The Yamuna River Project

Palam Drain Pappankalan: Hybrid Infrastructure

Audrey Hughes

This project transforms the existing Pappankalan-I electrical substation into a public hybrid site of power and water treatment infrastructure along the Palam sub-drain. The community hub dissolves the barrier between the neighborhood residents and their water systems through a combination of water storage, treatment, and collection mixed with amenity, theater, education, and market program spaces.

A series of stepped outdoor pools extends the sub-drain into a hybrid public space that responds to seasonal water levels. This public zone extends into the building, creating an outdoor “theater to the city” that looks back at the Bindapur neighborhood and Palam sub-drain circulation spine.

Within the structure, a marketplace cuts through the main floor, elevated above the monsoon flood levels for maximum efficiency year-round. Ramped circulation extends into the storm water treatment system and storage tank, which doubles as a massive multi-purpose space during the dry season. Visitors can also access bath and laundry amenities, an indoor lecture hall, student education zones, and family rooms. These program zones ultimately lead to the rainwater collection system and treated water tower, which distributes potable water to the neighborhood during the dry season. The new Pappankalan-I substation occupies a smaller footprint on site due to upgraded technologies.

This combination of water and amenity program creates a socially and educationally active community center that satisfies daily needs of the neighborhood residents while exposing people of all ages to the inner-workings of storm water collection, treatment, storage, and distribution, while maintaining an upgraded electrical substation.

All rights reserved by the Yamuna River Project at the University of Virginia, 2017.

One West Range, Hotel A, Room B01. Charlottesville VA, 22904-4282.

P.O. Box 400282

+1 (434) 924-9742