boundaries. It stands in strong contrast to the densely- packed urban houses of traditional Indian cities. The bungalow is a large house surrounded by open space with trees and garden, enclosed by a wall or a fence. Over time the sites have shrunk in size and one dwelling is separated from its neighbours only by the minimum distance specified in building codes designed to stop fire spreading. Typically, a bungalow is bounded by compound wall on all four sides, where side or back is used for service activities. According to the open space available, parking is either inside or outside in a gated bungalow housing. The bungalow is bounded by compound wall on all four sides, in a way represents individual based lifestyle and built form. In such a case, social engagement between neighbours is much lesser as the form of the bungalow suggests more privacy. Also the proximity between bungalows varies in a gated housing, suggesting less interactions.

Fig 18: Plan of a typical bungalow in Ahmedabad

41


CASE STUDIES

The research is done through case studies of low rise housing apartments. For each case study, specific spaces are selected for detailed observation and analysis. Each space gains its meaning trough its relation at the level of residential area which functions as a neighbourhood.

Parameters for analysis of case studies: Physical Factors

Factors of perception

- Proximity - Scale and Proportion - Enclosure - Shading - Materials and Textures - Architectural/ Landscape features

- Territoriality

42


PROJECT INFORMATION Lakeview Apartments, Vastrapur Built year

:

1990

Total area of site

:

10215 sq. mt.

Total built up area

:

3636.19 sq. mt.

Open area

:

6578.81 sq. mt.

Total number of building blocks :

21

Lakeview Apartments is a very old housing complex located in a very busy area in Vastrapur. There is a temple across the housing complex and vastarpur lake which was built in 2002. People of various castes like Brahmins, Patels, South Indians, Maharastrians live together in the apartments and have a similar income group. They celebrate a lot of festivals together and many events are conducted in the complex. Around 800 people reside in the housing complex

43


building block play area main street common area parking

scale- 1:750 44


45


ACTIVITY MAPPING

Morning 9 am

Afternoon 1 pm

Evening 6pm Each dot in the above diagrams represent a single person. Observations are made during the months of March and April for a 10 minute time interval respectively.

46


OBSERVATIONS Morning Kids are going to school in their cycle. Few of them waiting in their otla, running and screaming down the staircase. Vegetable vendor is standing under the shade of a tree and calling out. Few old men taking a walk, gathering and sitting on the bench near the security cabin. Women drying clothes in their balcony and talking randomly to someone on the street (vendor/ women) and opposite balcony. The site is active during morning mostly by children and women.

Afternoon Few women gather at someone’s otla after finishing household chores to talk. Few men walking and chatting near the staircase block or staircase landing. Teenage girls sitting in the parking and chatting. Women collecting dried clothes from balcony while conversing with someone else. Old men sitting on the bench near the entrance. There are people sitting in the balcony reading newspaper, swinging and peeping outside. The site is less active in afternoon and shaded spaces are preferred for socializing.

Evening Young kids and boys playing cricket together in the open space near the entrance. Young men chatting with friends near the entrance. Children cycling and playing in the street. Old women walking to the temple across the housing complex. Old man sitting outside the otla and talking. Teenagers sitting in the parking and chatting. Few ladies gather near the bench to talk. Some women gather in the otla to talk. Some women standing in the balcony, peeping and talking. Young men sitting on the bench and talking till late night. The site is most active during evenings by all age groups and all open spaces are occupied by the residents of the complex. 47


LIST OF ACTIVITIES WRT AGE GROUP

kids

teenagers

women

play cricket

street, play area

ride bicycle

street

play games

anywhere

talk

anywhere

play cricket

play area

sit and talk

common area, parking, otla

play games

anywhere

dry clothes

balcony, otla

sit and talk

otla, street, common area

stand and talk

balcony, otla, street

sit and talk

common area

stand and talk

balcony, otla, street

sit and talk

balcony, otla, street

men

old

48


Space 1- play area

Space 2- common area

Space 3- parking plinth

Space 4- otla

1 2

4

3

5

Space 5- balcony 49


Organization of building blocks

building block

play area

main street

common area

parking

The building blocks are arranged in a linear manner along the main street which connects with another street perpendicular to it forming a loop. The distance between two opposite blocks varies from minimum of 5m to maximum of 16m, The site is more active towards the entrance and becomes more private towards the inside, as majority of activities happen near the entrance because of open spaces. Each unit has its own residual spaces which are utilized by the residents for plantations and parking. As the main street is wide enough, the movement of vehicle is smooth. The central open space is used majorly for parking vehicles by the residents. Since the central space is inadequate, residents tend to park their vehicles in the edges and corners of building creating a haphazard situation. There is a two wheeler parked in every corner.

50


SPACE 1: play area Proximity

150m

56m

29m

86m

53m

The play area is located beside the entrance on the periphery of the housing complex facing the main street and common area. The distance of the play area varies from different building blocks. There is a visual and audio contact with few buildings blocks which are opposite to it. Since the other blocks are detached from the play area, the location of the play area should have been more central to the site as there remains no connection to the site. The play area faces the common area so there is a direct contact with the people sitting there. As it beside the main road, there is always a chance of kids bumping into vehicles.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the play area is such that around 10-12 children can play at a time. It is surrounded by boundary walls on three sides and other side is open to the street with metal poles at edge. Since it is open to the street, the children usually utilize the street while playing cricket. The size of the play area is 14m x 15m, There are two building blocks which are closed on one side of the boundary wall, the space between two blocks is used by people to sit on benches. There is a feeling of openness as there is no high wall surrounding the play area. 51


Enclosure

The play area is enclosed with 2m high boundary walls on three sides and metal poles on the open side. There are large trees along the boundary wall which gives a cover to the play area. There is a lack of confined space as the nearest building block is 8m away from the play area. It merges with the main street and has a direct contact with the common space, but is detached from the building blocks.

