Jenil Sarvaiya
Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai

Project idea

Water Quarry is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at breathing new life into abandoned quarries, viewing them not as desolate spaces but as opportunities for transformative regeneration. This visionary project seeks to leverage the dynamic potential of water to create vibrant, sustainable spaces that harmonize both community life and the natural environment.
The world is still rife with industrial wastelands.
They represent a rift in the contemporary landscape.

My particular interest in the subject of wastelands transformation stems from the fact that I currently reside in a peri-urban environment where the entire region extends over to nearby urban developed zones. Peri Urban regions have been developing more slowly.

The case looks at Vasai-Virar as a peri-urban area which lies in a low-lying belt and (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) as an urbanized area. State and city planners only took into account Mumbai’s requirements while designating the areas on either side of the colonially constructed railway line as urbanizable in Vasai-Virar.

Taking in account the industrial part of the region, where sensitive ecology is being altered for years with no apparent results for these peri-urban areas, alteration of morphologies in a variety of ways can be seen. Many of these abandoned industrial wastelands in industrial zones are left with deteriorated negative spaces that once held significance.
Presently abandoned industry and landscapes are hotspots for disease and garbage disposal area, also a divide between community and quarry can be clearly seen over site.

This thesis found its premise on the question of what happens to such desolate landscapes and how one may turn such spaces into positive ones since, as of yet, one has only gained poorly from the ugliness it creates. What emerges in these wastelands?

Thesis Curious Questions
1. Why one should Preserve industrial heritage and Altered landscape ?
2. What has led to the divide between the waste land and the community? What’s the possibility of reviving such spaces?
3. What additional possibilities exist that could establish or introduce sponge scape at the regional level besides such wastelands?

This thesis anticipates the transformation of derelict wastelands into significant public places that also represent high quality of life through sustainable development, exploring potential regeneration as a tool into such areas.

Project description


WaterQuarry is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at breathing new life into abandoned quarries, viewing them not as desolate spaces but as opportunities for transformative regeneration. This visionary project seeks to leverage the dynamic potential of water to create vibrant, sustainable spaces that harmonize both community life and the natural environment.

Main Phases were extablished in rejuvenating parts of quarries and making each zones as a unique zone

Smart Farming in Water-Enhanced Quarries:
WaterQuarry's journey begins with the implementation of smart farming techniques in water-enhanced quarries. By introducing innovative irrigation methods, these once-forgotten quarries become fertile grounds for sustainable urban farming. This phase not only contributes to local food sustainability but also reconnects the community with fresh, locally grown produce.

Water-Focused Zones Coming Alive:
The second phase of WaterQuarry focuses on creating vibrant, water-focused zones within and around the quarries. Wetlands are established within the quarries to manage water sustainably and provide habitats for local wildlife. Surrounding these transformed landscapes, market and recreation areas come to life, featuring carefully designed water features that enhance the overall experience. Additionally, flower meadows, coupled with rainwater harvesting, contribute to both the aesthetic appeal and the sustainable ethos of the project.

Community Spaces Blooming with Water:
As WaterQuarry progresses, it ventures into developing community spaces that bloom with water-centric features. An eco-friendly water pumping station is implemented to meet the community's water needs sustainably. Reflective water features are integrated into community spaces, providing areas for gatherings and moments of reflection. Plant nurseries with water recycling systems contribute to the ecological restoration of the region. Deep quarries are transformed into stunning ponds, preserving water resources and enhancing the scenic beauty of the area.

Regeneration Tool - Breathing Spaces:
A pivotal aspect of WaterQuarry is the introduction of a unique regeneration tool: the creation of breathing spaces within the industrial region. Departing from traditional industrial processes, these unconventional hubs for regeneration serve as oases of respite amidst industrial activities. This innovative approach not only rejuvenates the physical landscape but also contributes to the mental well-being of the community.

WaterQuarry is poised to achieve transformative outcomes:

Smart Farming for Locals:
The integration of water-wise farming practices not only ensures a sustainable source of fresh, locally grown produce but also fosters a deeper connection between the community and its food sources.

Diverse Water Havens:
The creation of varied ecosystems within quarries promotes biodiversity, supports local wildlife, and contributes to the overall ecological balance of the region.

Community Connection:
The project establishes spaces where water serves as a unifying element, fostering social interactions, community engagement, and a sense of belonging.

Economic & Green Growth:
WaterQuarry's integration of markets and recreation areas with water features contributes to local economic growth while respecting and preserving the natural environment.

WaterQuarry transcends conventional quarry restoration initiatives; it represents a commitment to crafting lively, sustainable urban spaces where water plays the hero's role. The emergence of unconventional breathing spaces within the industrial region redefines the narrative of neglected landscapes, creating a blueprint for holistic urban regeneration.

Technical information

The construction of the quarry-based project primarily focused on integrating landscape features with architectural details, fostering a symbiotic relationship between the quarry and the community.

At the outset, special attention was given to the quarry edges, which were fortified with high tensile steel mesh and adorned with greenery to stabilize and enhance their visual appeal.

The community building within the quarry was designed with slanted stone masonry walls, providing a sturdy foundation for the structure. Concrete frames played a vital role in the structural system, ensuring the building's stability. To anchor the structure securely, frame footings were meticulously drilled into the quarry base, leveraging the existing hard strata. Additionally, beams were strategically anchored to the quarry edges, further reinforcing the building's integrity.

A distinctive feature of the architectural design was the incorporation of large cantilever decks, offering panoramic views of the quarry's expansive landscape. These decks provided visitors with a unique perspective, allowing them to fully appreciate the scale and grandeur of the quarry from within the confines of the architecture.

Solar panels were installed on the rooftop, serving as a renewable energy source for the building. This eco-friendly initiative not only reduced the project's carbon footprint but also underscored its commitment to environmental stewardship.

Overall, the integration of landscape elements with architectural details in the quarry-based project created a harmonious fusion of natural and built environments, exemplifying the potential for innovative design to transform neglected landscapes into thriving community spaces.


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