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Kanpur Riverfront Development - Britta Knobel Gupta

Kanpur Riverfront Development - Kanpur, India

Britta Knobel Gupta - Studio Symbiosis




Britta Knobel Gupta, is the co-founder of Studio Symbiosis Architects. She is known for her dynamic and pioneering works with a focus on creating spaces that exist in equilibrium with their surroundings. The project portfolio displays the wide repertoire of design exploration ranging from  Master plans, Hospitality, Mixed use development, Offices, Housing and Villas.

Britta studied Architecture at the university of applied sciences in Konstanz, Germany.  For her diploma thesis she was awarded the "Contractworld Newcomer Award 2002" for Emerging talent in Europe. Following this she attended the Architectural Association for her masters in Architecture and Urbanism in the Design Research Lab program with a scholarship from DAAD, Germany, and graduated in 2006. She went on to work with Zaha Hadid Architects and was associated with the practice till 2010 as a Lead Architect designing a number of highly acclaimed visionary projects. She co-founded Studio Symbiosis Architects in 2010.

Britta has taught at the University of Brighton as a Unit Tutor for the Masters Studies, along with University of Stuttgart and School of Planning and Architecture New Delhi.

Britta's focus at Studio Symbiosis lies in creating designs that are an outcome of interfacing the various elements of program, site, context, landscape and climate, thereby resulting in the amalgamation of these design considerations in one coherent design and resonating the term “symbiosis” in the design.  

Britta's portfolio of projects at Studio Symbiosis include; Double tree by Hilton (Ahmedabad, India), Double Tree by Hilton (Kathmandu, Nepal),  Hotel and Service apartments (Mundra , Gujarat), Kanpur Riverfront Development, Trans Ganga Master plan, Allahabad Master plan, Taj Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Taj Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Information Directorate Headquarters (Lucknow, U.P.) and Punjab Kesari Headquarters(Delhi NCR), to name a few.
Studio Symbiosis projects have attained international acclaim with her designs having been awarded the German Design Award (Winner, Best Urban Design Project of the Year, 2015), Iconic Design Award ( Winner, Concept, Best Master Plan of the year, 2014). In 2014 Britta was recognized as " iGen 2014Architect of Future”. Amongst other recognitions her project for Allahabad Masterplan was recognized by WAN 2014 as being long listed for best urban design project of the year along with being shortlisted by Leaf Award for best residential project of the year. 

The projects from Studio Symbiosis have been published widely; Yahoo Homepage, Puls Magazine, Architecture into the future, Architect and Interiors India, Times of India, WAN, Arch Daily, Construction Opportunities, MGS Architecture “People Watch”, ANC Korea, Design Matrix, I&B, along with various Indian and international publications.

Kanpur Riverfront Development

Location: Kanpur, India
Architects: Studio Symbiosis
Client: Undisclosed
Area: 457 Acres

Kanpur riverfront development is a part of an overall scheme for rehabilitation of river Ganga and the Ganga riverfront. The project area is occupied by tanneries that are creating an unlivable condition for people of Kanpur due to pollution of ground water and the waste discharge in the river itself. The proposal looks at a rehabilitation scheme of moving the tanneries to a nearby location away from Ganga and provides housing for the existing slum population in the area. 
The area being designed is the genesis of Kanpur and has a historical site where the city grew out of. A transit corridor coming from Lucknow enters Kanpur through the site marking its importance as the entrance to the city of Kanpur. The unique position of being next to the holy river Ganga but not being able to access it or enjoy this unique location was the main design driver.  

The flow of the river has been captured as a fluid grid that moves along the Ganga creating a seamless space interacting with the river. Ganga simulations have been created to achieve an informed interactive edge along the river based on Program Attractors. Site is located along the riverfront on one side and on the other side is flanked by a dense city grid. This city grid has been seamlessly weaved in the master plan proposal and travels uninterrupted to the river edge maintaining a connection to the exiting arteries of the city. These two primary grids namely a free flowing horizontal grid and the vertical grid from the city interface in a sublime manner creating a unified design approach.

Designed as a Sustainable master plan, the concept of water, waste, and energy management are integral to the master plan. Conservation of energy on basis of transport management has been designed as an active design element in the master plan. Green corridors lead inhabitants from the interior of the master plan to the Ganga edge thereby facilitating an experience based pedestrian movement to the river. 

The river edge itself has been studied for its existing use and the topographical conditions. The elements existing on the riverfront like Ghat (steps to river) and the archaeological site have been maintained and enhanced through the design. New elements have been introduced to create a fluid movement along the river front with elements of recreation (cultural center, public plazas, shopping arcade, restaurants, hotel, cinema), cultural (archeological site and museum), administration along with town hall and business centers, to facilitate an interactive program and creating a lively river front.

The program required a commercial, residential, and mixed use development. The transport corridors and the river edge have been taken as the magnets facilitating the distribution of the program. 

Skyline responds to a number of site and program conditions. The proposal flows out from the existing city thereby keeping it similar to the scale of surroundings and starts gradually creating a high point that responds to the program. Along the riverfront the skyline responds to the riverfront edge and flows as a silhouette reinforcing the character of the riverfront edge.

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