Shading

The orientation of the play area is such that it is partly shaded in the morning and fully shaded in the evenings. Due to location of the play area in the North side, the area remains shaded in the morning and evenings in the winter months and during summer, mornings get sunlight and gradually gets shaded in the evenings. The trees along the boundary wall helps in the shading of the benches underneath. Majority of activity happens in the evenings whereas few kids play at random times in spite of the sunlight. 52


Materials and Textures

The play area has a solid paved ground with a little level difference from the main street. The main street is a tar road so there is a change in material to create a spatial difference between the road and the play area. Play areas generally have some soft ground, but in this case the play are has no soft ground so kids cannot play all kinds of games. The boundary wall is plastered and painted but not maintained. The north side of boundary wall has a plantation patch for plants and creepers to grow.

Architectural / Landscape features

There are a few trees on the north and west side of the space which encloses the space and provide shade at different times of the day. There are benches kept under the tree which draws in people to sit there and socialize. There are no swings and slides in this play area so it doesn’t feel as a play area when it is empty.

Territoriality The area is surrounded by low walls on three sides and metal poles on the open side in order to define a territory. There are a few two wheelers parked on one side marking their own space. The benches kept on one side helps people to gather and socialize. Since area is at the entrance, secluded from the building blocks, there is a fear of security for the children playing there. The space is looked upon by the security cabin which is beside the main gate and also by people sitting on the benches in the common area. The location of play area would have been much better if it was central to the site. 53


SPACE 2: Common Area Proximity

150m

56m

29m

86m

53m

The common area is located near the entrance beside the beside the security cabin, facing the main street and play area on the periphery. There is an overhead water tank beside the common area. The distance of the common area varies from different building blocks, so it remains detached from other building blocks. The location of the common area should have been more central as it affects the number of people using it.

Scale and Proportion

The common area is elevated from the ground as there is an underground water tank below. The raised ground allows a plinth of 8.3m x 6.8m for people to come and socialize. The area lacks space as it is not sufficient enough to house more than 15 people. The plinth has residual space between the boundary walls on two sides and an overhead tank on the other side. 54


Enclosure

The elevated common area has low height parapet wall surrounding it. There is an overhead tank beside it which is three storeys high and other boundary wall on the other two sides. It is open to the main street and there is no cover to the common area so there is a feeling of openness.

Shading

The orientation of the common area is such that it is shaded in the mornings and evenings but has direct sunlight in the afternoon. The area is used in the morning and evening by men and old people to sit and socialize. The water tank on the east gives shade to the benches kept in the common area majorly in the mornings which helps old people to gather and sit. 55


Materials and Textures

The common area is solid RCC surface elevated from ground level as it has an underground a water tank beneath it. The ground below is a paved surface with kota stone whereas the main street is a tar road. The boundary wall is plastered and painted but not maintained. The corner area is not maintained and dumped with waste creating a non- usable space.

Architectural / Landscape features

The benches are the main attraction for people of the housing complex to gather. There are benches kept on the elevated surface as well as near the security cabin facing the main street. There is no other landscape feature in the common area except a tree outside the boundary wall.

Territoriality The area is elevated from the ground and is surrounded by low parapet wall suggesting a defined space and marks a territory. The benched kept near the security cabin also marks its own space which is hindered by two wheelers parked near it. The area generally has men using it as it is near the entrance of the complex and away from the building blocks. There is a direct contact with the play area which is on the other side of the main street. The location of the common area would have been better if it was central to the site so that even other age groups in the society would have been able to use it. 56


SPACE 3: parking plinth Proximity

78 m

69 m 66 m

56m

29m

78 m

53m

The space is a plinth which is located at the center of the housing complex along with the parking and at the junction of the main street with the perpendicular street. t is easily accessible and near to every building block as it is on the main street. There is a visual and audio contact with the building blocks surrounding the plinth. As it is with the parking, there are vehicles parked on two sides of the plinth.

Scale and Proportion

The plinth is a wide area of 4.1m x 5.5m where at a time around 15 people can gather around it, sit and socialize with each other. There is open space on all four sides except if there are vehicles parked right beside it. The balconies and otlas of the nearby building blocks face the plinth which allows a direct contact with people sitting there. It is wide enough for different groups of people to gather and sit around at the same time and socialize. 57


Enclosure

The plinth is enclosed with building blocks on two sides and trees on the other side. The large tree beside it gives a cover to the plinth. The plinth is directly connected to the road and the parking

Shading

The plinth is open to sky but is surrounded by building blocks and trees so has shade at different times of the day. The orientation of the plinth is such that mornings have direct sunlight whereas evenings are shaded. During winters, the mornings and evenings are shaded as it has building blocks on the north and south side. Evenings are mostly occupied with women and teenagers who are sitting on the vehicles parked near the plinth It is a pause point for old people who are walking on the main street. 58


Materials and Textures

The plinth is a solid RCC surface elevated 40cm from the ground. The solid surface gives a clear ground for people to sit there comfortably and socialize with each other. The road beside it has a rough texture of the tar creating a spatial difference between them. Due to vehicles and trees beside it the area has dust around it.

Architectural / Landscape features

The plinth itself is an architectural feature for people to sit around while passing through it. The tree beside it provide shade at different times of the day. The building blocks beside it has balconies and otlas facing the plinth which has a direct contact with each other.

Territoriality As the plinth is located at the center of the housing complex, it is surrounded by the main street, building blocks and parking, each of it marking its own territory. The two wheelers parked beside it helps teenagers to gather around it and socialize. The people from the balcony and otla can talk directly to the person sitting on the plinth thereby keeping an eye on who is using the space. The central location if the plinth helps women to come and sit with their toddlers in the evenings. 59


SPACE 4: otla

140m

5.6m

Proximity

The building block is located at the end of the main street. The otla will be used by neighbors of the apartment so distance between the blocks doesn’t matter.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the otla is 6.7m x 1.2m where at a time 3 to 4 people sit around to socialize. The level difference allows people to sit at edge and allows intimate conversations between few people. The narrow space allows an old person to sit in a chair in the otla.

60


Enclosure

The otla is a semi open space which is a threshold space for the apartment. It has a 1m high parapet wall on one side and the openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a direct connection with people inside and outside. The roof above it allows an enclosed space whereas the tree outside gives a feeling of openness.

