The Vadakkechira Water Edge Park
Traditional ponds adorned the landscape of Kerala for centuries till they lost social meaning amidst rapid urbanisation. Vaddakechira Revitalisation is about re-evoking their meaning in the modern landscape.
The Chira was built 300 years ago and served as the bathing space for the royal family at Sakthan Palace, priest from the Ashokeswaram temple, the public and the domesticated elephants.
Gradually as the bathing culture changed, the Chira lost its social value and went into oblivion from public memory. Until 2005, the chira was surrounded by tall walls, overgrown by wild vegetation and reduced to a dumping ground.
Vadakkechirra Revitalisation was conceptualised by DD architects with just one aim – to give the quiescent Chira back to the city.
Fresh walls were built around the Chira and a walk way was laid outside. The wall details provided adequate glimpses of the Chira to the pedestrians on the walk way. It provided security to the pedestrians from the high-traffic directed from the bus stand nearby and the deep drain on the side. Two padipuras (entrance gateways) were laid on the compound wall. Padipuras serve as refuge for pedestrians during monsoons.
Inside a water-edge park was created with sculptural seating decorated with terracotta murals at the backrest and projected seating areas in the water. Fragrant flowering trees and natural rocks were added to the landscape.
Soon to the delight of DD architects and the public, hundreds of intra-state migratory birds were sighted at the Chira. The Chira along with the nearby freshly planted Sakthan Thanmpuram Garden became a new ecological hotspot in the city.