UGO Architecture

Let's talk about garbage... Dharavi


UGO Architecture . archiprix

Dharavi is the only slum in the world that generates profits. Thousands of small factories and workplaces thrive here, supplying whole Mumbai with the most necessary products. Yearly it produces goods worth 500 million dollars.







People who live there are happy, they create a community. Obviously they want changes, changes for the better, and they expect the city authorities to help construct a water supply and sewage system, but they do not want to move from the slums to high-rise buildings. The substitute accommodation offered by the local authorities does not meet the needs of this unusual community. Trying to find a solution for the dwellers of Dharavi, it was important to me to create a structure that was cheap to erect, where people could settle and be entitled to shape and modify. It was also important to preserve any centres of social life, such as the laundry, well, toilets, marketplaces, temples, or simply streets. Another problem was the uniquely attractive location of the city. On the one hand, the thriving metropolis cannot afford to maintain council housing in the city centre. On the other hand, if the people move out, the city centre will be deprived of its cheap workforce. I decided to locate my building near the waste tip of Derona from which thousands of residents bring about 6 thousand tons of garbage to the slums every day. The recycled materials include glass, aluminium, paper, plastic, paints, cans, cables, electric garbage or soap from nearby hotels. The planning and development of the district are based on the 70x70m planning grid. The east part of Dharavi has a similar grid, so I decided that the building should have multiplies of the quarter 70x210 (one unit by three units) plus the streets surrounding that quarter, which gives a total of 84x220.5. Next, the volume was divided into two by two corridors: the residential one to the south and a recycling part to the north. The corridors provide air circulation, protecting the residential part from the foul smell from the recycling part. The whole volume of the building was elevated to create an open ground floor that serves mainly to supply garbage from the dump to the recycling part, and to export goods produced by the residents. The building itself is divided into 7x3.5m units like the multi-storey car park. There are 5820 units marked out, and their residents will independently decide on the materials to be used and will arrange the functions themselves. The basement floor is technical: biogas is produced from waste and excrement, which can become another lucrative source of income for the community.

Designer(s): Hugon Kowalski
Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan
Tutor(s): Robert Konieczny


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