Shading

The otla is a semi open space which is partly and fully shaded at different times of the day. The orientation of the building block is such that the otla has hardly any direct sunlight to the space. The tree opposite to the otla blocks the direct sunlight in order to provide shade. This helps the women to gather around the otla in the afternoon finishing their household chores and socialize with each other. 61


Materials and Textures

The otla is a solid surface with a smooth texture with a level difference from the main street. The smooth surface allows people to sit on the floor to do their household chores. The main street has a rough texture of the tar road creating a spatial difference between the outside and inside. The solid plastered parapet wall breaks the view if someone is sitting on the floor but gives an enclosed space.

Architectural/ Landscape features

The owners of the apartment have extended roof for protection from sunlight and rain. Some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the otlas. The windows of the apartment opens up in the otla giving a better connection to the outside. The parapet becomes a seat for people who are standing and talking for a while in the otla.

Territoriality For every apartment the otlas directly open to the main street so the parapet and the gate defines the territory for the apartment. It is a semi private space for the people living in the apartment as it is a threshold space before entering the house. The area is generally used by women and old people to socialize with others on the street or on the other otlas. 62


SPACE 5: balcony Proximity

29m

86m

45m

The building blocks is located on the street parallel to the main street on the inside. The balcony will be used by the members of the apartments so distance doesn’t matter.

Scale and Proportion

The size of balcony is 4m x 1.5m and the distance between two balconies is 5m which allows people to socialize across easily. The size of the balcony allows people to stand there for some time and socialize with each other. The distance between building blocks is ideal for cross interactions between people. 63


Enclosure

The balconies are stacked on one another which is a semi- open space for the apartment. There is a 1m high railing on one side and openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a connection to the outside. The roof above the balcony gives an enclosed space with a view outside.

Shading

The building blocks are oriented in north south direction providing shade to the balconies at different times of the day. The balconies facing south receive sunlight in the morning and remain partially and fully shaded at other time of the day. The balconies facing north remain in shade at mostly all times of the day. The distance between building blocks affects the amount of direct sunlight to the balconies providing shade to it. 64


Materials and Textures

The balconies have a plastered surface with a rough texture whereas the floor is solid smooth surface. Few balconies are painted and maintained well while some are in a bad condition. Each balcony is personalized according to the people living in it. The railing is solid parapet wall where the outer surface is used to hang clothes by the people. The solid plastered parapet wall breaks the view if someone is sitting on the floor but gives an enclosed space.

Architectural/ Landscape features

There are no trees near the building blocks but some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the balconies. The windows of the apartment opens up in the balcony giving a better connection to the outside. People have put swings in the balcony and is used by the people to read newspaper and do other activities. The solid railing itself is an architectural feature which allows people to stand there and communicate with the opposite balcony.

Territoriality The semi- open balcony is cantilevered from the building block and marks its own territory in the building with the solid railing. It is a semi- private space for the people living in the apartment as it is looked upon by the other balcony. It is used by the people at different times of the day by different age groups to do different activities. The apartment blocks are more private since they are located towards the inside whereas there is less security as the security cabin is located at the entrance of the housing complex. 65


EFFECTS ON PEOPLE The play area is detached from the building blocks as it is located near the entrance so there is no audio and visual contact from the apartments. The benches kept in the play area is used by children and other people to gather and socialize with each other. The are is majorly used in the evenings as it is shaded while the mornings have direct sunlight so there is no one seen socializing in the space.

SPACE 1

The common area of the housing complex is located near the entrance which is used majorly by men and old people to gather around. The benches kept near the security cabin are used by old people whereas the benches on the elevated surface is used by young men to gather and talk. It is majorly used in the evenings as it is shaded. The space is majorly used by males as it is away from the building blocks. There would have been mixed users if the common area was central to the housing complex.

SPACE 2

The plinth along the parking on the main street is a central gathering space for all age groups. The distance from the building blocks allows all age groups to gather around the space. The major users are women, children and old people in the evenings when the area is shaded. It is an open space with trees along the parking, so groups can gather around the plinth to socialize. The vehicles parked beside the plinth are also used by teenagers to gather and socialize.

SPACE 3

The otla in the building block is a long and narrow space before entering the apartment. The parapet runs along the length which becomes a space to stand and talk with people on the street. The level difference from the street and the otla is utilized to sit by women to gather and chat with other in the afternoons and evenings. Since the otla is very narrow, the space cannot be utilized by more people at a time. The otla is connected to the kitchen so there is a cleaning platform which is used by women. The major social interaction is between the women and old people sitting in the otla with the people on street.

SPACE 4

The distance between two cantilevered balconies of the apartment blocks is ideal for interaction. There are swings in the balconies which is used by members of the apartments at different times. People are talking across the balconies while working in the balcony. The balconies are personalized by growing plants in pots kept on the solid railing. The balcony is used mostly in the evenings as it is shaded. Some balconies are covered with green fabric to protect from sunlight breaking the connection to the outside. For apartments above, the balcony is the space used by people for social interaction,

SPACE 5

66


PROJECT INFORMATION Amrakunj Apartments, Memnagar Built year

:

1986

Total area of site

:

8645sq. mt.

Total built up area

:

2888.74 sq. mt.

Open area

:

5756.26 sq. mt.

Total number of building blocks :

14

Amrakunj Apartments is a very old housing complex located in a dense residential area of Memnagar. There is a temple across the main gate of the housing complex. Majorly there are gujaratis like patels. shahs, brahmins residing in the apartment with a similar income group. They celebrate a lot of festivals together and many events are conducted in the complex. Around 600 people reside in the housing complex

67


scale- 1:500 68


69


ACTIVITY MAPPING

Morning 9 am

Afternoon 1 pm

Evening 6pm Each dot in the above diagrams represent a single person. Observations are made during the months of March and April for a 10 minute time interval respectively.

70


OBSERVATIONS

Morning Kids are going to school in their vans and cycles. Few of them waiting in the balcony to check whether their var has arrived or not. Vegetable vendor is selling vegetables to women on the street under the shade. Few old men walking and sitting in the otla. Women drying clothes in their balcony and talking randomly to someone on the street (vendor/ women) and opposite balcony. The site is active during morning mostly by children and women.

