Borrowed Space

The capacity for informal and borrowed use of space in India is an unusual and exciting experience for an architect used to restrictive planning controls. In a small civic space in Connaught Place, New Delhi, trees, garden beds and columns provide the moment to pause, to gather, to talk on the phone or to sit or lean on suitable ledges or tree trunks. Circulation weaves through leftover zones between groupings of activity. Arcades and broad tree canopies provide much needed shade.  People are drawn to spaces that provide shelter and amenity - in this case, shade from the searing heat and a place to sit or lean.

The activities that make Connaught Place a vibrant, interesting and appealing place to be are temporal, ephemeral: the meeting of people, the temporary stalls selling fruit, sunglasses and snacks, the communal water jug, the swapping of stories, the ability to temporarily park your bike. Although the built form provides an anchor it is the spaces between that provide the setting for life to happen.