The aim was to find a site I was familiar with. The site should have had the potential to cater to the terms ‘people, pandemic, and a place for performance’. I had two sites in mind when I started with the program.
The first site was in Vikaspuri, where I currently reside, and the other was in Dwarka, Sector-11. Both sites I was familiar with, and I felt a sense of abandonment in both of these. Another advantage was that both of these sites were accessible. I selected the site in Vikaspuri, which was within an existing Community Centre. It is a public space, the complex itself consists of office buildings, a PVR complex, and various food outlets, yet it has a sense of abandonment to it. The site is not being used as a public space despite being designed like one.
When I initially went to the site, I didn’t think about the intricacies of the site I will have to study. There were various elements that I didn’t focus on during my initial visits. It was after a few discussions, based on the site analysis that we did in terms of emotional associations at an individual level, that I felt that one site visit won’t be enough.
It was important to regularly visit the site to understand the scale of the site and fix a certain site boundary. Not only was I able to complete this, but I was also able to discover the new elements on the site, in the form of permanent and temporary sitting structures, the circulation loops of people, and the managed and unmanaged areas of the site, etc.
After getting a certain level of clarity with my site dimensions, and various on-site rough measured drawings, I started with my site drawings. I started with a scale of 1:500, on which I was able to get the basic built mass dimensions around the site. But it was difficult to depict the small-scaled permanent and semi-permanent sitting spaces, planters, the colonnade areas that were observed, along with certain cantilevered spaces.
To depict the remaining elements, I shifted to the scale of 1:200. It was more convenient, not only in terms of complete plans but the elements could also be depicted in the sections. I completed the set of measured drawings on the same scale. I also tried to sketch certain views of the site, using colored pencils as a medium.
Also, for the representation to be complete, spatial representation was also another task to be fulfilled. I started with a scale of 1:200 for the model as well, considering my drawings were the same. In order to depict the built masses surrounding my site, I used thermocol as a material, and created a block model for the site.
To analyze it further, the block model with thermocol as a material was not able to showcase the colonnaded areas on the site. It only satisfied the understanding of the form, but the narrow details weren’t easily depicted. I decided to change the material used for the built forms to box-board, which has a certain monochromatic brown tone, similar to my site.
Somehow, I feel that the spatial and graphical representation of the site helped me understand the site in terms of the small elements that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. I also feel that my site has barrenness to it, so in order to start the design process further, it was necessary to document these on-site elements in detail. It can act as a starting point, for taking the design process further. Not only this but shifting to different scales for depicting the site, also helped me to get a better understanding of the proportions. Despite the fact that I was already familiar with the site, I was able to document the otherwise unnoticed elements and features.