When we had to choose sites for the design process, my initial preferences were very different. Being an urban design student, I have worked a lot with street edges or common links between public and private spaces. One such space was the Balewadi Highstreet in Pune which is a commercial complex having numerous food joints, inviting a large range of crowd from across the city. The place is very happening and always busy. The commercial complex was only the ground floor of the building. Above it was huge terrace surrounded by massive glass building which are IT offices.
The site that I ended up with was the terrace above the commercial complex.
Since it was a part of the office above, I had never visited the site. The entry was restricted to the office staff. I never saw people on the terrace. It was a very saturated concreted place. But because it was my site, I had to document it. So I went to one of my friend’s office which was across the road. From there, I took a few pictures that gave a larger view of the entire terrace. The terrace is spread across a huge area of about 30,000 sq. m. The area was huge so I decided to take 1/4th of the terrace.
I knew it was a huge space as soon as I saw the site for the first time. I was lucky enough that one of my friend’s got a job in that office so I could actually go and visit the site. When I went to the site, I was mesmerized by how massive it was. I was only imaging how beautiful would it be, to have a performance space in this area.
I then spent time on the site, understanding different structures and elements on the site. The massive glass buildings next to it gave a very strong background to the otherwise concrete terrace. I went to different places and associated activities happening there, from places of congregation to places of solitude. The site has interesting curvy structures as elements that helped to penetrate light to the lower floors.
I started documenting the site. I saw a few people on the terrace coming for a break which made me happy. I really like how the massive site, gives a person his/her personal space at various points. I wish I could spend more time on the site, but for now, I am parting with beautiful visuals of people on the site, their association with the site and my association with the site.
I can certainly say that the site was alien for me in the beginning but after having spent so much time on site and working on the site, I feel a connection to the site that has deepened over time.
Shown below are images from my site visit.