The pandemic has brought out an interesting dilemma—while we are relegated to the localised constraints of urban environments, we have also seen most industrial and human activity slow down which is making the skies bluer, the foliage around us greener and fauna return to their habitats, underscoring the importance of natural relief in our daily lives.
The practice of acupuncture in traditional medicine is based on localised punctures/interventions to alleviate stress or pain in a networked system or organism and enable the life force of Qi to flow. Using this analogy, localised architectural interventions within urban networks or cities could, as an idea perhaps help alleviate the stresses and strains of mundane urban living. In metropolitan areas, our apartments are getting smaller, densities are getting higher, access to green spaces getting restricted and opportunities to engage with nature rapidly diminishing.
Recommended ArticlesView All
Biggest casualty of ending LTCG regime is not debt funds but the debt market
Mar 25, 2023 IST6 Min(s) Read
US Fed rate hike — willing to hit but afraid to wound
Mar 25, 2023 IST4 Min(s) Read
Withering Weather: Experts see erratic rains to spell higher food prices and tougher inflation ahead
Mar 24, 2023 IST4 Min(s) Read
Decoding Finance Bill proposals for debt funds: What remains and what changes
Mar 24, 2023 IST3 Min(s) Read
The pandemic has brought out an interesting dilemma—while we are relegated to the localised constraints of urban environments, we have also seen most industrial and human activity slow down which is making the skies bluer, the foliage around us greener and fauna return to their habitats, underscoring the importance of natural relief in our daily lives. As human activity returns to normal after the pandemic, how we think of architectural interventions in the city could really benefit from acupuncture treatment to destress our urban lives. Such a treatment if administered from nature preservation, regeneration and sustainability standpoint, could perhaps not only relieve stress but also impact the wellness and longevity of the ecosystem and our sustenance.
Our designs have long contributed to the problem of building concrete jungles in our cities. Architecture can actually become an active part of the solution and architects can become key agents of change. At The Trees in Vikhroli, natural acupuncture is at work across the entire master plan. The heart of the development is its largest stress reliever—a 2.5 acre verdant forest park where nature meets art to make the city’s only public art and sculpture park. The residential precinct is organised as a perimeter block around a tree-lined courtyard. The perimeter block is punctured with breezeways that connect the courtyard to the central park. The courtyard with integrated play spaces also houses the residential community’s thriving urban farm.
Image Source: Godrej Properties
For this community farm, a dedicated and skilled in-house horticultural team tends 20 different varieties of vegetables and herbs in wooden troughs. The troughs create a venue for parents and children to connect with nature. While the initiative started out to encourage residents to adapt to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, this little farm was appreciated by residents for fresh produce especially during the lockdown down months. The clubhouse further scales the architecture to create landscaped rooms utilising terraces for herb gardens and using framed vistas to provide respite.
Another urban residential building in the active central precinct allows for residents to take over the access road and create a more engaged public amenity street by restricting cars during key times in the day. A continuous landscaped edge extends along the length of this arrival avenue and stepped greens morph into kids play areas, water bodies, seats and alcoves. This amenity street intervention is also linked via breezeways through the building to the central park and other pedestrian pathways. The commercial precinct begets a different scale of green that is tied together with extensive programming including a creche, food court, daylit lobbies, amenity areas and outdoor amphitheaters.
In some way and akin to acupuncture treatment in traditional medicine - master planners, landscape designers and architects can each use key localised design interventions to systematically relieve stresses across assets, scales, uses and programs in the urban setting. Connecting green ecosystems allow for a better flow of natural life forces that foster a positive impact on our wellbeing, sustenance and enhance liveability.
—The author, Anubhav Gupta, CEO Vikhroli, Chief CSR and Sustainability Officer, Godrej Properties (Founder – GPL Design Studio). Views expressed are personal
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!