Shortlisted Entries 2020

CITY, ephemeral : Dynamics of an Urban Insert

Kirthan Shekar
RV College of Architecture | Bengaluru

CITY, ephemeral
Dynamics of an urban insert 

(ephemeral: lasting for a very short time)

Any given memory is fundamentally a blend of references to space and time, at least. Architecture not only allows us to experience or use a space, but it also helps us establish our being in time – our temporal existence. Do the norms of architectural design only restrain to the spatial quality, or can they also bolster the temporal aspect? The flow of time associated with the process of articulation is absent, resulting in the notion of architecture as static; and the intervention, a passive mass.

The thesis is demonstrated in the Market Plaza which is the primary node of Mysore. The site is enclosed by the fundamental institutions of the city, evidently situated in a dense urban context with various activities, both temporary and permanent. The presence of heritage structures in the vicinity dating from various periods associates the site with a sense of memory when moving through time. During the annual Dasara festival – the Nadahabba multiple celebrations all over the city- brings together all the people of various cross-sections of age, beliefs and interests. During these celebrations’ multiple events like competitions, exhibitions, movements like processions and rituals give a vibrant experience of the space and time. Mysore- as the cultural hub of Karnataka, has institutions that cater to the classical arts only. However, as the city progresses towards a cosmopolitan makeover, with the rise of contemporary arts and literature, the place still fails to facilitate the transformation. The permanent part of the program is a small cultural centre providing equal opportunity to local and emerging forms of art.

Theoretically, the thesis is an attempt to explore the temporality of architecture by learning the multiple ways of how space is utilised in time and demonstrated through the design of an urban insert project. Understanding the local concepts and notions of time and space helps in noting the connections between them. In terms of function, observing different possibilities of how space and time are defined in common urban instances helps in establishing measurably, four dependencies. These observations made in studying the context provides ideas for the act of placemaking. The program is derived from understanding the local seasonal cycles resulting in Urban, Temporary and Fixed components based on the nature of the activities. As a result, the four dependencies interact with each other in providing a dynamic space which can morph according to the surrounding needs.

The scope of the thesis ranges from exploring the temporal nature of architecture through a theoretical understanding of space and time to its demonstration with a design of an urban insert in a dense setting. The thesis focuses on the concept of Kinetic Cities and Genius Loci more than animated Kinetic Structures.