Faculty: Dilip Patel | Devanshi Doshi

Synthetic Gestures: Addressing Urban Synergies, Core Retrofitting of Manekchowk Fruit Market

The studio focused on formulating an adaptive re-use strategy for a century old heritage structure, located in the center of a very busy, close knit urban context. Manek Chowk Fruit Market (by Claude Batley, 1941), situated in the heart of the old city of Ahmedabad, showcases versatile and interactive built space. The 30m long by 38m wide, open plan structure provided ample opportunities for design exploration. Grid of tall concrete columns, a waffle slab roof, enhanced volume and stuck on brick façade were the key physical attributes of the building.

These features and immediate context enabled students to mold individual studio programs that mainly focused on three categories of occupancy: Artisan Exposition Hub, a Market Space and Knowledge Centre.

Understanding the nature of heritage structure, relationship of the insert with existing built-form, transition between interiors and immediate exteriors, were some of the issues that formed the core elements of design evolution.

The learning outcome was the derivation of a meaningful program and evolution of a meticulous design solution appropriate to the given site and highly dense urban context. Also, the complexity of the program allowed synthesis of key design elements like structure, aesthetics, details, and material application which were showcased in the final design documentation.