KOLKATA, November 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Kolkata city is home to some of the most revered places of worship of Hinduism. The seat of divine female power, Shakti, the Dakshineswar Kali temple draws huge numbers of devotees all around the year and is one of the most visited places of worship in Kolkata.
In the earlier days, visiting by boat was one of the most preferred ways to reach the temple, and by road being the second. The approach road to the temple, that was once predominantly pedestrian, now caters to growing vehicular traffic of private cars, taxis, two wheelers and goods vehicles. Increased footfalls over the years have brought in a lot of shops and kiosks catering to the visitors. Finding no other space to occupy, these shops have filled the footpath, pushing pedestrians to the road jostling for space with rickshaws, cars and goods vehicles. Further, the approach road is extremely slow moving and congested during regular days and a logistics nightmare on festive days.
The temple is accessed through a single 10.5 meters wide road, almost 400 meters in length. There is no scope for expansion laterally since either side is occupied by Railway staff quarters. The street originates at a traffic roundabout, leading to Vivekanand Setu on the western direction and Ramkrishna Paramhans Dev Road leading north. This roundabout is also the entrance point for the Dakshineswar temple Railway Station and the bus stop. The convergence of buses, cars, slow-moving traffic like rickshaws, railway commuters and goods vehicles cause massive pile-up at the rotary.
Therefore, this roundabout is the first point of focus for an intervention, followed by the approach road to the temple . Collating the design brief from the West Bengal Government and KMDA for resolving this situation,Design Forum International conceptualized 380 meters long and 10.5 meters wide Skywalk. This state-of-the-art Skywalk creates a connection between the roundabout and the entrance gates of the temple compound with a provision of 12 escalators, 4 elevators and 8 staircases to allow devotees and users to embark and disembark from the Skywalk. The Skywalk also relocates over 200 shops that are currently operating on the Rani Rashmoni Road; it integrates the walking con-course, shops, escalators and elevators with a provision to connect it to the Railways footbridge as well, with separate lanes for motorized and non-motorized.
There are also plans for connecting the railway footbridge to the Skywalk allowing for devotees using the Dakshineswar railway station directly from the railway platform level. There are further embarking and disembarking points at the other intersecting streets allowing for convenience of the local residents and shoppers. The temple gates end of the Skywalk has a set of 1 escalator, 1 elevator and 1 staircase on both the disembarkation and embarkation ends. All access points are treated as all-weather glass enclosures with adequate safety measures.
The Skywalk as a concept is rooted in modernity, a contemporary response to the problems generated over the years. The modernity of the concept found its reflection in the dynamism of its form, a never-ending stream of the faithful finding its reflection in the pulsating waveform, the adaptability to context found its reflection in the fluidity of its form.
About Design Forum International
In the year 1995, three young architecture graduates from IIT Kharagpur started an architectural practice called Tevatia, Chauhan & Sharma Architects (TCS). In 2003, the practice was rechristened as Design Forum International (DFI) headed by three partners Anand Sharma, Anoj Tevatia, and Goonmeet Chauhan, with a clear intent to foster an egalitarian organizational ethos where distinctive architectural talent finds self-expression and can contribute in a democratic and collaborative work environment. The practice has since grown from strength to strength pursuing a distinctive value-based architectural spirit that DFI imbues with a portfolio covering large array of work in the domain of architecture.
Design Forum International