MVRDV repurposes neglected land beneath Mumbai flyover as public space

Crawlspace at One Green Mile by MVRDV and StudioPOD

One Green Mile is a community landscape in Mumbai, India, which Dutch studio MVRDV and local practice StudioPOD have created from disused space beneath a concrete flyover.

Located on an 800-metre stretch beneath the Senapati Bapat Marg flyover, the undulating landscape features extensive planting and bright blue urban furniture.

Mumbai flyover
MVRDV and StudioPOD have repurposed disused space beneath a flyover in Mumbai

The site, described by MVRDV as an “overbearing element of concrete infrastructure”, is part of a network of roads that extends 11 kilometres across Mumbai.

Its transformation was carried out by MVRDV and StudioPOD to provide the local community with improved public amenities and green space while demonstrating the potential of similar neglected and overlooked sites in the city.

Seating at One Green Mile by MVRDV and StudioPOD
One Green Mile serves as a community landscape

“Perhaps one day we will see the end of noisy, unpleasant highways carving up our cities, but for now they are still unfortunately a necessary evil – one you can see in Mumbai more than most cities,” said MVRDV partner Stefan de Koning.

“One Green Mile asks the question: what if we expected highways to give something back to the places they cut through? A flyover can provide some shade in a hot city, and creates a small area of land that can’t be developed with tall buildings. It’s not such a crazy idea to make that into a public space.”

Play area beneath Mumbai flyover
It features bright blue furniture and play areas

One Green Mile was commissioned by Indian real estate company Nucleus Office Parks.

tcStudioPOD’s role involved developing the program for the project before MVRDV created its visual identity, which is dominated by the colour blue.

Playground at One Green Mile
There are climbing frames

The landscape is conceived as a series of “public rooms” with different functions, ranging from a lounge with shaded seating to an outdoor gym, a performance space and a reading area.

These zones are unified by their graphic blue furnishings, which include slides, climbing frames, chairs and tables.

Extensive greenery also links the different areas, found across screens, planters and an archway. This is hoped to encourage biodiversity, cool the site and dampen noise from the flyover.

As part of the One Green Mile project, MVRDV and StudioPOD have enhanced the site’s accessibility by introducing paving, cycle paths and zebra crossings, as well as ample lighting to ensure safety at night.

Blue tables and chairs in Mumbai
Visitors can rest at tables and chairs

The project is complete with water storage and filtering facilities, which allow monsoon rainwater to be collected for irrigating plants at the site.

According to MVRDV, there is an extension planned for the project, which will see a total of three kilometres of land beneath the wider road network transformed into public space.

Public landscape beneath Mumbai flyover
Greenery has been introduced throughout the landscape

Founded by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries in 1991, MVRDV is an internationally-renowned architecture studio based in Rotterdam.

Other recent landscape projects by the studio include the Tainan Spring pool built within the remnants of a shopping centre in Taiwan and the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk that crosses the rooflines of two buildings in the studio’s hometown.

The photography is by Suleiman Merchant.

Project credits:

Architect: MVRDV
Client: Nucleus Office Park
Co-architect: StudioPOD
Founding partner in charge:
Jacob van Rijs
Partner: Stefan de Koning
Design team: Ronald Hoogeveen, Valentina Chiappa Nuñez, Jose Manuel Garcia Garcia, Prajakta Gawde
Strategy and development: Sruti Thakrar

The post MVRDV repurposes neglected land beneath Mumbai flyover as public space appeared first on Dezeen.