Afternoon Few women gather at someone’s otla after finishing household chores to talk. Few men walking and chatting near the staircase block or staircase landing. Women collecting dried clothes from balcony while conversing with someone else. Old men sitting on the swing in the otla. Many balconies of the apartments are covered so less interaction is seen between people from balconies. The site is less active in afternoon and shaded spaces are preferred for socializing.

Evening Young kids and boys playing cricket together in the main street near the entrance. Children cycling and playing in the street. Old women walking to the temple across the housing complex. Old man sitting outside the otla and talking. Teenagers sitting in the parking and chatting. Few ladies gather near the bench on the main street to talk. Some women gather in the otla to talk. Some women standing in the balcony, peeping and talking. After dinner all age groups are seen socializing near the bench on the main street. The site is most active during evenings by all age groups and all open spaces are occupied by the residents of the complex. 71


LIST OF ACTIVITIES WRT AGE GROUP

kids

teenagers

women

men

old

72

play cricket

main street

ride bicycle

main street

play games

anywhere

talk

anywhere

play cricket

main street

sit and talk

parking, otla

play games

main street

dry clothes

balcony, otla

sit and talk

otla, street, common area

stand and talk

balcony, otla, street

sit and talk

common area

stand and talk

balcony, otla, street

sit and talk

balcony, otla, street


Space 1- main street near entrance

Space 2- common area on street

Space 3- otla

Space 4- balcony

3 1

2 4

73


Organization of building blocks

building block

main street

sub street

parking

The building blocks are arranged in a linear manner along the main street which connects with another street perpendicular to it. The distance between two opposite blocks on main street is 21m while on perpendicular street is 16m. The outdoor spaces of the site is active in the main street as well as in the perpendicular street. Each unit has its own residual spaces which are utilized by the residents for plantations and parking. As the main street is wide enough, the movement of vehicle is smooth. The central open space is used majorly for parking vehicles by the residents. There is a two wheeler parked in every corner.

74


SPACE 1: main street Proximity

21m

13m

47.5m

47.5m

The space is located on the main street near the entrance of the housing complex surrounded by building blocks and parking beside it. Since there are two main streets, the distance of the building blocks on the perpendicular street is more compared to the one near the entrance. There is a visual and audio contact with few buildings blocks which are opposite to it. Since there is no play area, the main street is used by children to play, so vehicles passing becomes a hindrance for them.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the play area is such that around 10-12 children can play at a time. It is surrounded by building block on one side and parking on the other. The size of the street is 29.5m x 8.5m The plinth of the building block is used to socialize by women and children during the evenings. The vehicles in the parking are used by children to gather around and chat.

75


Enclosure

The main street is enclosed with high wall of the building block and vehicles on the longer side. There are large trees along with the parking which gives a cover to the play area. The space is open to sky but it feels enclosed due to the high wall and trees. The space is overlooked by the security cabin and the building block beside it while it is detached from the building blocks on the perpendicular street.

Shading

The orientation of the play area is such that it is partly shaded in the morning and fully shaded in the evenings. Due to the high wall and trees, the area remains shaded in the morning when there is direct sunlight. The plinth along the building blocks are remains shaded and used by people to sit and talk for a while. Majority of activity happens in the evenings whereas few kids play at random times in spite of the sunlight. 76


Materials and Textures

The street is a solid tar road with a rough texture. The plinth of the building block and the parking area is a solid concrete surface creating a spatial difference between them. The edge of the parking and road is painted in yellow color to define the areas. The street edges and parking has dirt around it and is not maintained well.

Architectural / Landscape features

There are trees on the east side of the street along with the parking which keeps the area in shade. The plinth along the building blocks is used by people to sit. There are no benches along the street for people to socialize.

Territoriality The street is surrounded by high wall on one side and vehicles and trees on the other in order to define a territory. There are vehicles in the parking defining their own territory which is used by people to gather around. Since the street is near the entrance, it is looked upon by the security cabin but always has a chance of passing vehicles becoming a hindrance to each other. The lack of play area in the housing complex creates an opportunity for converting the street to a play area.

77


SPACE 2: common area

32m

Proximity

35m

22m

15.5m

41m

53.5m

The common area is located at the center of the site on the perpendicular street. The distance of the common area varies from different building blocks. There is a visual and audio contact with few buildings blocks which are opposite to it. Since the common area is in the center of the site, it is used by all age groups at different times of the day. There are kids playing beside it in the evenings and men gathered around the space to socialize.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the common area is flexible as it depends on the number the people using it. The benches can occupy around 10 people. It is a wide open space with building blocks located 6.5m away from it. Since it is open to the street, the children usually utilize the street while playing. It is along the parking so there are a vehicles parked beside it. There is a feeling of openness as there is no high wall surrounding the area. 78


Enclosure

The common area is a wide open space with building blocks located at a distance of 6.5m as it is beside the main street. There are trees located away from the common area along the parking. There is a lack of confined space as the nearest building block is 6.5m away from the common area. It merges with the main street and the parking as it is connected to it. The space is open to sky and so there is no feeling of enclosure in the area.

Shading

The orientation of the common area is such that it has direct sunlight in the morning while it is partly shaded in the evenings during summers while it is partly shaded in the mornings and fully shaded in evenings during winters. People usually gather in the common area in the evenings while children are seen playing at random times in spite of sunlight. 79


Materials and Textures

The common area has a solid concrete ground while the main street is a tar road with rough texture. The common area is a part of the parking so the main street is painted in yellow color to define areas. The benches kept there has a smooth mosaic finish on it. The street edges and parking has dirt around it and is not maintained well.

Architectural / Landscape features

The benches kept there are the main feature for people to gather there and socialize. There are trees but at a distance from the benches. The plinth of the building block is also used by people to sit.

Territoriality The benches kept in the common area mark their own territory. The area is very open to site and has no walls surrounding it. There are vehicles in the parking defining their own territory which is used by people to gather around. Since the area is in the center, it is looked upon by the building blocks.

80


SPACE 3: otla

13.5m

Proximity

9m

The building block is located near the entrance of the housing complex. The otla will be used by neighbors of the apartment so distance between the blocks doesn’t matter.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the otla is 6m x 1.5m where at a time 4-5 people sit around to socialize. The level difference allows people to sit at edge and allows intimate conversations between few people. There is swing in the otla which attracts neighbours to come and socialize. The narrow space allows an old person to sit in a chair in the otla.

