Designing a Sanitation Hub
Two geographically and demographically different settlements were selected to study current sanitation needs of the community, based on which a Sanitation Hub was proposed for each of the two settlements.
The first site is a transitioning town, Virochanagar in the outskirts of Ahmedabad City where three distinct conditions were identified through initial field visits, which would each offer a distinct program for a Sanitation hub, leading to the design of three different prototypes for the sanitation hub – the civic areas of the settlement, the neighborhood and the threshold between the farming lands and the edge of the community. Each of these prototypes have been designed as modular and reversible structures configuring toilet needs, water based activities, health and retail facilities and social infrastructure based on its location and relationship with the settlement.
The second site selected for study, is a high-density settlement in the suburbs of Mumbai island city at Mahim, Ramgarh Chawl, which is an informal settlement built along the gravely polluted Mithi River. For this site, again three site configurations were identified based on the urban condition – threshold of formal and informal settlement, within the community neighborhood and the river edge along the settlement. For each site condition, a prototype has been defined by program. Each of these prototypes have been designed as modular and reversible structures configuring toilet needs, water based activities, health and retail facilities and social infrastructure based on its location and relationship with the settlement.
Through the process of surveying and studying different conditions on site and needs of the community at larger was key to define the Sanitation Hub. The addition of programs to cater to social and everyday essentials of the community embeds the Sanitation Hub and eases its acceptance within the settlement. Spaces for retail and health clinic offer economic opportunity for operating and maintaining the hub. The structure of the sanitation hub is defined by a basic formwork of easily available materials and simple assembly system and advocates the use of local material and technology to cater to the larger context of the settlement. A flexible structure that can be expanded, re-adapted and completed dismantled depending on the changing needs of the community leaves the hub open for evolving along with the transitioning of the settlement.