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Sapienza University of Rome, Faculty of architecture 5 -year combined bachelor’s/master’s EU degree

Graduation thesis research in Environmental Architecture

Gaay Nagar Re-Housing Settlement Design Project

in compliance with ecological standards, Makarba Community, Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad, India

Supervisor: Prof. Arch. Alessandra Battisti Co-supervising institutions: Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for studies and resaerch in environmental design CEPT University Ahmedabad RWTH Aachen University, Lehrstuhl für Wohnbau

Senior student:

Laura Marcheggiano October 2011


Sapienza University of Rome, Faculty of architecture 5 -year combined bachelor’s/master’s EU degree

Graduation thesis research in Environmental Architecture

Gaay Nagar Re-Housing Settlement Design Project

in compliance with ecological standards, Makarba Community, Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad, India

Supervisor: Prof. Arch. Alessandra Battisti Co-supervising institutions: Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for studies and resaerch in environmental design CEPT University Ahmedabad RWTH Aachen University, Lehrstuhl für Wohnbau

Senior student:

Laura Marcheggiano October 2011


Gaay Nagar

‘ A slum in Calcutta is not like one of those Western Dormitory cities where a man can disappear or die without his neighbor noticing’ whereas, in Anandnagar… “You cannot hide anything here, not even the colour of your soul”. Anand Nagar, The city of Joy_Dominique La Pierre


Gaay Nagar

FOREWORD As senior student of this faculty, I feel it as my duty to follow and support any educational path conscious of environment, diversity and sustainable development. I trust this is only the starting point of possible future studies and activities on those topics. My graduation thesis research project on Lowcost affordable and social housing in India, is just one of the choices I made, in order to devote my interests and research studies to the international dimension of social-architecture. During the 2-month Ahmedabad International Habitat Design Studio 2011, organized by Dr. Arch. Balkrishna Doshi, Founder Director of Vastu-Shilpa-Foundation, and CEPT University, I developed an awareness of the complexity of Indian urbanity and issues related to its growth, while acquiring fundamental skills for a sensitive and holistic approach to habitat design. The latter was the occasion for an interesting sharing of experiences with a group of international students (from Germany, Spain, Holland and India), exactly where my project finds its roots. As I see it, the university is the forum and meeting point of initiatives which contemplate the study of different approaches and the understanding of other sensibilities. This work is an attempt to preset a bit of my experience with Indian culture and architecture in the European academic world, also leaving open the possibility of reconsider our way of living built and unbuilt environment. On studying India as an emerging country, this work goes into different topics in depth. It not only refers to the housing problem within a sustainable living environment or the issue of a fast uncontrolled growing periphery suffocating rural environment, but goes also back to the teaching of well-known Indian Architects such as V.B.Doshi, Laurie Baker, Neelkanth Chhaya or Yatin Pandya, through their work and lessons. Laura Marcheggiano 4

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CONTENTS Section I 1.

Planning in emerging countries in 2011...... 7


A Pattern of growth: Seeking a contextual urban habitat design ................................. 8 2.i Tertiarisation and economic growth 2.ii Processes of structural change Is there an Indian Urbanity?....................... 11


Section II 4.


Habitat Design Studio 2011....................... 14 4.i Descovering wonderful Gujarat .......... 18 Louis Kahn Le Corbusier V.B. Doshi Charles Correa 4.ii Workshop_Feb-Apr 2011.................... 26 Learning From Doshi ................................ 31 5.i LIC Housing 5.ii IFFCO Township 5.iii Aranya Nagar 5.iv Vidyadhar Nagar 5.v Ludya Village

Section III 6.




Analysis and Context 6.i Background, Layout and Concept ...... 45 6.ii Exixting Built and Unbuilt space: Traditional generation ........................ 52 6.iii Existing Water System: Networks and Potentials ..................... 58 Design intents ........................................... 64 7.i Who gets the Land? 7.ii Gaay Nagar 7.iii The Inclusive Design Manifesto 7.iv Methodologies and Strategies Design Proposals ...................................... 76 8.i Masterplan and Open Spaces 8.ii Product vs Process 8.iii We have many layers in life 8.iv Three DIifferent Typologies Learning from Laurie Baker ...................... 101 9.i A cost reduction manual

Section IV Bibliography:: Selected list of References ........ 5


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Section I


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1. Planning in emerging countries in 2011 have shown that living standards in most countries have been rising - and converging - for several decades now. Yet the 2011 Report projects a disturbing reversal of those trends if environmental deterioration and social inequalities continue to intensify, with the least developed countries diverging downwards from global patterns of progress by 2050. As far as now planning in the emerging, developing or under developed countries is concerned, what matters is the capacity of planners to face a variety of cultures and situations, but also respond to the needs of always different users. Taking the achievement of this competence as a steady point, the learning process can maybe start from traditional and vernacular architectures, that reflect the way local population think and live spaces, and give us the opportunity to study local techniques, skills and materials. When addressing the pressing, and often conflicting issues of urban and architectural planning in countries in the global south (e.g. informal development, globalisation, developing for international investment), the Human Development Index (HDI) plays an important role in determining measurements of development. This composite index uses three different dimensions of human development: life expectancy; literacy and education; standards of living. Those basic units, being more precise and reliable then a PIL, became the means by which well-being in a country is calculated . The first Human Development Report in 1990 opened with the premise: “People are the real wealth of a nation�. This have been the base for new development policies around the world.

