On December 3, 1984, the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released a poisonous cloud of gas, killing thousands and injuring countless others.
More than 25 years after the disaster, the plant exists in a state of disrepair; toxic chemicals sit exposed to the elements, while groundwater pollution and residual effects of the gas continue to plague residents.
The site is huge ? over 80 hectares in area ? and the disaster still a raw mark in the collective Indian psyche. An architectural response must incorporate environmental rehabilitation, educational outreach, and cultural sensitivity.
With over four months of research (including an in-depth exploration of bioremediation), the project remains grounded in feasibility. At the same time, the project attempts to incorporate the informal as it occurs in India.
The result is an inhabitable plate, with embedded program and rehabilitative functions. Existing factory buildings become integral elements of the structure, providing the basis for formal generation and for occupation by local individuals.
Though it occupies a small part of the site, the plate establishes itself as the origin point for reclaiming the site and erasing its toxic legacy.