BMW Guggenheim Lab Competition

Mar. 14, 2013

In December 2012, EHDD and EHDD India participated in a Global Design Competition to redesign one of Mumbai’s busiest traffic junctions. The BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai explored the growing need for public spaces that enhance everyday life for more of those who live in Mumbai. As part of this exploration, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN) launched a global search in November, 2012 for innovative proposals to redesign one of Mumbai’s busiest transportation hubs, the Kala Nagar traffic junction.

Connecting Island City to Mumbai’s western suburbs through five main traffic arteries, this junction has one of the highest traffic volumes in Mumbai, with about 60,000 drivers and cyclists passing through per hour, both above and below the flyover, at peak times. Research also shows that the Western Express Highway, which connects with the junction, ranks among the ten most dangerous roads in Mumbai, as measured by casualty rates. The competition brief sought proposals for a “viable, mixed-use intersection that caters to both individuals and communities and represents a more progressive view of Mumbai’s city infrastructure.”

We approached the project with a broader perspective about the remaking of Mumbai as a sustainable successful Global City and focused our submittal on the following:

1. Use this opportunity to reinforce the emerging urban growth of Mumbai as a “Poly-Centric City”, centered on mixed-used district centres, that are well connected by public transit and open space.

2. Redesign the Kala Nagar junction to reinforce its role as a destination in the district, and a gateway to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) - a major business centre of Mumbai. After studying the existing conditions and improvements proposed by MMRDA, the EHDD team proposed realignments of the proposed infrastructure to recapture land area and create meaningful public open space. The proposal also connects the Mithi River to the junction and creates a new multi-modal, mixed-use parcel as a commercial and public space.
The key planning principles were:

1. Create a multi-modal, pedestrian-friendly Transit Hub.

2. Create a District Centre and Mixed-Use Destination with retail, commercial and cultural amenities.

3. Expand and integrate the waterfront park and promenade into the mixed-used development.

4. Create a Landmark for Kala Nagar and a Gateway to BKC.
EHDD’s entry was Short-listed among the Top 10 for the final round from a total of 40 entries and exhibited for public view in Mumbai. For more information visit http://www.bmwguggenheimlab.org/kala-nagar-traffic-junction

Authors: Samir Shaikh, Project Manager, EHDD India; Joseph Schollmeyer, LEED AP, Senior Designer, EHDD; Amy Leedham, LEED AP NC, Designer, EHDD

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