reWoKen : anew life at the limits

...a heterotopic* forgotten land at the limits of the city,  originally in an archipelago settlement with a strategic anti-location**, now spying on the new skyline popping at the edges of Mumbai, a brave “koliwada” as the locals put it, narrow escapes of being a slum town just in time,  -a badland for modernity***- more of a resilient vibrant urban village that is neither fitting the city nor embodying the usual elements of a village; a place invisible of otherness, a place hidden on sight, a place where it should have not been,  a place where it has always been, a drop off the map, until the sea-link _the ouroboros of the city_, gave an overlook to ease the overwhelming transport connections of the reclaimed city, functioning as if a broken mirror reveals the shattered ground of Worli as a self-organized distortional pixelated and aboriginal space bending time with serpentine mazes through kaleidoscopic colours  which mostly act as extended private spaces blurring the restrictions of the public and the private. The narrow streets and small squares are unique collective spaces strongly claimed, open to joy, stimulus and surprise which are never left to the boredom as the “most exhausting things of all.”

Inhabitants of Worli embrace the sea as a source of income since the first settlement with its own hazards. Time also takes a different imperative form in this amphibious lifestyle.  The fishing cycle makes the day start no later than 3 am in the morning, -an unusual waking time for an urban district. The boats set sail depending on the hourly weather conditions mainly dominated by tidal circumstances. As the man catch the fish, woman go to the Fish Market to sell them and the cycle goes as far as this until the fishing ban for three months in summer. The conditions are usually harsh and insufficient infrastructure  makes it more difficult.

The perimeter of Mahim Bay is surrounded with isolated and probably highly technological gated communities and skyscrapers -also isolated within itself- which do not communicate each other and eager to cut off relations with the city and its inhabitants or interact minimum as a usual cycle for every big and loud city.

On the other hand, Worli Koliwada, with its insufficient technical infra/superstructure do possess a connected aboriginal community, some of them have been living there for generations, overspread horizontally in genuine need of space behaving like a benign ependymoma. This unique space pattern which seems like a disease for the contemporary urban life creates a desired vibrant life which is not easy to reveal.  

So this highly entropic, isolated, uncertain and definitely unfinished definition of the territory is used in continuum of creating space in regard of a heterogeneous, dense, complex system of a different interval in linear causality and simple systems. In this manner, the unique local urban village landscape of the Worli is taken as a point of start and adopted in the urban life. The skyline in the foreground is used as an epitome to define the fluctuating elevations of the buildings.

The castle as a representational space of absolute power and control, a heritage from another nationality, possibly an unclaimed forgotten history surrounded along with whispering ghost stories also bear the trace of otherness creating an ambiguity in boundaries between the real place and the desired place. Desires override history and allude to the lost significance of Worli Koliwada. The first public building to revive, as being literally the first building gives way to the main public spaces as urban ecoparcs with mixed use facilities. As the existing shopping streets extend forming a circuit around mixed use (residential, commercial, public) buildings surrounded with volumized public ecoparks for in use of any kind of celebration and festivals, daily markets, playgrounds, sports areas, leisure and local artistic areas, gardening, natural life for animals and for the inhabitants.

The main residences for Worli reside in mainland as for Koli residences spread on semi-public wharves also serving as seafood restaurants. The promenade and the open spaces both divide and separate the Worli-Koli side while giving each other privacy also ruling as spaces for convention. A mangrove forest is proposed for the outer coast to corroborate for high tide as well as a powerful infrastructure should be sustained with storm water drainage and rain harvesting systems, percolation tanks, bioswales... etc.

reWoKen_anew life at the limits

ARCHOUTLOUD_RESIDE . 2018 . Worli Koliwada Fishing Village MUMBAI . INDIA . MIXED HOUSING . 142.450m²