|Ahsan Habib [Team Leader], Nabila Noshin, Monzerina Kayenat, Kashemi Abir
|VII ( 4th year, semester 01 )
|Sujaul Islam Khan, Deel Afsana, Silvia Alam
|Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology
`Warwick Junction’, a unique location within central Durban, is the site for the international competition open to architecture students worldwide, launched as part of the next UIA congress in South Africa (3-7 August 2014). This transport node is a place for exchange and informal commerce with unique qualities at an unprecedented scale. Based on the congress theme `Architecture Other-where, the aim of the competition is to highlight the complex ecology of Warwick Junction and its economic, social and cultural dynamic by proposing solutions that will be to the benefit and wellbeing of the community and the half a million people who frequent this area every day. Projects must propose three visions simultaneously: a long term – large scale solution; medium term – medium scale solution; an immediate small scale intervention.
Throughout years Warwick junction has hold the significance of commercial roots of Durban, South Africa. This hustled and bustled area has always back supported the Durban city. If we think Warwick with a vision of 2035, Warwick will be the first economically prominent space where culture, religion, nation will be a single stage to represent the world.
Informal traders and vendors of Warwick are the main man power for the futuristic business flourish of Durban. Thus we can turn on the city as an informal but world class formal commercial hub. Space through Warwick junction and market places rejuvenates the place as a walking city. Which will provide accommodation, connectivity of religion, ecological balance, artist city as well as morphological process of architecture.
BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa. The developed cities after U.S.A , U.K. Durban is said heart of south Africa and thus Warwick is the provider of Durban. Now the outer periphery of Durban is developed but Warwick is the opportunity for whole Durban. Multiculturalism of Durban city is the influential remarks for the political and racial environment .
“Warwick – where the city plugs in with its soul”
Warwick is arguably the soul of Durban, the amazing port city of South Africa. Our vision of Warwick in the future of 2035 includes multiple dramatic changes to this historic place and programs that will change the definition of Warwick in a greater optimistic level.
Our theme is “Warwick – a bridge between Public Arena & Urban Business Park.”
“For an urbanist, form is best expressed when it is designed to enclose a space that fosters overlapping and complex social exchange and interaction” – William H. Fain. Jr.
Like this quote, here landscape and building have progressively entwined to form a symbiotic relationship, each as mutually necessary, one to each other. It creates an amazing environment where everything is interactive, each thing engaging with the next, forming a series of EVENTS rather than PLACES.
The site forces here being the variety of informal markets with their unique characteristics and the cemetery loudly expressing the art of multiculturalism, Warwick emerges as the true-self of Durban and its people. As the multiple forces acting on the site invent, transform and produce EVENTS, their agglomeration translates into an urban architecture that could never have been produced otherwise.
The station being gradually covered with the green park-scape of the cemetery, it gives a sense of open ended structure creating a beautiful conversation with the city. Privileging park-scape over built form, the markets, cemetery and the station park converge onto a single site, merging topologically. While it begins as a default structure, it soon morphs and mutates according to certain contextual forces.
The public armature takes full advantage of its horizontal footprint, creating density across a large swath of land and allowing for a rich program. This thickened armature becomes the backbone of the site, providing the macro organization of constantly evolving systems and sub-systems.
As it weaves and interconnects program and transportation pathways into flexible and accessible spaces, a public realm emerges. For the most part, however, the armature serves as a constant to which multiple scenarios are applied, adding unlimited potential for the built program and character of the district.
Our modified program for this urban business- public community space includes a “Religious City”, ” Multi-storied taxi stands”, “A futuristic commercial belt”, “Tourist hotels”, ” A watch tower”, “Accommodation for the traders”, “Hospital complex”, “Station building converting into a market landscape within the junction”, “Storage facilities”, ” Public service” a complete interaction space for the people of Durban.
We are willing to see Warwick junction as one of the most promising urbanscape with modern business schemes and amenities, locally independent economy & having one of the landscapes of modern South Africa that creates stories of livelihood with respect towards the future. We are willing to see Warwick as another strong tourist zone at the heart of Durban having a great open ended public armature to serve the people.
Short term : Shortly accommodation for vendors in temporary container [shelter and storage] placed at a single taxi stand. And the taxis will be replaced in an another stand. Then the modification of main station market will begin simultaneously.
