333 / Dan Whelan: The Arc

Dan Whelan from Australia/Melbourne; “Dan is a design driven Graduate of Architecture, living and working in Melbourne. He is passionate about sustainable design and community building, believing that quality design should not only respect the surrounding environment but should be ever forward looking in its approach while remaining timeless. He believes architecture should not only be ascetically appealing and functional, but like art, make you feel something. With a strong skill-base in architectural design, documentation and visualization, he creates unique designs challenging the status quo.”

Website: http://danwhelanarchitecture.com

University: RMIT University | Melbourne | Australia

Instagram Username: danwhelanarchitecture

Name of Project: The Arc

Project Description: Rapid urban growth and growing inequality has created a global crisis in housing that increasingly segregates the rich from the poor. Though not fully understood, there is a clear and parallel relationship between the size of a city and its level of socio-economic disparity: the larger the city, the less equal it tends to be. Physical and social segregation, which both reflects and perpetuates socio-economic disparity within a city, is a growing concern in cities worldwide – including Mumbai. The long-term success of a city depends on the collective well-being of all its inhabitants.

My neighbours are rich and poor. They are fishermen, doctors, and teachers. Moving through and around each other, we pass with a smile in our eyes. Our backgrounds are different but what is life without the riches of diversity. That draws us in and brings us together. That reminds us of compassion, of our humanity and humility. Mumbai is my city; it is rich with history and culture. Dense, fast paced and loud. A city that moves and grows within itself, within this city is my own city, a new re-imagined place. Compact and protected like a fort, yet permeable to all. Our home is warm and cool, lit between the bricks the moving sun casts dappled light into our Oti. All around I see the ocean, the metropolis and a community united. This is our re-imagined place.

A village city – Like traditional villages in rural settings, The Arc exists as a small compact entity with a defined built perimeter. It sits within broader open space formed by generous waterfront parks, open squares and natural landscaping. This setting creates a clear sense of identity to the village compared to the surrounding context. Villages have always had a centre, be it a square, marketplace, religious building or green space. These are important spaces for exchange, meeting, gathering, transaction and celebration of both economic, community and spiritual life. The community pavilion at the heart of the village acts as a focal point for visitors and locals while providing a space for shared mixed use. The existing temple and gym within Worli fort are relocated, allowing the construction of a new museum space within the fort focusing on the history and culture of the site and its original inhabitants.

Public open space – The public domain creates places to explore and discover, relax and play, inspiring and enabling sustainable lifestyles for residents and visitors alike. The village is inspired by the opportunity to reconnect the community with nature, to provide green and versatile spaces that help celebrate the diversity of village life. The public open space within the village boundary is to include a sequence of light interventions, which provide a rich and lush activated foreground, including combinations of beautiful planting, open public squares and framed vistas looking through to distant spaces. Beyond the village walls large open waterfront parks can be discovered and used freely.

Mixed-use, Pedestrian-Oriented – The new city maintains and enhances the active street life that is prevalent in the current local context. The city has been designed on a 200m diameter circulation zone within its internal walls. This facilitates easy way finding and movement through the site to surrounding neighbourhoods and public transportation nodes. The streetscape is designed to be sensitive to the human scale providing pedestrians with a unique experience which blends the right mix of activity generated uses to encourage people to linger, mingle and interact as a single community which celebrates diversity in experiences and cultures.