CIDCO Public Housing, Navi Mumbai

An open national design competition proposal for the City and Industrial Development Corporation.

A pedestrian spine that cuts the site diagonally is the main access into the housing complex, and connects the townships work centres, warehouses, offices and shops to the railways. This serves as an easy cut-across for other neighbourhoods also.

Along this central street is the bazaar with shops, medical amenities, a post office, banks and other commercial institutions. A central plaza, where exhibitions, sales and melas (fairs) can be organized, is located along this bazaar street. The plaza overlooks and directly accesses the community centre which, again, opens on to a multi-purpose ground. This ground provides relief to the housing clusters that are proposed around it, and can be used for sports, festivals, pujas, cultural get-togethers and public meetings.

Inner streets network the residential areas and connect them to the bazaar. On these streets, the neighbourhood comes alive around mandirs (temples), ottas (platforms), baithaks (sit-outs), stalls and trees. The balconies and windows, overlooking these streets, share the lively outdoors, and become a part of it.

The housing layout evokes the spirit of the traditional wada. The houses are continuous around a central, open space which is landscaped with trees, pathways and play areas. Gateways are used to mark the transition from the streets to the open spaces in the different wadas.

Each house is a square module with an open-to-sky court. Houses on the upper floors have terraces. While the houses face the central open space which holds them together, the inner streets integrate the different wadas, thus making the entire development a single, cohesive layout.

Client: CIDCO.
Area: 45000 sq. mt.
Estimated cost: Rs.2500lac.
Design proposal: 1991.