Mid term : Present early morning market’s top floor will be the accommodation place for the vendors. Storage and workshop will be placed at old buildings of Warwick. Day by day those will be replaced at top of early morning &g station market. Sufficient water and electric supply will be provided by government Solar system, water recycle system will be included for greater ecosystem. Auto locker kiosk will be provided for street vendors.
Long term : With a big sight in 2035 at Warwick:
There were four streets, we had to choose one and we selected the Brook Street Edge as it is connected to the station directly and appears to be most promising one. The Badshah Peer Mazza also resides at this edge and plays a vital role to the unique characteristics of Warwick. Brook street market occupies most area of this edge. But it conflicts with the entrance of the Mazza. So, we proposed a space allocated only for the Mazza visitors under the shade.
The informal traders after being organized under CBOs/NGOs will be able to trade systematically and become self-sufficient. We are proposing low cost container shelter where they will be able to sleep through the night and also cook temporarily. Some containers will have storage facilities as well. The sanitary facilities will be provided locally at the public ablution blocks located far from the shelters.
The taxi cabs which were densely parked at the end of this edge and will be shifted on top of the rail track. The steel structure will be a multi-layered taxi stand. The circulation regarding arrival-departure of the commuters will be properly solved. The pedestrian service will be increased with the extension of the present footpaths. Storage for the traders can be provided on the top of the station market by increasing the number of floors. Electricity needed at nights will be provided by adjusting solar panels.
Our vision of Warwick area appearing as another individual in the economic progress of Durban in future can only be achieved by taking some cautious steps. The construction and building of the commercial hub, extension of the STATION MARKET linking the green-scape of EARLY MORNING MARKET and other proposals can only be achieved if these are done by the government or CBO/NGOs. Any kinds of developers or consulting developing
farms can only harm the idea as these people always calculate the loss over the achievement. Developers only care about the investment and their profit but not the greater good of people. Thus our proposal need the assistance of several CBOs and NGOs protecting the unique environment Warwick has achieved over the years.
The natural stage can only be created if stakeholders can be united and through the supervision of the government itself.
Only then Warwick can achieve the success of becoming Durban’s prominent economic character and an amazing example of nature merging with the built forms in an urbanized city. It will be the only place in the world where informal trading is encouraged through the web of green interaction with the cemetery along with the commercial hub.
Another example lies here at Dhaka city, Bongobazar area which is in fact quite similar with the markets of Warwick. Bongo Bazaar, which collectively consists of a few markets clustered together, has been catering to our clothing needs since 1989. Bongo Bazar’s attraction stems from the variety of clothing it offers to customers at a much cheaper price than anywhere else in the city. Even expatriates and travelers, who are aware of its existence, never miss the chance to visit the place. From sweaters, tights, jackets, trousers, shirts, skirts, shorts, saree, lungis and every type of garment you can think of, locally made shoes and undergarments are also a big draw for customers at Bongo Bazar.
Warwick is a diverse area within the multi-colored city of Durban. The junction keeps the thread of independent livelihood and culture intact as it plays a crucial role in the economy of the poverty affected part of Durban. The street vendors and traders make this place unique in an unprecedented scale and it screams for a better voice that will carry out their demands and needs in this area. Many CBO, community based Trade Unions, NGO etc. can play a significant role in the poverty alleviation as well as in achieving the rightful demands of the traders regarding security, health, accommodation, storage, wages, taxes, and working conditions. This can be the major key for the short term intervention.
The informal trading which has created the unique characteristics of Durban, can flourish only if there are several human social organizations (CBO, NGO, Trade Unions) acting to protect their rights of working hours, taxes and working conditions.
If all the traders/vendors can be united under one or two Community Based Organizations, then their representatives in these markets (Brook Street market, Berea station market, Herb market, Music Bridge market, Lime market, Victoria Street market, Beads market etc.) would be chosen among themselves and traders would be heard properly about their needs and demands. The representatives will communicate with the other vendors and they will report to their respective organization heads to create policies and developments to ensure that the rights are well practiced and protected. Our dream is to see that Warwick Junction area develops a better organized urban ecology so that all the traders could practice their livelihood and necessary facilities as well as maintain the colors of multi-cultured people at the heart of Durban.