- Despina Linaraki
The expansion of Mumbai in the Arabian Sea influenced by coral reef formation and anatomy and the reinvention of the living system based on the symbiosis between humans and water.
This project reinvents the method that formulated Mumbai after the artificial connection of the original seven islands (1970-2015). Research evidence has proved that the artificial connection, which stopped the natural flow of water, cause of floods and high levels of pollution that lead to numerous diseases. Starting from the question of how the city would grow if it were going to grow physically, the project proposes the future urban growth in multiple scales – from urban fabric to building design. The architectural design derives from research about the formation and anatomy of coral reefs, especially stony corals. The final project is about the expansion of the city of Mumbai into the Arabian Sea. The expansion is composed of multiple porous structure islands of various sizes.
The design began with research about the methods of artificial connection of the original 7 islands and the consequences that occurred after. As a next step, research was done on the physical environment of Mumbai before and after the artificial connection. Specifically, the hydrodynamics that exist in the Arabian Sea and the creek was essential in order to propose the expansion of the city without interrupting the natural flow of water. Based on the belief that architecture should learn from the existing symbiotic relationship between water and living organisms, an analysis on the causes of this relationship on the formation and development of coral reefs was done. The successful formation system that is responsible for this coexistence has been adopted in the architectural design of the new city of Mumbai. The anatomy of stony corals has been translated in the formation of porous infrastructure that constructs the islands and the new living system. The final design proposal respect and adapt to the physical and environmental conditions that exist. Moreover, a new idea of living system is introduced based on flow, flow of water and flow of people.
This research is important not only for the future of Mumbai but also for the future of architectural design. The cities nowadays combined of boundaries for protection from the environmental conditions. This method of architectural design creates an ineffective condition as they stop the natural flow of the water. As a result much destruction has occurred. The symbiosis between the water and the living organisms is something that architects should learn from in order their design proposal to be able to meet the needs of the projected global warming. This research suggests that change the way cities are designed based on coral reef formation, could change people’s lives in a beneficial way. This project rethink the design methodology, based on physical environment first and then on people’s activities.