81


Enclosure

The otla is a semi open space which is a threshold space for the apartment. It has a 1m high parapet wall on one side and the openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a direct connection with people inside and outside. The roof above it allows an enclosed space and a view to the main street of the hosing complex.

Shading

The otla is a semi open space which is shaded in the mornings and partly shaded in the evenings. The orientation of the building block is such that the otla has direct sunlight to the space from the afternoon till evenings in summers while mornings are shaded. This helps the old people to gather around the otla in the morning and socialize with each other. 82


Materials and Textures

The otla is a solid surface with a smooth texture with a level difference from the main street. The smooth surface allows people to sit on the floor to do their household chores. The main street has a rough texture of the tar road creating a spatial difference between the outside and inside. The solid plastered parapet wall breaks the view if someone is sitting on the floor but gives an enclosed space.

Architectural/ Landscape features

The owners of the apartment have extended roof for protection from sunlight and rain. Some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the otlas. The windows of the apartment opens up in the otla giving a better connection to the outside. The parapet becomes a seat for people who are standing and talking for a while in the otla. It becomes the semi- open space to hang clothes.

Territoriality For every apartment the otlas directly open to the main street so the parapet and the gate defines the territory for the apartment. It is a semi private space for the people living in the apartment as it is a threshold space before entering the house. The area is generally used by women and old people to socialize with others on the street or on the other otlas. 83


SPACE 4: balcony

32m

Proximity

32m

15.5m

23m

The building blocks is located on the perpendicular main street on the inside. The balcony will be used by the members of the apartments so distance doesn’t matter.

Scale and Proportion

The size of balcony is 2.8m x 2.2m and the distance between two balconies is 16m which doesn’t allows people to socialize across easily. The size of the balcony allows people to stand there for some time and socialize with each other. Since the depth of balcony is 2m, many apartments have covered their balconies giving no space to socialize. The distance between building blocks is 16m, so there is less interaction across balconies. 84


Enclosure

The balconies are stacked on one another which is a semi- open space for the apartment. There is a 1m high railing on one side and openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a connection to the outside. The roof above the balcony gives an enclosed space with a view outside.

Shading

The building blocks are oriented in north south direction providing shade to the balconies at different times of the day. The balconies facing south receive sunlight in the morning and remain partially and fully shaded at other time of the day. The balconies facing north remain in shade at mostly all times of the day. The distance between building blocks affects the amount of direct sunlight to the balconies providing shade to it. 85


Materials and Textures

The balconies have a plastered surface with a rough texture whereas the floor is solid smooth surface. Few balconies are painted and maintained well while some are in a bad condition. Each balcony is personalized according to the people living in it. Many balconies are covered with wall or jali. The railing is solid parapet wall where the outer surface is used to hang clothes by the people. The solid plastered parapet wall breaks the view if someone is sitting on the floor but gives an enclosed space.

Architectural/ Landscape features

There are trees near the building blocks in the parking but some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the balconies. There is an overhang in the roof for sun shading. The windows of the apartment opens up in the balcony giving a better connection to the outside. People have put swings in the balcony and is used by the people to read newspaper and do other activities. The solid railing itself is an architectural feature which allows people to stand there and communicate with the opposite balcony.

Territoriality The semi- open balcony is recessed from the building block and marks its own territory in the building with the solid railing. It is a semi- private space for the people living in the apartment as it is looked upon by the other balcony. It is used by the people at different times of the day by different age groups to do different activities. The apartment blocks are more private since they are located towards the inside whereas there is less security as the security cabin is located at the entrance of the housing complex. Few apartments have covered their balconies into rooms with windows or metal jali creating their own territory. 86


EFFECTS ON PEOPLE SPACE 1

The main street of the housing complex is used as a play area by the children as there is no play area. Children are seen playing cricket in the evenings in the street. The vehicles passing by in the street becomes a hindrance for children. The plinth of the building block is used by women and children to gather and socialize with each other. The vehicles in the parking are also used by children to sit and talk. The street is majorly used in the evenings when it is shaded. The street is detached from apartments from the perpendicular street so visual and audio contact is lost between the children and parents. The plinth and the vehicles becomes a point for people to gather and socialize with each other.

SPACE 2

The wide open common area is most central to the site and is used by all age groups at different times. There children paying around the common area in the street. There is a visual and audio contact with most of the apartments except the ones on the main street. There are no trees around the benches so the space is mostly used in the evenings when it is shaded rather than in the mornings and afternoons, The vehicles parked beside the benches are also utilized when there are more people. So major amount of social interaction happens in the common area.

SPACE 3

The otla is a semi open space for the apartment majorly used by the members of the apartment. It directly opens to the main street giving a direct connection to the outside. The swing kept in the otla is used by different age groups at different time. The solid parapet becomes a seat for people who are talking in the otla. The otla is used by old people in the mornings to read newspapers and socialize with the neighbours as it is shaded. It is majorly used by old people and women to socialize with others.

SPACE 4

The balcony in the building block is a corner space, where two balconies are separated by a sub street for staircase of the building block. So there is a better connection through balconies between the apartments. Since there is enough depth in balcony, few balconies in the apartments are covered with walls or jali, breaking the connection with the outside and thus less social interaction. People are resting in the balcony and interacting with the neighbours at different times. The overhang from the balconies and the trees outside it protect from direct sunlight, There is shade in the balcony at almost all times of the day, so people are seen peeping and talking with neighbours at different times. 87


88


PROJECT INFORMATION Avadh Apartments, Ghatlodiya Built year

:

1989

Total area of site

:

3865 sq. mt.

Total built up area

:

1668 sq. mt.

Open area

:

2197 sq. mt.

Total number of building blocks :

4

Avadh Apartments is a very old housing complex located in a dense residential area of Ghatlodiya. There is another apatment with a common access road Majorly there are gujaratis like patels. shahs, brahmins residing in the apartment with a similar income group. They celebrate a lot of festivals together and many events are conducted in the complex. Around 250 people reside in the housing complex

89


scale- 1:500 90


91


ACTIVITY MAPPING

Morning 9 am

Afternoon 1 pm

Evening 6pm Each dot in the above diagrams represent a single person. Observations are made during the months of March and April for a 10 minute time interval respectively.

