Historic City Centers, Jodhpur

Winter School 2016
Instructors: Prof. Minakshi Jain and Prof. Marcello Balzani
27 June 2017

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The fabric of narrow streets, huddling of blue houses and havelis on the slopes mark the historic city core of Jodhpur. There is an urgent concern about the future of its past, since this place is getting new urban inserts at a baffling pace. Historic cities are fragile environments straddling between ideologies of preservation and continuation. The conflict between these ideologies is also evident in the old city of Jodhpur.

This summer school is part of a series in which students have been mapping the old city since four years. The mapping exercises include onsite documentation, interviews conducted with the local people etc. After identifying issues, changes have been proposed.

In this particular study students documented, analysed and suggested changes in the following sites.

  • Satyanarayan Mandir haveli
  • Sanskrut Vidhyalay
  • Danvir Shrinathji Marg
  • Rani Mahal
  • Mehnoton ki Pol
  • Fateh Pol, Lalla ki Kothari
  • Mancha Ram ji Haveli

This post offers a glimpse into three of the sites covered.

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1.  S A T Y A N A R A Y A N   M A N D I R   H A V E L I

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Juni Mandi has been known for its many temples and sites of religious importance. Over the years it has become a place to gather, shop or just have a cup of tea in the midst of so much heritage. One such temple, the Satyanarayan Mandir, is made in a small 17 meter by 10 meter haveli. It is currently also used as a clinic and a historic well to fetch water which is used in the nearby Ghanshyam ji Mandir.

This haveli is said to be more than 400 years old. Its north facade (front) had a staircase which led to the entrance courtyard, which, at present has been blocked by the owners. In the middle of the courtyard sits a 17 m deep well which still yields water and draws many people from the neighbourhood.

Although the structure of the building is intact, there are certain modifications within and outside the building which have not followed the language of the original built form. The chaiwala repainted and used a bracket from the east facade as a shed to support his shop. The square adjoining the front facade of the building is used as a dump yard at certain hours which further deteriorates the character of the building.

Context Mapping
Section A-A
Section B-B
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Historic Analysis
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Relation between the haveli and its context
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Identifying Issues
Proposal
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The open public urinal is a put off for the women in the locality, while the bad hygiene and foul smell are major health hazards. A snack shop beneath one of the jharokhas (a vernacular fenestration typology of architecture in hot-dry Rajasthan, based on scientific principles of regulating air temperature and natural light) has appropriated a part of the basement and the jharokha to store goods. Ironically, the jharokha turned closet blocks out natural light and ventilation for the living spaces inside. The plinths along the street, designed as informal gathering places, are not being used because of dumped garbage and parked vehicles blocking the edges.

 

The overall facade of the Haveli shows no similarity between its elements and hence replacing the basic features like windows that are similar to the lower floor instead steel frame windows which are presently there and usage of same colour and materials which were used for the lower floor.

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Proposal for public urinals at the chowk
 Proposal for facade treatment
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By Kajol Brahmbhatt, Kinjal Shah and Monica Chaudhary

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2.  S A N S K R U T   V I D H Y A L A Y
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One arrives at the school after passing by the Rani Mahal and the slope from where one can appreciate the palace facade with its rich ornamentation and projecting jharokhas – all in pink sandstone. The street is used by local vendors to sell fruits and vegetables and is crowded throughout the day. Apart from the vendors, the street is kept busy by the constant movement of vehicles (mostly two wheelers) and youngsters playing with each other once they are relieved from their school. The school faces the back of the palace. The ground floor is not used and it stays locked but the corridor is used by vendors for storage. This was originally a temple building, whose structure and spaces have been appropriated into classrooms.

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Section BB’
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Section CC’
Sketch elevation of Palace facade – west side AA’

The building has evolved over time which is evident through the change in material, fenestration style and colours of the facade. But some features like brackets, jharokhas, column structure remain the same which are strong cues to the original building language and typology prevalent in Jodhpur.  

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School facade – south side

The oldest part of the building – its stone structure – was part of the original structure that was built as a temple. Later, a brick floor was added to it during restoration.  

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Identifying Issues
Proposal

This building has seen many changes over time, yet it has managed to retain its original internal structure and outer form with a few new additions that accompanied the change in its original function. The part that was earlier a part of the palace is not in use anymore and is kept locked. Another part was being used as a Sanskrit college at one point. That also is now abandoned and kept locked. Now the Sanskrut Vidhyalay occupies a portion of the first floor.

This workshop proposes that the unused and locked spaces of this building (belonging to the old temple and the ancient palace) be used as additional teaching areas that can offer secondary and higher secondary education. The courtyards can be used as play areas by students and the smaller court can be connected to the larger one and be used as public space.

By Elisa Corneti and Dharini Tamakuwala

 

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3.  D A N V I R   S H R I   N A T H   J I   M A R G

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The city of Jodhpur titled as the blue city is built around the Mehrangarh fort. The name comes from the blue colour of facades of the built forms. This characteristic of the city makes it unique. The material used for construction is sand stone. Over the years, the streets of Jodhpur have lost their character due to various factors such as change in ownership of different parts of a house, increase in population of the city and cost of renovation.

A major concern addressed in this workshop is the revival of the original character of these streets by changing elements of the facade as required. The facades that lack the traditional character have inserts of in congruent architectural elements, changes in material, addition of floors above, change in wall colour etc.

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FACADE ANALYSIS
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E X I S T I N G   F A C A D E
 I S S U E S

 

I N T E R V E N T I O N
P R O P O S E D   F A C A D E

1. Addition of steel doors and windows on the ground floor.

2. The ground floor wall and the parapet on the first and second floor is plastered with cement.

3. Later addition of the toilet on the second floor doesn’t match.

1. Traditional doors and windows added.

2. Cement plastered surfaces are covered with similar kind of traditional paint.

3. Toilet facade treated as existing traditional facades.

 

1. Part of second floor added in contemporary style.

2. Addition of temporary steel shade on ground floor.

3.addition steel shutters and grills on ground floor.

4. Part of traditional openings are filled up.

5. Ground floor facades are painted in different color.

 

1. Part of second floor facade to be redone in traditional style

2. Removal of temporary steel shade on ground floor

3. Removal of steel shutters and grills on ground floor.

4. Opening of filled up jalies.

5. Ground floor facades to be painted in traditional pattern.

 

1. Addition of steel Jalis on first floor openings.

2. Painting missing from part of the facade.

3. part of structure in deteriorated condition.

 

1. Removal of steel Jalis on first floor openings.

2. Painting the fa cade in traditional blue colour

3. Addition of missing doors und windows in traditional style.

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F I R S T   A D D I T I O N  (on the ground floor)

The ground floor is usually the place that finds maximum use since it is perceived as an extension to the street, hence ideal for commercial use. The commercial viability of the ground floor leads to many changes in its facade, with more changes done each time the function of the space changes. This first endangers the old doors and windows, that are quickly replaced by modern ones for more efficiency. The project aims at providing an alternative to the existing facades keeping in mind the reasons for the present changes.

S E C O N D   A D D I T I O N   (on the last floor)

With increase in the population of the city, one house accommodates more than one family. The lack of horizontal space forces people to build vertically. The project aims at maintaining these spaces but also upgrading the quality of the architectural mask by using traditional elements to maintain the uniqueness of the facades of jodhpur.

Colours:

The facades were painted differently sometimes to seal the damages or to paint the added floors and therefore the colour originally used in Jodhpur is missing. to bring back that character of the city of jodhpur-the ‘blue city’, there is an attempt to colour the facades ‘blue’.

By  Dweeta Dawda, Helena De Zuani and Nitish Vidyadhar

 

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