Re-Imagining Dal Lake

Re-Defining Urban Sustainability in Kashmir

This research focuses on the refinement of construction and planning methods in a war-torn conflicted area, where advanced architectural tools and a circular design will provide new perspectives and efficient alternatives to tackle Haphazard urbanization and prevent the shrinking of lakes and relocation.  It will also question the role of an architect in a conflict zone and their path to envision a better infrastructure to help evade the trauma that the people have faced.

Water-borne community introduces circularity in the waste and water collection system for the houseboats which lack proper sanitation setup and are considered the primary source for infecting the lake and its shrinkage by turning the waste into an energy source and thus, cleaning the lake naturally.  The Government spends enormous funds every year for cleaning the lake while planning the relocation of these dal dwellers to marshy lands, susceptible to natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. This is made possible through the knowledge of metabolic design and advanced computational tools and techniques to develop sustainable solutions by implementing new social-ecological systems for these houseboats. It also focuses on alternate planning and design strategies, including new houseboat models which combine vernacular & local craft,  new technologies, policy frameworks and natural cleansing mechanisms.

The research will conclude with a retrofit solution for redefining the urban environment to help maintain the historical relation between the Dal lake and its dwellers, leading to green sustainable development. 


Peace of Westphalia

Demise of nation state in the world


Research question

Kashmir - A geopolitical hotspot


Evolution of the capital

Dal lake-Introduction

Lake context

Lake shrinkage and encroachment

Government strategy

Systems Map

Feedback loops

Feedback loops

Feedback loop

Iceberg Model - Mental health

Iceberg model - Shrinking of dal lake

7 Pillars of circular economy

Vision for the project


Scientific interest Thesis statement

State of the art

Implementation plan

Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Mapping - influence level - DAal Lake

Influence vs Interest

Present Scenario - Lake

Site Analysis - Jhelum and Dal Lake

Streams- Dal Lake



Road Networks and Site

Dal Lake - Houseboat Categorization and energy consumption

Metabolic diagram conceptual - Dal Lake

Sankey Diagram - proposed Scenario

Metabolic Diagram - Material Flow calculations and Treatment

Energy Calculation - Biogas Boat

Deluxe Class houseboats - Dal Lake

Class A houseboats - Dal Lake

Class B houseboats - Dal Lake

Class C houseboats - Dal Lake

Class D houseboats

Water-Borne Community- Re- Imagining Dal Lake, Srinagar is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master of Advanced Architecture 2021/22 by: Student: Abrar Ali and Faculty: Manuel Gausa & Johan Jasser Salas Castro