Building an aesthetically pleasing structure with captivating elevations and distinctive interiors is everything that constitutes architecture? One is completely mistaken! The urban level is where architecture begins. We frequently picture the skylines of large cities when we think about urban design, but it is not the most significant component of the discipline. At its core, the architecture reflects the surroundings, the individuals who live in it, their cultures and beliefs, as well as how we view the world. It is crucial in defining and reshaping a neighbourhood and a city. The way a neighbourhood is constructed affects how its residents live, either by affecting their mood or their performance, which in turn makes their lives either easier or more unpleasant. As an illustration, a person who drives via a bustling, congested road could feel more drained or irritable than someone who walks along a vibrant road with vegetation on both sides.

Mumbai viewed from an Architect's eyes - Sheet1
Mumbai Skyline_©https://www.vexels.com/vectors/preview/144393/mumbai-silhouette-skyline

A skilled architect recognises that functionality is a key component in enhancing neighbourhood activities. One learns about Lynch’s five elements (paths, edges, nodes, districts, and landmarks) during the learning process. These elements cause the locals to interact and connect to the physical things and environment using the five senses of the human body, changing how they perceive their surroundings.

 

Mumbai viewed from an Architect's eyes - Sheet2
Kevin Lynch’S five elements which make up a city_©https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figure-3-A-copy-of-a-leaflet-used-in-the-different-workshops-to-communicate-to_fig3_327253977

Mumbai city appears to be a mingling of many traditions and religions at first look. These are some of the most lovely neighbourhoods in Mumbai since they seem to be full of character and intriguing things to do. Previously a collection of seven islands, India’s commercial capital is today a cosmopolitan city. As a tourist, you can admire the impressive heritage artwork and buildings in South Mumbai, the gardens and temples of the Malabar Hills, the opulent malls and eateries in the suburbs, the well-known Sea Link that connects the city to the suburbs of Mumbai, the railways, which are Mumbai’s lifeline and enable citizens to travel to any part of the city. Mumbai is a self-sufficient metropolis, with a variety of clinics, schools, marketplaces, gardens, and other facilities at or close to every ward, as any architect who has studied Mumbai will tell you. With the support of the western, harbour, and central railway lines as well as the eastern and western expressways, it is well linked in the north-south direction. The Santacruz-Chembur and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli connecting roads enhance east-west travel as the metro develops and currently does so.

Mumbai viewed from an Architect's eyes - Sheet3
Mumbai’s mental map_©https://images.citizenmatters.in/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2020/11/22143512/South-Mumbai-map.jpg

Mumbai is a single metropolis that was naturally conceived and constructed for the purpose for which it is famous. The western suburbs of south Bombay have a concentration of restaurants, shopping centres, sports arenas, and entertainment venues surrounded by residential neighbourhoods, while the eastern suburbs are home to mills, factories, and a mix of industrial and residential districts. One experiences a sharp difference when travelling through the fort’s small, twisting corridors and over the broad highways of the Bandra-Kurla Complex. Open areas where India’s people may develop together are the main thing the country lacks. Several public areas, including Marine Drive, the Gateway of India, the Hanging Garden, Shivaji Park, and the Lion’s Garden, as well as numerous beaches, border the Arabian Sea shore. However, these public spaces are extremely congested as a result of Mumbai’s growing population. Mumbai should provide well-maintained playground parks and open spaces in every ward to solve this problem. These areas improve the sense of community by fostering connections, bonds, and the development of deep connections that benefit both the community as a whole and the individual.

Apart from the predominant Hindu group, Mumbai has a variety of communities. Few to quote: one of the oldest communities, the Kolis along the seashore, has a distinct and distinct way of life. It is also known as the urban village. They live in little dwellings close to one another and celebrate all festivals with great enthusiasm and delight. Zoroastrians have their communities in several regions of Mumbai. They share their culture through modest yet fascinating Iranian cafés in south Mumbai. These groups identify themselves based on ideas and practice, and they evolve in response to society’s changing requirements. 

When it comes to change, Mumbai offers a diverse range of architectural styles. From the 18th century to the present, Mumbai has seen neo-classical, Victorian-gothic, art deco, Indo-Saracenic, and contemporary to modernist architectural styles. Although there are numerous types of development, the majority of buildings are made of concrete (residential buildings) and glass (Commercial complexes). Due to the severe constraints imposed by the BMC and the ever-increasing land prices, architects have found it impossible to find and experiment with new materials. It is thought that the antiseptic, concrete environment and uninspired structures of Mumbai promote increased stress levels. Mumbaikars appear to be resistant to this kind of emotion.

However, after you’ve experienced the city’s way of life, you’ll find it tough to leave. Everything is freely available at any time of day or night in the metropolis of dreams and nightmares. Mumbai is difficult to get lost in, which makes it incredibly legible. Mumbai’s landmarks, odours, and conflicts enhance its image and reveal its genuine identity.

References:

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mental-map-mumbai-using-kevin-lynchs-framework-pranjali-mathure/
  2. https://darnelltechnical.com/architecture-plays-an-essential-role-in-community-design-heres-why/
  3. https://hmcarchitects.com/news/how-does-architecture-impact-society-a-high-level-look-2019-10-18/

Image sources

Picture 1 ( Mumbai Skyline)

https://www.vexels.com/vectors/preview/144393/mumbai-silhouette-skyline

Picture 2 (Kevin Lynch’S five elements which make up a city)

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figure-3-A-copy-of-a-leaflet-used-in-the-different-workshops-to-communicate-to_fig3_327253977

Picture 3 ( Mumbai’s mental map)

https://images.citizenmatters.in/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2020/11/22143512/South-Mumbai-map.jpg

Author

Srushti is an aspiring architect who believes that every structure and place contains an underlying story that can be experienced by everyone. She is a modest observer who uses her keen understanding to comprehend the world. This exposition is constantly pushing her in order for her to absorb and learn, unlearn and relearn.

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