92


OBSERVATIONS Morning Kids are going to school in their vans and cycles. Few of them waiting in the balcony to check whether their var has arrived or not. Vegetable vendor is selling vegetables to women on the street under the shade. Few old men and women sitting in the balcony and talking. Women drying clothes in their balcony and talking randomly to someone on the street (vendor/ women) and opposite balcony. The site is active during morning mostly by children and women.

Afternoon Few women washing dishes in their balcony and talking to the neighbour. Few men walking and chatting near the staircase block or staircase landing. Women collecting dried clothes from balcony while conversing with someone else. Old men sitting on the swing in the otla. Few teenagers sitting on the vehicles in the parking and chatting. The site is less active in afternoon and shaded spaces are preferred for socializing.

Evening Young kids and boys playing cricket together in the street. Children cycling and playing in the street. Old women sitting outside the otla and talking. Teenagers sitting in the parking and chatting. Few ladies gather near the bench on the main street to talk. Some women gather in the otla to talk. Some women standing in the balcony, peeping and talking. The site is most active during evenings by all age groups and all open spaces are occupied by the residents of the complex. There is no other gathering space in the housing complex for people to socialize. 93


LIST OF ACTIVITIES WRT AGE GROUP

kids

teenagers

women

play cricket

main street

ride bicycle

main street

play games

sub street

talk

anywhere on street

play cricket

main street

sit and talk

parking, otla

play games

main street

dry clothes

balcony, otla

sit and talk

otla, street, balcony

stand and talk

balcony, otla, street

stand and talk

parking, street

sit and talk

otla, street

sit and talk

balcony, otla

men

old

94


Space 1- sub street

Space 2- otla 1

Space 3- balcony

Space 4- otla 2

1 4

2

3

95


Organization of building blocks

building block

main street

sub street

parking

The building blocks are arranged opposite to each other on a linear main street and a sub street is formed between two building blocks A- D and B-C. The distance between two opposite blocks on main street is 16m. The two sides of the main street is used for parking vehicles by the residents. There are two wheelers parked in the sub street. Each unit has its own residual spaces which are utilized by the residents for plantations and parking. As the main street is wide enough, the movement of vehicle is smooth.

96


SPACE 1: sub street

30m

11m

Proximity

26m

The space is located on the sub street formed between the two building blocks Since there are four building blocks the distance from building blocks is almost same as the street is in the middle. There is a visual and audio contact with building blocks on the opposite. Since there is no play area, the street is used by children play to play.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the street is such that around 10-12 children can play at a time. It is a narrow space surrounded by building blocks on the longer side. The size of the street is 21m x 5m The street opens up to the main street and parking on the two sides of it. The vehicles in the parking are used by children to gather around and chat. 97


Enclosure

The space is linear and narrow enclosed with high wall of the building block. There is solid compound wall at the end and opens up to the main street with parking on both sides. The street is open to sky but gives an enclosed feeling because of the building blocks. The space is overlooked by the building block beside it.

Shading

The orientation of the street is such that in summers there is direct sunlight in morning and is partly shaded in the evenings while in winters the street remains shaded in mornings and evenings. The vehicles in the parking is used by people to sit and talk for a while. Majority of activity happens in the evenings whereas few kids play at random times in spite of the sunlight. 98


Materials and Textures

The street is a solid surface with rough kota stone finish. The street is connected with the parking with the same finish. The main street has a rough texture of the tar road creating a spatial difference between the two spaces. The building blocks have plastered and painted surface with balconies and otlas opening to the street and overhangs extruding out from the wall.

Architectural/ Landscape features

There are otlas, balconies and windows opening out to the street which connects the spaces. The owners of the apartment have extended roof for their windows for protection from sunlight and rain. There are plant grown at corner of the streets outside the otlas. The manhole covers are extruded from the ground which becomes a seat for a child while talking or playing.

Territoriality The narrow street is surrounded with building blocks and low compound wall defining a territory. It is a public space for the people living in the apartments majorly used by kids for playing. Since the street is located on the inside the children playing are not disturbed by the vehicles moving on the main street. The area is looked upon by the apartments surrounding the street which gives security to the area. 99


SPACE 2: otla 1 Proximity

15m

16.5m 42.5m

The otla is a corner space located in the center on of the building block. The otla is used by old people and women to gather and talk so it is mostly used by neighbours. The distance of the otla doesn’t matter.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the otla is 2.7m x 1.7m and the distance between two corner otlas is 1.9m which allows people to socialize across easily. The size of the otla is such that around 3-4 people can gather easily. Since the depth of balcony is 2.7m, many people have covered their otlas with jali.

100


Enclosure

The otla is a semi open space which is a threshold space for the apartment. Since it is a corner space, it has a 1m high parapet wall on two sides and the openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a direct connection with people inside and outside. The roof above it allows an enclosed space and a view to the main street of the housing complex. There is an overhung roof for weather protection.

Shading

The orientation of the building blocks is such that the otla remains partially shaded in the summer mornings and fully shaded in the evenings while in winters it is fully shaded in the mornings and evenings. The distance between building blocks affects the amount of direct sunlight to the otlas providing shade to it. The overhangs prevent some amount of direct sunlight to the space. The space is used by women and old people mostly in the evenings to socialize with each other. 101


Materials and Textures

The otla is a solid surface with a smooth texture with a level difference from the main street. The smooth marble surface allows people to sit on the floor to do their household chores. The main street has a rough texture of the kota stone creating a spatial difference between the outside and inside. The solid plastered parapet wall breaks the view if someone is sitting on the floor but gives an enclosed space.

Architectural/ Landscape features

There are no trees near the building block but some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the otlas. There is an overhang in the roof for sun shading. The corner otla gives a better view and connection to the outside People have put swings in the otla and is used by the people to read newspaper and do other activities. The solid railing itself is an architectural feature which allows people to stand there and communicate with the opposite otla and becomes a semi open space to hang clothes.

