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Hyperdense Conflux: Undergraduate Thesis

Chandigarh College of Architecture

Undergraduate Thesis Research


Sustainable development of informal settlements has a very widespread interpretation. Most informal settlements severely lack infrastructure, health and sanitation requirements, and sustainable development of these areas would foremost address these issues. However, there is inherent sustainability present in these self-developed areas that need wider recognition and acknowledgement in the redevelopment processes, such as their close-knit social structure, the interdependence of small scale industries working in conjugation, the highly profitable home-based economies, their dense living conditions while maintaining individual privacy and their resourcefulness in construction.

This research explores the vertical housing solution that retains the morphology and socio-economic quality of spaces of existing informal settlements. 

It explores three core questions:

  1. How can we build a form of incremental vertical housing that retains accessibility to safe sanitation and hygiene while maintaining growth?

  2. How do we address the idea of density in built environments?

  3. How can we accommodate a range of activities within a given space by having a flexible layout?

These ideas were explored within the context of an informal settlement, keeping in mind the skill and resource limitations of the communities. 

The design was imagined on a site in Dharavi, Mumbai.

Project Details

The design follows a plug-and-play system, with the structural core working as the service core as well. This ensures that all modules plugged onto the structural core would have access to sanitation and services as well. Such a layout allows for an ever incremental growth, without compromising basic service and lighting. 

Project Gallery

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