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Five Students Bring Justice and New Life to an Abandoned Mosque

Read how these students from Madhav Institute of Technology and Science won the Designer's Choice Award

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A team of five members, Rishika Sood, Dev Kansana, Vanshika Bitthariya, Brijmohan Kushwah, & Sandeep Dhakar; we are fourth year Architecture students from Madhav Institute of Technology and Science situated in Gwalior. The Department of Architecture at MITS is a leading voice for excellence in the field of Architecture and Construction in India, that demonstrates how design enhances the quality of life, while addressing important issues of society through responsible architecture. 

What inspired you to enter the design competition?

We discovered the Janani Mosque in the Hazira neighbourhood last year while we were doing a survey of the region for a design problem. Immediately mesmerized yet intrigued by this abandoned Mughal structure, we sought to the local residents to know more about the monument. Unfortunately none of them knew what this structure was and we had to seek help from the local conservation organisations that helped us identify the structure as the Janani Mosque, which was built exclusively for women in the Medieval era. When we came across the brief of the Adaptive Reuse Design competition, we saw it as an excellent chance to bring justice to this abandoned historic structure through an innovative design solution. 

What are some challenges you overcame in creating your design? 

One of the major challenges that we faced in the conceptual stage of our design was to come up with a new function for the dilapidated mosque that could bring attention to its rich history while at the same time serve the needs of the local women, for whom the mosque had originally been created. In order to overcome this problem, we spent a few days interviewing the local community and understanding their lifestyles. Subsequently, we were able to recognize their needs and imagine an Adaptive Reuse design that could aid them to live a better life. 

Any closing thoughts? Anything you would like the world to know?

Through the means of this competition we were able to explore the potential that Adaptive reuse holds for the built environment both socially and sustainably. It not only preserves the cultural aspects of a building but also benefits the environment and the economy as it consumes lesser resources and results in an overall reduced life cycle environmental impact. We would like to thank Designclass for providing us this excellent opportunity to participate in the competition, learn about Adaptive Reuse and showcase our design to the world.

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