Uttorayon Phase II

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Design Concepts & Philosophy

The key concept being explored .for the planning and design of this development is the formulation of" a new urban system addressing issues of settlement identity, dynamic and flexible infrastructure, landscape and open space distribution, and perceptual paradigms.

Settlement identity is derived from a clear and well-defined neighbourhood character of the housing clusters. Plotted and pre-built houses are arranged in a cluster, as against linear patterns, with a central green space.

The internal structuring is kept simple with a focussed road system and a single centre of activity. The facilities within the cluster are given maximum exposure.

Size, character and visibility are consciously varied to achieve a diversification of housing types across social class. Infrastructure servicing any development is seen traditionally as a fixed system that is dimensionally and geographically determined.

The most interesting thing about a multiscale space of habitation of this nature is precisely this problematic constriction that servicing of this kind enforces.

An attempt is being made in this development to break this precise definition and introduce 'open systems' with an important degree of abstraction in its conception, sensitive to the potential of variation. This is achieved by superimposing bands of services over the entire site, almost like a matrix of infrastructure, which in turn releases the area around to be formed and defined in any number of ways.

Building has traditionally been centred on the implantation of built figures defined against a background (or foreground) landscape. The consideration today, of void as architectonic material necessitates the use of empty space itself as a basic instrument of urban order. Open space, too, is distributed in much the same way as the infrastructure on site, as a grid of usable greens.

The precisely definite open space locations juxtapose dynamically with the more varied built space. Housing developments are perceived in multiple ways. Inhabitants encode their environment within a paradigm generated by territory identity and usage patterns. Often the same development needs to work also within a public paradigm with clearly defined networks of movement, information and social mobility.

A formal pattern of hierarchical socio-cultural infrastructure and city level movement pattern is overlaid on the housing fabric to create a duality of perceptual fields.

One of the key tests of a civilisation is its housing. In a modern democracy this must mean that everyone should be able to have a decent dwelling and choice in its attainment.

There remains a great need to mobilise organisational systems, finance, industry, and architectural imagination to aspire to this end and Uttorayon is seen as the first step in this process.