_________ Urban Design | Master Planning __________

Competitions, School / Institutional

Basant Lok Upgradation, New Delhi

The Delhi Development Authority- DDA, was established in 1967 and had the mandate to plan the development and growth of New Delhi. It formulated a three-tier model of community development. i.e – District Center, Community Center and Local Shopping Center, to be replicated all over the capital city.
Basant Lok Community Center was established in the early 1960’s on a 4.5 Hectare Site to cater to the need of the Local Community. Now the upmarket neighborhood of Vasant Vihar, Shanti Niketan, West End use it extensively.
Basant lok continued to develop into a planned commercial Hub with its own Five Star Hotel, Cinema Hall, Medical Centers, Offices, shops and eateries. The Upper Floors of Offices and shops were originally envisaged as residential.
Over the last 50 years of existence the mounting commercial pressure has replaced the residential units making way for more offices, shops, restaurants, salons and other such activities. The area is also populated by expats and foreign diplomats.
A Major revamp and upgradation of this complex was required with the given constraints of ownership and influx of illegal vends.
At the onset of this Major Design exercise we identified two sets of issues which required addressing.

  • The Immeasurable Aspects-

  • Enhance the identity of the Complex – Despite having a Five Star hotel and a Cinema the Basant Lok Complex does not register in the psyche it is urban chaos.

  • Improve Pedestrian Entry Points – A Major Advantage of this complex is the multiple entry points along the periphery. These entry points need to be de-cluttered, made inviting and universally accessible. This will ensure uniform pedestrian movement with its accompanying advantages.

  • Rejuvenating Piazzas and Public Spaces – This does not only entail upgradation of finishes, infusing life, a strong visual identity and vibrancy are very important. A Place for the people to cherish and congregate.

  • The Measurable Aspects The fundamental planning aspects were sound but over the years the space has been swamped by unplanned growth. Improve Vehicular Movement and De-congest Existing parking-  the increased volume of vehicular traffic to the complex has resulted in choking of arterial roads leading to it.
    The original Parking norms had envisaged parking for 350 Cars and today 1200 cars are required as per Parking Norms. Resolving the Vehicular traffic and creating additional parking is imperative, shortage of which will choke the complex at all times of the day.

  • Fire Fighting and Related Infrastructure – This crucial aspect of Life safety is totally lacking in the complex and needs to be urgently put in place, beyond prescribed norms.

  • Service Infrastructure and Sustainability measures- The service infrastructure is woefully lacking, cables, pipes are strewn all over the randomly dug trenches. These below ground services are so critical and need to be revamped and upgraded. Sustainability Measures like rain water harvesting for the entire 4.5 Hectare Complex is an immense initiative towards recharging the local water table and will help feed the natural forest and green belt that exists in the vicinity.

  • CCTV Camera, Surveillance, Signages and Street Furniture- these are some of the crucial pieces of the block that require to be configured.

  • Rehabilitation of Existing Hawkers- A Major Challenge keeping in mind the interest of all stake holders.

With active help of the DCP Traffic Police the traffic pattern has been very effectively resolved. It is a one-way loop and has decongested the Bottlenecks.
With the uniform spread of traffic and efficient parking/stack parking along the periphery of the Complex, the inviting and universally accessible multiple pedestrian entry points is a key factor in infusing life into the public spaces.
The Contained Public Spaces of Different Scales has resulted in a very interesting hierarchy of piazzas and vistas. The proposed Tensile Structures apart from having a strong visual appeal lends itself as great gathering spaces for events, generating revenues for the maintenance and upkeep of the complex.
This even spreading out of the Hawkers into smaller clusters, closer to their potential business focal points in an organized and uniform manner has brought order and serenity.
The long-term Vision to upgrade the existing façade in a very simple, pre-assembled, with ease of execution will organize the chaos and help in creating a significant urban space.