vantage median

TYPOLOGY: urban design of median
AREA: 1.5 km
LOCATION: kothacheruvu/ shaikpet-film nagar road, HYDERABAD, TELANGANA, INDIA
designed for: greater hyderabad municipal corporation
YEAR: 2019-2020

Hyderabad is located on the Deccan Plateau, covered with igneous sheet rock dating back over 250 million years. The terrain of the city, which originated from the Golconda Hill, is undulating and steep. Higher parts of the city stand in sharp contrast to low-lying areas, and there is often stark disparity in terms of ease of construction, development, accessibility and economic status. Areas located in close proximity are often cut off from one another due to the difference in height and resulting lack of direct access between them. Two such areas in contrast as Shaikpet and Film Nagar. Shaikpet is a low-lying area (“pet” meaning valley) that came up around the Old Mumbai Highway, whereas Film Nagar is a more affluent neighborhood of the high-end Jubilee Hills, inhabited by celebrities from the Telugu film industry and movie studios.

Until recently, there was no connection between these two localities, except for an unpaved, winding, steep lane that few were aware of. As Shaikpet became busier due to its connection to the Financial district and Hitech City (the hub of the IT industry) from central Hyderabad, the winding road came to be frequented as a traffic-free short-cut between Hitech City/ Toli Chowki and Jubilee Hills. The road caught the attention of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), and was widened and paved in 2016, but did not receive beautification beyond this.

DesignAware approached the GHMC with the idea of designing a landmark median on this steep road, that would follow the slope of the existing terrain with a series of stepped mini-gardens. The top of the road is a significant vantage point that offers views of the Qutb Shahi Tombs and the city in the distance from a great height. The median serves as a green space and picturesque foreground to view the city from above, as well as a pattern to be viewed going up, a unique perspective afforded by the steep road, as it is impossible for a median to be visible as a whole on flat ground.

The median is designed after thorough consideration of the grade of the road and steps are created at varying heights to match the level of rise of the slope. A series of smaller zigzagging steps provide access to pedestrians who need an easier way to climb up or down the road, instead of from the sides, that becomes dangerous for pedestrians as vehicles increase their speed to climb the top.