Dharavi Redevelopment Project: Architect Hafeez Contractor, Sasaki & Buro Happold Collaborate To Design Distinctive Master Plan

Dharavi Redevelopment Project: Architect Hafeez Contractor, Sasaki & Buro Happold Collaborate To Design Distinctive Master Plan

In an exclusive to FPJ, Architect Hafeez Contractor said that work on the project has already commenced and that they were studying the ground situation to come with a “unique and one of a kind master plan.”

Draupadi RoheraUpdated: Tuesday, January 02, 2024, 12:14 AM IST
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Dharavi redevelopment project | BL Soni

The Dharavi Redevelopment Project Private Limited (DRPPL) has now roped in architect Hafeez Contractor, design firm Sasaki and consultancy firm Buro Happold to design and conceptualise the master plan for the redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum Dharavi.

In an exclusive to FPJ, Architect Hafeez Contractor said that work on the project has already commenced and that they were studying the ground situation to come with a “unique and one of a kind master plan.” 

The Dharavi Redevelopment Project

"Our vision is a quintessential “Dharavi Vision”. No its not an extension of Bandra Kurla Complex or anything like it. Dharavi has its own beauty and charm and I can assure you that we will be designing it such that it will be an example for the world to emulate. The project is huge…there are so many factors that have to be looked into - the dharavi residents, their profile, sanitation, sewerage, homes, sunlight, playgrounds and what have you. Its challenging but beautiful. And the three of us (Contractor, Sasaki and Happold) are working together as a team with a holistic approach each knot and segment tying well into the other.”

He added that because the project is so vast, no brief has been given by DRPPL. “We are studying the ground situation and coming up with the plan”, he added. He said that the buildings and homes will have so much space that even affluent housing does not match. “We want this project to be the best and we are keeping the interests of Dharavi citizens in mind”, he added.

According to sources the three were hired for their services sometime last week and the brief given to them was that “they understand the Dharavi situation on the ground and come up with a detailed plan. We have left it entirely to them to make suggestions based on their observations. Yes it will be a mix of both commercial and residential,” sources said.

Sasaki & Burro Happold

Contractor has a track record of working on several Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) Projects in Mumbai and Sasaki is a reputed US based interdisciplinary design firm. Burro Happold, on the other hand is an international consultancy firm from the UK and is well known for its work in the field of urban planning and infrastructure engineering.

According to DRPPL sources, Hafeez Contractor will be focussing on the building designs and Sasaki will prepare the master plan for the rehab and sale segments of the project in addition to amenities like roads, hospitals, schools, maidens etc.

Burro Happold has been entrusted with the task of working out a master plan for all the utilities like gas pipe lines, water lines, gutters, sanitation etc. "But all three will be making a detailed comprehensive master plan so that each aspect ties well into the other."

Experts from Singapore also signed up for project

Experts from Singapore’s Housing Development Board who had played a crucial role in crafting over 1.2 million homes in the island city have also been signed up for the project. “Over the course of five decades, the professionals behind Singapore’s urban rejuvenation have garnered invaluable experience. Drawing on the invaluable expertise gained from their journey, the Dharavi Redevelopment Project aims to incorporate these learnings into its own transformational process. “, sources pointed out. They added that Singapore serves as an inspiring example for the Dharavi Redevelopment Project. In the 1960s, Singapore’s landscape was dotted with shanties, slums and ghettos, strikingly similar to today’s Dharavi. 

According to a  DRPPL spokesperson said, “The Dharavi Redevelopment Project is more than an urban renewal… infrastructure – our goal is to elevate the quality of life of the residents of Dharavi while nurturing the essence of its vibrant culture. With a commitment to integrity, inclusivity, and community engagement, we approach this pivotal endeavour with world-class excellence. We anticipate the harmonious fusion of expertise from our world-class partners and the vibrancy and spirit of Dharavi’s citizens to cultivate a model of urban redevelopment that the world can look up to and can be replicated across other locations and cities.”

The Dharavi area, spanning 2.8 sq km, often referred to as Asia’s largest slum, is set for redevelopment. After a decade-long wait, Maharashtra finally secured a successful bidder in November last year. Adani Realty, a segment of Adani Group, won the bid with an offer of Rs 5,069 crore.

Adani Group's vision for Dharavi

The Adani Group envisions an analogous renaissance for Dharavi: the creation of private homes replete with independent toilets, airy kitchens and rooms for family living and resting; emergence of bustling shops and thriving businesses; generation of vocational job opportunities; and upskilling of the local community. 

It may be recalled that recently Indian Mapping Industry leader Genesys International had been roped in by Adani Group’s Portsmouth Buildcon Private Ltd to deploy its digital twin mapping technology for the Dharavi Redevelopment Project. The contract was valued at Rs 22 crore.

The mapping project is expected to be completed within nine months and will transform Dharavi's landscape. Oyster 3D Maps known for their precision and innovation, company sources say will play an important role in the project.

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