Waiting Bars were common sense until 1990’s.
Waiting Bars literally meant consideration for incremental growth.
This is also an incremental work involving friends far and close – human and non-human.
Incremental growth was also a thing in the Middle Class housing of the Town Planning Schemes.
The buildings in Town Planning Schemes, typically designed by architects with English Taste, underwent an incremental transformation in the 1950’s and 60’s, perhaps also designed by architects.
Typically, additional foundations and columns are added around the existing building and existing columns of the buildings are extruded further such that a couple of floors can be added above.
This creates a strange, yet absolutely normal, collage or even a montage of building types;a palimpsest of Reinforced Cement Concrete talking of the historical shifts in the city.
Imagine if Eisenman’s Houses I to X or Hejduk’s Berlin Masques sat on an Art Deco Bungalows; that would be strange yet, normal if it was in an ecology of masques.
It reinforces the aspect of time and multiple actors in the discussion of type and form.
In contrast, Mumbai of today, is only about redevelopment.
The speed of building production today is faster than ever before and it is likely to only increase in the near future.
Redevelopment is seen as the recipe for instant emancipation.
However, this emancipation is always a hard bargain and more often than not a massive gamble.
In such a scenario any talk of incrementality is utterly ridiculed by the glaring statistics of shortage of everything, except population, that has made home at the core of all thinking in the making of the city.
Waiting is itself ridiculed! Waiting is expected to be quick.
There are several other ways to think about city making, redevelopment need not be the only one.
Waiting can be an effective tool to counter unthoughtful redevelopments and instant emancipation.
Waiting can be the silence of our times.
Waiting can be good for your health.
Waiting can be good for your wealth.
Waiting makes room for new imaginations and ideas.
Redevelopment can wait!
Architecture can wait!
Waiting Bars can wait!
Bars are a good place to wait.
Do not act, yet!
[The work was part of a group show at KHOJ, Delhi, titled ‘Under Construction’ curated by Anuj Daga. For more details click here]