Dharavi is the biggest slum in Asia, located about 10 minutes from the city centre, the famous Bollywood and the financial district.it is home to over a million inhabitants who are responsible for a vibrant garbage and recycling industry which generates profits in excess of 500 million USD annually.it basically supplies Bombay with necessities in products and goods.

Arch2o-Let’s Talk about Garbage-UGO Architecture and Design (3)

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The city authorities decided to sell off the slum to an investor who is among other things charged to see to the housing, sanitary and water needs of the registered 300 thousand inhabitants, falling short of the reality of over a million. The housing should be around 20.9 sq. m per person.

Arch2o-Let’s Talk about Garbage-UGO Architecture and Design (6)

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The major challenge was with whether to relocate the slum outside the city or have a social housing scheme sitting at the very centre of the metropolis.

In responding to this, the architects looked to no other place than the source of the garbage industry. Located at about 7.5 km from Dharavi, the Derona garbage dump is the spring of the industry. Residents collect about 6 thousand tonnes of garbage daily, which keeps the industry moving.

Arch2o-Let’s Talk about Garbage-UGO Architecture and Design (8)

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Now the proposed new structure is a somewhat vertical rendition of a slum, aside the north facing part that has a predetermined function, the rest of the building is left to the shaping of the inhabitants.

As a multi-storey block, it is divided into units of 7 x 3.5m similar to a car park.

Arch2o-Let’s Talk about Garbage-UGO Architecture and Design (7)

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This south facing residential part is left to residents to reshape as they see fit, making them the architects of their living space like they do in a slum. The north facing recycling part divided from the latter by a corridor permits for close proximity to the tools of their trade.

Arch2o-Let’s Talk about Garbage-UGO Architecture and Design (5)

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The whole is encircled with a 7m wide circulation area at the fringes providing for normal moving around as well as meeting spaces for trade of the inhabitants.

Type: Mass Housing

Area: 150 000m2

Location: Bombay

 By Hassan Mohammed Yakubu

Courtesy of UGO Architecture and Design

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