In India, the torrential rains come once a year and can cause catastrophic flooding. And these floods are only going to get worse: A 2017 study found that the monsoon in northern and central India has steadily strengthened over the last 15 years, at least partially due to rising land and sea temperatures. At one metal parts factory in Mumbai, located near a body of water that forms during the rainy season, the architect Sameep Padora has designed a clever solution for when the monsoon flows and the area floods.
The depression, nicknamed the “Concrete Void,” can hold 185,000 gallons of water, and, if it continues to overflow, the water will be routed into storm drains. A concrete passageway enables workers to cross the void with ease.
The design is also akin to resilience strategies in the Netherlands, where the Dutch government has deliberately created public squares–or even sports fields–that can act like floodplains when the water begins to overflow, doing double duty as public space and stormwater management. The idea is to work with the water, understanding the way it flows and designing structures to accommodate it.As storms get more intense with the impact of climate change, this kind of resilient architecture will be far more effective than simply building a wall to keep the water out.