Selected Entries 2018

Black Taj | The present other half

Shivansh Shah
Cept University | Ahmedabad


Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan dreamed of building another Taj Рa black Taj,  mausoleum for himself on opposite bank of river Yamuna to the Taj mahal. the two Taj were supposed to be standing on either side of the river but unfortunately the half project could never see the light of the day.

the site opposite to the Taj mahal their after remain Mehtab bagh, the moon-light garden with a pond to see the reflection of Taj mahal in moon light. the garden was covered in huge heap of sand and wild grown till recently Archaeological Survey of India tried to conserve it.

the project intention here is not to build the remaining project. but it is an attempt to interpret the unbuilt black Taj of past if being realized  today. the design takes up a twist time challenge to complete the incomplete story of love.

the white in Taj is marble

the black turned water of Yamuna is interpreted as black in black Taj

The Yamuna is widely worshipped by devotees in India. A few centuries ago it prompted the Mughals to build one of their most magnificent monuments; the Taj Mahal on its bank; but today it has been reduced to a pale and stinking drain, draining industrial effluents, sewage, dirt and other toxic substances completely ruling out the possibility for underwater life and domestic supply. River Yamuna is one of the most polluted rivers of the India. Almost every year mass death of fishes is reported. The demand of fresh water has been continuously increasing with growing population and increase in agricultural and industrial activities. There is an urgent need to take stringent measures to alleviate these pollution loads and save an ailing river.

Black Taj is interpreted as black water (sewage in Yamuna) treatment plant.

The design includes various tanks in order to filter and purify the water which are

Black water storage tank, Aeration tank, Precipitation tank, Neutralization tank, Filtration tank, Disinfection tank and Stand by clean water tank. The design also include museum and uses the historical Mehtab bagh pond as mausoleum of dying water resources. All the elements are then tied through walkways, ramps, stairs, gardens and canals.

The water being purified and allowing people to encounter a sense of regret is tried to be generated, the water is then passed on the field near to the site on the bank of the river which might help to overcome scarcity and thus remaining water is again given back to river.