Area : 5 acre site
Status : On going
Project team :
A project conceived to connect time, bridge history in the city of Munnar.
Built sometime in the early part of the last century, the Arulmani bridge spanned the Munnar river for close to century before time and the relentless river took its fall on the aging steel rendering it unsafe for use. Built by Massey & Co. Engineers, Madras for Finlay Muir and Company , holders of the Kannan Devan Hills lease from Poonjar Royal Family of Kerala.
Instead of dismantling and selling the steel for scarp the KDHP Co. Ltd, the present day owners of the bridge decided to conserve the structure by relocating it to a 5 acre site nearby. A new concrete bridge was to come in its place.
Our project envisages a change in the function of the structure from bridging the river to bridging time –more specifically the history of Munnar over the last 100 years or so. Historically in India, and even today; the spaces underneath bridges/flyovers are alive and bustling with activity. The shelter bridges provide encouraged commerce, recreation underneath among other things.
Locating the bridge on a elevated part of the site allowed us to carve out spaces underneath as well as float the bridge accordingly. One end of the bridge is encased in a gallery –showcasing the history of the bridge. The entry to the bridge is only through this gallery – making it one of the exhibits of the gallery even though it bursts out of it on one side. The other end cantilevers out into infinity – into times to come – into the future.
A small movie screening room, a retail outlet and a tea shop where various kinds of tea are served are located below the bridge fronting a plaza from where one can look up at the bridge.