The Adda

THE ADDA

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Public space is increasingly sparse in its availability due to rapidly densifying cities. Acting as the sole space of respite from the regiment of over-planned and crowded cities, it must be as diverse in function as possible to ensure that its citizens are reinstated with as much autonomy as can be granted. Urban furniture design must adapt to allow users to use these spaces in any possibility imaginable. The design scope of street furniture has been minimal for centuries; However, today, a simple element like a bench can become a workspace, a place to sit and eat, an interactive zone, and so much more, based on its design.

 

The era of the Anthropocene has made public spaces essential to a stable and healthy lifestyle. However, hyperproductive societies no longer permit leisure, so another imperative role street furniture must play is incorporating people into nature and communities without hindering their need for productive workspaces. In the optimisation era, plazas, parks, civil and public spaces fend for themselves with little design ideation and funding. These fundamentally significant spaces must break free from their private bubble and return to the citizens; Here; the furniture plays a vital role in how effective these spaces are in welcoming the public, in deciding what one can look at, for how long and how the person feels while sitting there.

 

Adda (अड्डा in Hindi) translates to an intimate place of gathering. It finds its origins in the tea stalls of India, where people come together to have a cup of tea, some snacks and a cigarette. Urban Narratives proposed Adda as a solution within a congested university campus direly in need of spaces for students and staff. However, mesmerised by the project’s scope, the designers found a modular design solution that can be replicated and reorganised by scale and context. There are three strategies employed in the design and implementation of Adda. 

 

The bench

The seating is customisable, user-friendly, replicable, inexpensive to construct and easy to build. A platform made of reclaimed pine wood is divided into two halves for maximum occupancy and usage, with an MS channel that acts as a backrest. Counter benches are built to promote interaction. The unit is placed on an elevated platform made of brick masonry with a cement finish. The materials are locally sourced, recyclable and resilient to harsh outdoor weather. 

 

The steps

The structure incorporates steps into the design when the ceilings are high ceilings above the ground level for ventilation. This scenario is notable in cellars and basements in apartments or colleges that lack interactive spaces where the intent is to gather people and have discussions. In systems that host an audience, the steps are advantageous as they transform into a rostrum for performances and communication. A bench adjoining the measures would ensure maximum and practical usage of space. 

 

The height

A strategy that augments user experience by letting them use it for multiple functions such as working on their devices, reading a book, having a meal, having a conversation and so forth for as long as they want. This approach offers comfort and convenience. A uniform cement texture finish and its wooden details complement each other and the space altogether, with shades of landscape adding to the cheer.