Pune, Maharashtra, India
Spread over forty hectares on the outskirts of the Pune, on the Mumbai Expressway, this three thousand-unit township is strategically located near emerging employment areas and within an hour’s drive to the new Mumbai International Airport.
Setbacks from the river’s edge and a wide unbuildable swathe of land crossing the site negated the potentials for constructing low-rise walk-up housing. It resulted in utilizing the allowed built-up area in limited leftover areas, pushing the saleable areas into high-rise towers. But this conundrum offered opportunities for new strategies as well. The large open areas could be developed as a central park and an expansive esplanade along the riverfront, with boating and picnic areas.
The Lodha Township is an emerging typology of urban fabric generated by excessive urban land prices, restrictive and corrupt urban planning practices and inadequate urban infrastructure. These factors have blocked access to shelter by the middle class in urban areas, and made major development projects within urban areas prohibitively expensive, pushing development to peripheral areas. Prime sites for this type of integrated development are along growing urban corridors. These projects are self-contained small townships, housing several thousand households, with their own water supply, sewerage treatment, parks, crèches, clubs, recreational facilities and electrical substations.
The Lodha Township was taken up jointly with the developer in a spirit of exploration. During the design process the government made major changes in the development control regulations, altering allowed heights, increasing required setbacks, and changing standards.
The township’s location near employment opportunities in information technology and high technology industries made the site suitable for young people. The largest cricket stadium in the region is next door, and the National Sports Complex is within fifteen minutes drive, making this site especially attractive.
Several innovations were introduced tempering other emerging developments in Pune. Due to increasing land prices in cities only high-end housing is being produced. In the Lodha Township studio and one-bedroom apartments were introduced for the first time in the region in recent history. These apartments are affordable and convenient for young professionals. A large central park was introduced with sports facilities, including golf, which is growing in popularity amongst young people. The apartments are open on many sides creating cross ventilation and views over open green areas. The largest, and best equipped, community club in the region is at the center of the community’s parklands.
This project applies rational strategies to shelter production, in a disjointed, and ad hoc urban planning environment. It moves outside of a utopian framework where all factors are within the designer’s control, and deals with objective reality producing an alternative lifestyle to congested, polluted and chaotic urban options.
LocationPune, Maharashtra, India
Built Up Area4,55,312 Square Meters
Site Area98 Acres
Structural Design : J+W Consultants, Pune and Ramboll, Mumbai
Landscape Design : Landscape India, Ahmedabad
MEP Design(Building) : MEP, Mumbai
MEP Design(Infrastructure) : Tata Consulting Engineers
Golf Course Designer : Greg Norman, Florida, U.S.A.
Photographer: Ashish Bhonde
Director of Photography: Ramaprasad Akkisetti
Prof. Christopher Benninger, Daraius Choksi, Rahul Sathe, Shivaji Karekar, Sachin Deo, Sundar Bommaji, Prashant Kulshreshtha, Prashant Verma, Rashida Lokhandwala, Kalpak Shah, Shreyashi Dasgupta, Swapnil Kanitkar, Sagar Shah and Supriya Krishnan