Territoriality For every apartment the otlas directly open to the main street so the parapet and the gate defines the territory for the apartment. It is a semi private space for the people living in the apartment as it is a threshold space before entering the house. The area is generally used by women and old people to socialize with others on the street or on the other otlas. 102


SPACE 3: balcony Proximity

6m

24.5m

The building block is located on the main street on the housing complex. The balcony is used by members of the apartment. The distance between two opposite balconies is 15.5m, so there is less amount of interaction across balconies, while the distance between two balconies on the same side is 6m which allows better interaction.

Scale and Proportion

The size of balcony is 6.9m x 1.5m and the distance between two balconies is 15.5m which doesn’t allows people to socialize across easily. The size of the balcony allows people to stand there for some time and socialize with each other. The width of the balcony is enough to put a small swing. It is connected to the kitchen so there is cleaning platform where women are seen cleaning vessels and interacting. 103


Enclosure

The balconies are cantilevered and stacked on one another which is a semi- open space for the apartment. There is a 1m high railing on three sides and openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a connection to the outside. The roof above the balcony gives an enclosed space with a view outside. Some apartments have overhangs while some have covered there balconies with green fabric to protect from sunlight.

Shading

The building blocks are oriented in east west direction providing shade to the balconies at different times of the day. The balconies remains shaded in the mornings and partially shaded in the evening during summers while in winters it is shaded in mornings and evenings. To protect the rooms from heating up, many balconies are covered with green fabric. The distance between building blocks affects the amount of direct sunlight to the balconies. 104


Materials and Textures

The balcony has a tiled surface with a smooth texture. Few balconies are painted and maintained well while some are in a bad condition. Each balcony is personalized according to the people living in it. Many balconies are covered with wall or jali or with green fabric. The railing is solid parapet wall where the outer surface is used to hang clothes by the people. The solid parapet wall breaks the view if someone is sitting on the floor but gives an enclosed space.

Architectural/ Landscape features

There are no trees near the building blocks but some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the balconies. There is an overhang in the roof for sun shading. The windows and doors of the apartment opens up in the balcony giving a better connection to the outside. People have put swings in the balcony and is used by the people to read newspaper and do other activities. There is a cleaning platform for the kitchen to wash utensils. The solid railing itself is an architectural feature which allows people to stand there and communicate with the opposite balcony.

Territoriality The semi- open balcony is cantilevered from the building block and marks its own territory in the building with the solid railing. It is a semi- private space for the people living in the apartment as it is looked upon by the other balcony and faces the main street. It is used by the people at different times of the day by different age groups to do different activities. Few apartments have covered their balconies windows, metal jali or green fabric creating their own territory. 105


SPACE 4: otla 2 Proximity

15.5m

5m

The building block is located near the entrance of the housing complex. The otla is used by old people and women to gather and talk so it is mostly used by neighbours. The distance of the otla doesn’t matter.

Scale and Proportion

The size of the otla is 9m x 1.5m and the distance between two otlas of the same building block is 8m which allows people to socialize with each other. The size of the otla is such that around 4-5 people can gather easily. Since the length of balcony is 9m, there is a possibility to put furniture and also gather people. 106


Enclosure

The otla is a semi open space which is a threshold space for the apartment. The otla has a 1m high parapet wall on one side while it is open to the main street and the openings in the wall of the apartment, giving a direct connection with people inside and outside. The roof above it covers the space with a view to the main street of the housing complex. There is an overhung roof for weather protection.

Shading

The orientation of the building blocks is such that the otla remains has direct sunlight and fully shaded in the evenings in summers and winters The distance between building blocks affects the amount of direct sunlight to the otlas providing shade to it. The overhangs prevent some amount of direct sunlight to the space. The space is used by all age groups at different times to socialize with each other. 107


Materials and Textures

The otla is a solid surface with a smooth texture with a level difference from the main street. The smooth marble surface allows people to sit on the floor to do their household chores. The main street has a rough texture of the kota stone creating a spatial difference between the outside and inside. Since there is no parapet wall along the full length, there is a direct connection to the main street.

Architectural/ Landscape features

There are no trees near the building block but some apartments have personalized their space by growing plants in pots in the otlas. There is an overhang in the roof for sun shading. People have put swings in the otla and is used by the people to read newspaper and do other activities. The open plinth to the street gives a seat for people to gather and chat with each other during different times of the day.

Territoriality

For every apartment the otlas directly open to the main street so the parapet and the gate defines the territory for the apartment. It is a semi private space for the people living in the apartment as it is a threshold space before entering the house. The area is generally used by women and old people to socialize with others on the street or on the other otlas. 108


EFFECTS ON PEOPLE SPACE 1

Since there is no play area, the street is used by kids to play. There is a limitation in the number of games the children can play as it is not a proper defined area and the street is a narrow space enclosed with walls of the building blocks. The vehicles parked in the street also becomes a hindrance for the children. Since it is a narrow space, there is a visual and audio contact with most of the apartments which keeps the parents less worried. The area is shaded in the evenings so more children can play. The major social interaction is among children of the apartments where as people of other age groups might take a pause at any time to socialize with someone. Social interaction would have been more if there was a defined area for children to play.

SPACE 2

The otla in the building block is a corner space, where two otlas are separated by a sub street for staircase of the building block. So there is an easy connection between the people in those two apartments. There is an easy visibility to the street so old people are generally found chatting with others. The otla opens up to the parking, so people sitting in the otla can extend their seat to the parking and socialize. The otla is shaded in the evenings so people gather at around the otla with chairs to socialize. The solid railing becomes a seat for teenagers standing and talking in the otla.

SPACE 3

The cantilevered balcony is connected to two spaces in the apartment, the kitchen and bedroom, so there are more openings in the wall which gives a better connection to the outside. People have covered their balconies with green fabric to protect from direct sunlight. The women are seen interacting with people on street or balcony while working in the balcony. Few people are seen swinging and reading newspapers because the length is enough to put a small swing in the balcony. The balcony is a space majorly for members of the apartments to socialize with others on the outside.

