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HOF Horizontal Farm New Delhi

West Connaught Social Farm

 

A large portion of New Delhi’s population lives in substandard conditions. But even within (or maybe because of) this chaotic environment, people are able to create unique artwork, long-lasting relationships with others around, and a strong identity. The main goal is to organize this chaotic slums environment, linking their culture with a livelihood promotion.

The West Connaught Social Farm will serve as an important part for reaching New Delhi’s development goals. Inhabitants are able to enjoy access to essential human needs (Sense of Community + Life Supporting Environment & Resources + Unlimited Access to Information) while maintaining their culture and tradition. In addition, the WCSF provides the city with food supply, a recycling center, and an open space for commerce and meaningful interactions.

Environment

The openness and flexibility of the slum context is expressed in the design in order to allow the inhabitants to keep their cultural way of live in a much improved living and growing space. The two main buildings are composed of a high-strength concrete column-and-slab system to allow partitions to be adjusted as needed during current or future use, as families number increase.

Families are always changing sizes and the WCSF will allow some flexibility for its residents to reshape the space inside and adjacent to their dwellings. The most widely desired residential unit is the joint family, ideally consisting of three or four related generations, all living under one roof, working, eating, worshiping, and cooperating together in mutually beneficial social and economic activities. The indoor spaces are designed to provide inhabitants with a comfortable, life supporting environment. Passive heating (insulation) and cooling (ventilation) through architectural elements such as muxarabis (colored screen wall that allows air circulation) create an ideal environment for living and working all year long.

Farms are located on superior floors, and thus, are protected from floods but are well irrigated by rain and irrigation system. Water collection systems are connected to storage tanks, and the buildings use efficient irrigation and sanitation systems in order to minimize water usage. There is also a reflecting pool on ground floor level which captures water from the irrigation and rain system, reusing it and approaching users to an important element inside their culture: water. Two open spaces outside are reserved to create interaction zones of the context which spatial configuration is intended to facilitate the transition from one place to another. People can easily transit through the WCSF by using a wide walkway.

Self-sustaining building

About resource saving, WCSF will be a self-sustaining building in many aspects. Helix-shaped turbines partially supply the building’s energy needs. The helical patterned

vertical turbines generate energy no matter which direction the wind blows. The recycling center is equipped with low energy demand machinery to reduce energy use. Quantity: 500turbines*8000kWh*1year = 4 million kWh/year.

The farming sites are responsible for producing large quantities of food every year that can be either consumed or sold. Alternate season crops are grown so that food is produced throughout the year. The farming sites will be responsible for producing 18,000 kg of food every week. Food varieties will include pearl millet, wheat, corn, lentils, soy, pea, beans, assorted vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, onion) and assorted fruits (lemon, apricot, figs, orange, plums). Those products are extensively consumed in Indian gastronomy. 2,860 people will be able to feed from the production.

Water collection systems will make the building self-sustaining to household consume and farms irrigation with a storage capacity of 520,000 liters = 520 m3 that are consumed each week by 652 families.

Each person produces 1,2kg of garbage per day. This means that each day 3,120 kg of garbage are produced in WCSF. The recycling center will be able to recycle 9 ton/ day between plastic, metal, paper and organic matters. A composting center will provide all fertilizer needed to farming process. It is also important to mention that exists a cybertrash recycle sector inside the recycling center. E-waste numbers is a rising concern in all developing countries and the recycling center are equipped to handle such waste along other trash. This initiative will help transition New Delhi’s informal recycling sector workers to safer environmental and labor conditions. A road will be created to receive/deploy the external recycling trucks and can be used by regular traffic.

Construction Process and Materials

The construction process of WCSF is simple, based in a modular scheme, both infrastructure and plan organization. Precast columns obey a regular mesh of 10x15m with high-strength concrete slab system which allows independence between structure and walls. The floor plans are organized by two mesh patterns: 3x3 (which comprises 116 mq) and 3x4 (with 155 mq). These patterns arrange dwellings and commercial unities through ground level and other five floors. All unities are elevated 0,80m from the ground to prevent cattle entrance inside homes and stores, as they are free to circulate in public areas. These units are independent masonry buildings with four types of arrangements (due to family number): type one with 97 mq; type two with 103 mq, type three with 122 mq and type four with 73 mq. All construction process is consistent with local workforce production, using technologies that optimize edifice development in less time. When ready, the WCSF will grant a 100-year life cycle, such as it is expected.