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Water & Religion. 

“Breakout space from the chaotic city”

Community, Cultural and recreational spaces.
Guide : Kimaya Kerluskar
K.R.V.I.A, B. Arch 7th Semester, 2017
Location : Gwalior, India

Keywords: Water, Religion, Cultural acknowledgement, Urban center, Landscape as an initiator.

The relationship between a city and water bodies in it is always a close one. Erstwhile settlements were formed along natural water systems (rivers and springs). Sagar taal is one of the tanks as a means of collecting rainwater and providing a modicum of potable water to the city outside the fort walls. A number of religious institutions and communities cropped up around this lake and used it during various festivities. However, the taal today is a little more than a place to discard garbage from homes and surrounding institutions.


The water-body as a high-impact activity center with a large urban catchment that can draw a lot of strain away from the central city through planned infrastructure as opposed to arbitrarily developed land. Linking the various institutions surround the water body is as important as cleaning the it. The built form is sunken underground; not disrupt the visual and physical connect to the water body. Whereas, the ground level is landscaped to connect the institutions. The landscape allows the institutions to spill over without disrupting the functions underground.  This landscape plays a crucial role in linking the different edges of the water body. This also creates many recreational spaces for the communities nearby. Linking the activities and institutions creates a sense of a larger community which work together in maintaining the water body.

Water & Gwalior:

Importance of water bodies in the expansion of the city.

The city of Gwalior began based on a myth about a king and a pond. As its location is in a somewhat arid region, collection and distribution of water to the fort and the surrounding settlements has been an important aspect of planning of the city.


How can the neglected natural bodies of water act as epicenter's of development?

Development of Gwalior:

Timeline in relation to water bodies.

Many lakes were made to store water for the summers and winters. The city of Gwalior started developing around the water bodies. But in recent decades due to the techniques of water pumping, the natural water bodies have been secluded and turned into garbage dumps.


The site:

Evolution of Sagar taal.

The site of Sagar taal was cropped by various religious institutes over the years and has resulted in its degradation. People have built homes on the catchment area of Sagar taal which blocks the flow of water. The lake can be revived with the help of nearby river and lakes. The revival of the lake improves the ground water table but also encourages the use of alternative water sources.


The intervention wraps around the lake to create a pedestrian complex linking all existing religious institutes. The building is sunken partially underground to respond to the climate and also maintain the importance of the religious institute. 

Courtyards are used to break down the volumes and create interstitial spaces. The roof is landscaped which connects the neighborhood to the water body. The landscape is an extension of the existing temple, mosque, burial ground and sports ring.


Sectional iterations between the existing buildings, new intervention and water body. 


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Section A-A'

Section B-B'

Section C-C'

Section D-D'

Section E-E'