SPACE 4

The otla in the building block is a long and narrow space before entering the apartment. The solid parapet runs along the length in some otlas while it is open to the parking in some otlas because of the narrow space. The open plinth becomes a seat for people to gather and socialize. There is space for extra furniture in the otla as it is a long space. People from the apartment sit in the swing and talk with people on the street. The otla is majorly used in the evenings while it is shaded by the people to socialize with each other.

109


CONCLUSION

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Looking at the larger relationships in the built environment, one realizes how important design plays a role in one’s life. Design affects the way a person feel, perceive, sense and interact with the surroundings. It carves out the relationship between living and the non- living. To sense out this relationship is what the designer’s role is. The designer has to not only understand the human behaviour but also how and what features of the built environment affects the human behaviour. The knowledge of the basic principles and controversies in explaining human behaviour helps to clarify the understanding of the relationship between environment and behaviour. It thus helps the designer to understand how the environment affords people of different background in a certain kind of built setting. The study focuses on how people’s behaviour is affected due to certain design in housing complexes. The gap between designer’s predictions or claims of how their design will work and how they do work is to be reduced through the quality of the knowledge base for the design actions. The claim that a designer make about how their design will impact people’s lives is what is studied in the research. The adaptations by the residents in the apartments over a period of time is analyzed through different parameters. Personalizing each aspect in built environment have affected the way people interact in the built environment. It is not just what the designer’s idea but a cumulative decision of the residents in personalizing and adapting the space for interaction, The idea of interaction was most seen in pol housing due to the arrangement patterns in the housing and people living as a single family in the neighbourhood. This was further modified as needs and aspirations of people were involved where came in the idea of row houses, where sharing a common wall gave a sense of security to residents and acting as a single family in the neighbourhood. Further with increasing land prices, came in the idea of apartments where interactions happened in the building at different levels. The idea of bungalow is just a typical example where the idea of isolation came into picture. It showed people’s status and their value in the society which reduced the amount of social interaction within the housing. The case studies taken in this research are low- rise housing apartments where people have been residing there since past 20years. Over the past years, residents have adapted themselves to the design and personalized their spaces for interaction. The activity patterns in the housing complex determines the space which is maximum used by the people. The observations of these spaces and mapping activities at different times gave a clearer idea of how each space is used for social interaction by the residents. Looking at social interaction in different spaces, the spaces are utilized by different age groups at different times. Different age groups tend to socialize in different spaces and in different ways. 111


The question arises is what aspect of the built environment is favourable for that particular age group for social interaction. Children usually socialize by playing where they find an open shaded space in the complex if there is no defined play area for them. The scale and proportion of the space determines the number of children that can utilize the area. Children usually find an open space to socialize whereas teenagers are found in smaller groups socializing in corner spaces like under a tree or on a vehicle in the parking. Women in the housing complex are the most active members for socializing. The elements of the built environment like otla, balconies facing the open space is used by them throughout the day at different times whereas they tend to gather in the evenings in a common space where more women can sit and talk with each other. Men on the other hand are seen socializing in the parking or in a common space where they tend to gather in the evenings. Their interaction is like a by chance meet in any space in the housing complex. They tend to find a corner shaded space to gather and talk. Social interaction in old people is majorly in the otlas, balconies and on the streets while they tend to walk and talk with the people on street. Apart from all the physical factors of the built environment affecting social interaction, factors of perception like territoriality of space also play an important role. The relation between neighbours and their lifestyle affects the social interaction among people. ‘ The fundamental need for people is that the built environment should thus be adaptable and personalizable. Thus, each space designed by the designer is adapted and personalized by the specific user in order to afford interaction. The interaction is highly dependent not only on the design of the space but also on the user. Built environments will have opportunities for interaction, but it is upon the user whether or not they adjusts their daily routine. The designer should consider people’s needs and demands while designing for a neighbourhood. There should be ample amount of opportunities in the built environment for interaction.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Unpublished Theses Agrawal, Apeksha, Inside out or Outside in: the (de) material boundary, Unpublished thesis, School of Interior Design, Ahmedabad, Cept University, 2014 Chauhan, Ripple, Study of changing activity patterns and its impact on open spaces in housing, case study Ahmedabad, Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, Cept University, 2014 Desai, Renu, Meaning in the built environment: communication through physical cues in the environment, Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, Cept University,1999 Panchal, Dhruva J, Diachronic spatial adaptation : tracing patterns of continuity and change : a study of dwelling clusters in Ahmedabad. Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, 2008 Patel, Canna, Effective environment in resedential open spaces. Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad: CEPT University, 1986 Shah, Nisarg, First generation Apartments, Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, Cept University, 2015 Talsania, Isha D, Housing: a setting for social behavior: a study of the community spaces in high- rise housing as effective environment for social interactions, Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, Cept University, 2010 Thacker, Prerna, Social interaction and built form, Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, Cept University, 2015 Thomas, Elizabeth, History of chawls in early industrial Ahmedabad : exploring the relationship of the built form and the society. Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture: CEPT University, 2016 Todi, Disha, Study of family lifecycle and its impact on inhabitation of a house, case study: Ahmedabad, Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, Cept University, 2012 Trivedi, Sachin, Study of Resedential Site- planning for Row houses, the collective houseform. Unpublished thesis, School of Architecture: CEPT University, 1997 116


Articles/ Websites http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/History_of_the_Industrial_Revolution http://www.academia.edu/8790661/POL_HOUSE_RESIDENTIAL_CLUSTER_ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmedabad#Climate http://www.crdf.org.in/cue/saic/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/26CUEWP-26_City-Profile-Ahmedabad. pdf https://www.britannica.com/technology/apartment-house http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02763890903547062 www.elsevier.com/ locate/ jaa http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562245 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-007-9107-5

Illustration Credits Pg 35- image source: https://en.climate-data.org/location/2828/ Pg 38- image source: https://en.climate-data.org/location/2828/ Pg 39- http://kamalmangaldas.net/project/jai-shefali-park Pg 40- http://www.dilipsoniarchitects.com/project/aarsh http://www.hcp.co.in/projects-list/61/68/residential Pg 41- http://www.dilipsoniarchitects.com/project/aarsh http://kamalmangaldas.net/type/residences http://kamalmangaldas.net/type/residences

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Social interactions in Housing: a case study of low rise housing apartments in Ahmedabad  

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