Shortlisted Entry

Saivi Shah

Socializing on a Reconstructed Landscape.

Cultural Constructs x Building Regulations


An approach to re-contextualize the Community Housing and retain cultural manifestations through architecture, by reinforcing the building regulations in the Inner City, Mumbai.


The thesis acknowledges that the homogeneity in the urban fabric of Mumbai, is broken by communities present in ‘cultural neighborhoods’, that have existed within the city since the time of its formation, and express culture as a physical construct. The resultant built form and way of life was hence diverse, enabled by the volumetric regulations of the Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) and appropriations done by inhabitants. Their urban morphology (built form and landscape), openness in the fabric, ‘outdoor rooms’, physical/ visual connections with streets and architectural elements facilitating these, fostered a communal way of living and the inhabitants developed a sense of familiarity not only with each other, but also their surroundings.


Till date, they exist as vibrant patchworks within the globalized fabric. However, today’s restrictive, profit – driven building regulation regime eliminates the possibilities for any kind of differentiation, fragments communities, and destroys identifiable neighborhoods causing them to blend with the rest of the city.


In this context, the thesis demonstrates how cultural constructs can be captured in the architecture for the community and suggests any modifications in the Development Control Regulations that need to be done, in order to manifest their spatial identity.


The architectural intent is thus, to re-contextualize the community housing and imagine the everyday within these communities, to enhance the existing relationships and provide opportunities for newer interactions such that it not only facilitates their unique way of living, but also identifies them, apart from catering to their urban aspirations of living in a city.