REINVENTING UNUSED SPACES.
EVOLUTION OF SPACES.
Around the acropolis of the city, the importance of power has been transformed into a different definition over the period of time. In ancient days’ higher contours were of greater importance and powerful kings and their kingdoms had one thing in common in their residences i.e. they were placed on higher contours having plateau. Around the territory of their kingdom, they only chose plateaus or mountains which gave them both – a sense of safety and emotion of pride of their empire. The notion of being in power, strength, safety was subjected to natural contours or topography of a particular space. Space could protect kings fort from attack and at the same time comfort was maintained. Planning of any fort focused on primary aspects like security, comfort, luxury, and other important things.
As evolution is a part of everything around, spaces also get evolved in terms of their respective functions and hence the meaning or function of spaces also change. Referring to the actual topography of the city, the natural contours are left untouched in busy metro life. Terminologies during the kingdom era have now changed into a negative space of the fabric. As the function of the fort discontinued, the development also started minimizing there and the focal point shifted from fort to any commercial precinct, which resulted in these spaces converting (forts) into a negative space.
Space which was of great value back then is of NO value now, does the thinking changed? Don’t people want to be on top of the world? The answer is no, thinking hasn’t changed but has evolved according to the phase of life, the definition of now being on top of the world is changed to high concrete buildings with all lavish luxuries present there, human comfort likings is the need of the hour in the hard and fast life of a city
So what about the so-called negative spaces of the city which are left untouched aren’t they evolved. YES, they are evolved, at times they are used by poor students not having proper amenities to study at night hence resulting into a space like “ABHYAAS GALLI” where students at night study during exams, similar kind of examples can be seen where WIFI was present and became a hub of youngsters, as the internet is another basic need these days. This also increases the interaction between the youth resulting in a better network amongst your contacts. Now, coming back to forts which I referred earlier, forts present in the city are being conserved and being used for tourist attraction – such as “SION FORT”. At some places like “WORLI FORT” (a.k.a KOLIWADA FORT), it was also highlighted in some Bollywood movies, once again regaining the interest of space through a medium of entertainment.
Every space relates to its end-user and functions according to it. The balance is maintained when space is used, when untouched it breaks the monotony. These negative spaces generate a function according to the precinct and hence resulting in or converting a NEGATIVE SPACE INTO A USABLE SPACE. The use of space can be positive – like in the case of abhyaas Galli, space was used for educational purposes or negative use of space. Requirements of any space results in these unconventional mediums, like a chaotic and densely populated city like Mumbai in chawls the privacy and isolation factor is not maintained which actually triggers students of the locality to find a convenient space for their requirements of studying. In such cases, the above-mentioned example of an “ABHYAAS GALLI” comes up as a solution. And after the function is accepted by society it starts reacting according to the function and not as negative space.
Also in some cases, technology plays an important role in enhancing the importance of a particular space. As soon as some function gets involved with space, it automatically focuses on basic aspects like cleaning, landscape, installations, etc. here technological intervention changed the function of the space resulting in interaction.
Adaptive reuse is the term used in architecture for using these spaces or these structures which have lost importance over the period of time. Spaces left untouched develop altogether a new function. And these functions create an aura that forces us to reveal the secret of the space for which it was formed. Hence we develop the feeling of restoring the past while developing and enjoying the future.
So, basically, the notion towards space remains the same but evolution differentiates the function and usability of space. And somehow society finds a factor, which will balance these negative spaces and make them relate to the precinct. When it relates to the precinct the problem of a negative space starts getting solved as a function is being involved and thus resulting in usable space.