Concourse, Confluence, Convergence

A pragmatic, participatory plan for Kochi’s Mullassery Canal

Aparna Suresh | Balagopal CK | Siddharth Thyagarajan | Rasya Kumar

Kochi which constitutes the mainland Ernakulam, its suburbs and a network of islands, was historically connected through a network of backwaters and Tidal Canals for inland transportation and trade. The urbanisation of Ernakulam also meant reclamation of its coastal wetlands and degradation of its canals. A combination of factors, including erratic rainfall patterns, bouts of unprecedented cloudbursts and resultant urban flooding, has brought the focus back on its canal and waterways.

Our proposal is based upon the premise that cognisance of one’s environment fosters a sense of ownership and community. The canals of Kochi are forgotten entities within the city, and they move through its by-lanes, mostly hidden from plain sight as the city continues to grow with its back against it. An attempt has been made in this project through multiple design interventions to bring one of the most vital canals of Kochi, the Mullassery Canal back into the collective consciousness of its people and tap into the immense potential that it holds

The KSRTC bus stand on the eastern end of the Mulassery Canal is the gateway for thousands of people into the city of Kochi every day. A strategy has been devised to separate the service and visitor circulation, thereby creating a solution for the persistent traffic congestion issues in the vicinity of the bus station and parking problems.

The proposal looks at solving the severe waterlogging issues in the KSRTC Bus Stand by correcting the slope, providing proper storm drainage and creating a floodwater catchment in Southern end of the bus station where the Mullassery Canal meets the Perandoor Canal. A variety of facilities and solutions have been recommended to enhance the experience of waiting, dining and shopping at the bus stand, which would have a direct effect on the hygiene, usability and perception of safety within its premises.

The proposal also looks at an innovative solution for the adaptive reuse of negative spaces in the bus station like the areas under the flyover to create a warm and safe environment through design interventions.

The proposal attempts to seize all the opportunities for public placemaking at the sites which can create a CONFLUENCE of people of different genders, ages, sexual identity and orientation which will ultimately be the representation of the project’s success.

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