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Bēhance

Project INDOSTAR

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  • EVOLO SKYSCRAPER COMPETITION 2011
    by SHIDA Design Thinktank
  •       From the vanguard’s POV, the architecture of skyscrapers have usually been exemptfrom restraints such as context, program & adaptability, except the local bye-laws. Unlikethe early 20th century idiosyncratic Powershow, skyscrapers are ‘also’ being revisitedtoday to address global necessities locally, in developing novel working models for ourever expanding societies. The entire ‘Megastructure’ typology has never been democraticin its intent, design or construction. Essentially, only ‘Monopolies’ & ‘Corporations’ havedealt with skyscraper, not ‘Democratic Republics’.

         Until recent past, it was safely believed… they couldn’t.

         The idea of the Skyscraper as a truly democratic enterprise spawned around 2004 asmore of a young enthusiast’s scrap work. Philosophically, it draws inspiration from the late50’s Japanese ‘Metabolism’, the Fullerene manifesto & the 60’s pro-consumerist futurismof Archigram. It is only prime imperative in an otherwise uncomplicated architecture, toembrace ‘Emergence’ in this age of the ‘Parametric’ & to observe abstinence against theunethical arrival to a predetermined form at the end. The recent infrastructural boom in theSino-Indian market is seasonal, with all its ‘new-money’ whimsies, will be succeeded by aphase when it won’t work unless we build what can literally ‘adapt’

          ‘Project: INDOSTAR’ freestands on the principles of emergence & perpetuates on thedemands of variable change. It treads on a dangerous playfield, the thin zone of blurbetween the naiveté of the digital avant garde, the loosest tethers of engineering physics &the profit oriented Real Estate. The site is a nondescript village in India, off a metropolis.Sprouting from ‘Kepler conjecture’ (ca.1611) on the highest achievable density in packingof spheres, the architecture of Indostar is paradoxically the assemblage of complexVOIDs… voids between spherical habitable modules, where all the intelligent systems ofthe vertical community run through, including the structural prototypes; their logic evokinga techno-optimism from a certain filmic imagery. Each ‘void-structural’ prototype isproposed to be used-on-site for roughly 30 years, being replaced & recycled.

           Based on FCC packing, layers of prefab spherical units are plugged-in-place (PIP)around the voids, facilitated by bar-coding 12 unique plug coordinates, allowing instantinstallation & dismantling. 50 or so ‘Build-Bots’ patrol in & around the structure as theyinstall custom-fabricated units, repair the damaged & dismantle the deserted units makingIndostar an architecture in perpetual state of ‘building’, continuously ‘Re-forming’ as per it’ssite demands (local weather, structural integrity, lateral forces, optimal harvesting of solarpower & rainwater etc.). Individual units with its thick greenery facing the exterior formloosely clustered garden-houses recalling the mythical Babylonian towers. An estimatedperiod for a single sphere is around 15-20 years, the socio-biological time a kid requires togrow independent & leave home to pursue their livelihoods causing the single most drasticchanges within a typical nuclear family structure in India.

           Indostar is imagined to diplomatically spearhead the near-future urbanisms that ‘could’be. An Architecture in, by & for an emergent India… that is healing the wounds of the lastcenturies promisingly well as if they were urban fables, while wearing its morality light yetfirm. One where the dramatically heroic aggrades out of zillion mundanes, almostunnoticeable, humming of its inaudible clanking; best serving the happily single & 24X7online, ‘disposable generations’ to come, that will never again need to know how to stitchup a loose button.