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Women's Shelter

Elif Efe

Historically, Chandni Chowk Road was a water source for the neighbourhood. It was knownas the moonlight river as the water ran clear from the Jama Masjid to the Red Fort. Themoonlight would reflect on the water at night, illuminating the chowk as the communitycame together for late night gatherings. Later on, the chowk was covered as a form ofprotection and also increased pedestrian traffic as the population increased. However, uponmany research our studio has gone through, we had come to the conclusion of theimportance the open water had brought to the community, hence my team consisting ofmyself, Brooke Smith, Kayla Bubalo and Jordyn Brown had come to the conclusion to bringthe chowk back and create a pollution protection system to care for the long term effects ofthis revitalization.

Kumar Cinema (1978) now known as the Abishek Cineplex is the only theatre on Chandni
Chowk Road in New Delhi, India that airs Bollywood Movies. The building is rarely used in its
current day and is mainly populated by highschool students in their spare times. The theatre
lacks the latest technology to deliver good sound systems as well as vision quality.
By looking at the theatre as a source of income, and keeping the windowless facade. It was a
perfect site to design a hidden women's shelter in. The current theatre has two entrances,
one from Chandni Chowk Rd that is mainly used for the McDonalds in the building and
another on the side where the electrical market is. The renovation will get rid of the
McDonalds and place a restaurant instead. This restaurant will allow the women in the
building to work and generate a source of income for themselves.

The existing theatre has a section of the electrical market embedded into the architecture.
By omitting this and favouring more of a theatre as well as restaurant space, a bamboo
add-on intervention has been proposed for locals to easily build and attach to the facade.
These additions can also be used to have women sell their creations with close proximity to
their place of stay.


The theatre, now accommodating a restaurant and a newly renovated theatre viewing area,
also has a cafe on the second floor. The existing building having a balcony on the second
floor created this opportunity to allow the first two floors solely accessible to the public and
the remaining 3 floors would be completely private. The cafe is designed with a haveli
balcony system in mind to allow the public to visibly see the cafe on the second floor for
them to access.


The women's stay-theatre is supported by classrooms where women can learn to read and write, a private dining hall for them to cook and eat as they desire as well as a spa, and a
greenhouse. The restaurants are always equipped with vegetables and every cooking
essential they may need. The greenhouse is connected to the spa with a jali window design
to allow endless sunlight and steam into the space.

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