Facing a project in a low human development index country, also means addressing the problem of colonialism. This time not just the physical and political occupation of the land, but most of all colonisation of the present age: a sneaky, quick and uncontrolled transfer of knowledge (and not only!) between developed and developing countries is nowadays under way. Those influences have strong impacts on local people and lead to rapid social changes, often undermining the already precarious balances of small towns or villages. The question spontaneously raises: are we all colonists?

It is essential, and we still hope feasible, to face the two main challenges in emerging countries: the interlinked issues of equity and sustainability. Stated that environmental degradation and the lack of political administration and power are the reasons why most disadvantaged people suffer the most, it is important to outline what development means, from every side, and recognise the risk and danger it represents at a global level. Past Human Development Reports 7

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2. A pattern of growth: Seeking a contextual urban habitat design

UN-HABITAT The state of asian cities 2010-11

2.i Tertiarisation and economic growth

Good practice from Ahmedabad:

India stands to China and Brazil as the natural leader on - both for historical and geo-economical aspects – within the so-called group of emerging countries. The subcontinent has recently landed the role of main character of a period of reform, which have produced a marked strengthening of its growth process. The recent phase of Indian development has been encouraged by an unusual - and rapidprocess of tertiarisation based on a highly skilled labour pool. This should continue in the coming years, enabling India to achieve in the next decades, an average annual growth close to 5%, also higher than that intended for the Chinese economy. However, it is observed that the employment growth in the tertiary sector had been dynamic and growth-induced during the eighties, but in the recent times has turned distress-driven: appropriate steps in policymaking should be taken for the tertiary sector revolution to be beneficial and sustainable for the workers en masse.

When civil society tackles emplyement deficits

• The Umeed Programme In 2005 and in partnership with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Saath launched a livelihood programme for youth called Ek Mouka Udaan (meaning ‘an opportunity to fly’). The scheme enhances young people’s money-earning capacities and identifies suitable jobs for their placement through on-the-job trainings, guest lectures, exposure visits and evaluation of the student’s progress.

• Informal sector: Economy & labour deficit Economic growth: 7.3% in 2008 9% in 2007 8.5% in 2006 7 million/year Labour force growth 2.3% Employment growth 7% Manufacturing sector growth 7.2% Unemployment rate 10% Formal sector 60% self-employed 30% casual workers

• Umeed’s achievements over the past 4 years a) 53 Umeed Centres have been set up operating across Gujarat and Rajasthan; b) As at 31 March 2010, a total 29,110 young people had enrolled, of which 82% had completed training and 59.3% had been placed. c) Students earn btw Rs. 3,000-6,000 ($65$131) per month after job placement, compared with the national minimum wage of Rs. 1700 ($37) per month in February 2004 or Rs 2500 (US $55) per month Nov. 2009 onwards.

70% Labour force is illiterate Agricultural sector = seasonal emplyement Urban/Metropolitan migration Informal settlements = poor access to basic infrastructure, health and education services. 8

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2.ii Processes of structural change

Urbanisation in South-West Asia 1990/2020

• Progress and Natural resources The structure of production has been long focused on traditional sectors of agriculture (production of tea, rice, sugar, but also cotton and jute) and manufacturing, encouraged by the abundant availability of natural resources and low labour costs. The excessive consumption the world is currently facing, is a pattern due to an increase in affluence that have caused a steady depletion of resources in the natural world. This worldwide concern influences urban design in such a way that, a robust balance between ecological and economical factors should be maintained.

The top 10 Asian Mega cities

• Urban and Rural environment While tertiary represents the fastest growing sector, Agriculture, with 25% of GDP, presently continues to be of great importance for Indian society, since it absorbs more than 60% of total employment, with two-thirds of the population still living in rural areas. However two factors are here playing an important role: 1. As FAO studies proved, the time between 2000 and now have seen agricultural Land shrinking of 1,3% in less then a decade: urbanisation and lack of common awareness within the agrarian world being the main reasons for that. 2. The United Nations’ ‘State of the World Population’ report, released nearly four years ago, proclaimed that 40,76% of India’s population will be living in Urban areas by 2030. The urbanisation of India, as shown, is taking place at a faster rate than in the rest of the world.Interweaving the often conflicting needs of Rural and Urban world is therefore a prime concern. Cities with Population of 10 mil or more

Indian Population growth

Year 2000: 1. Mumbai 16.09 mil Pop 2. Dehli 15.73 mil Pop

Year 2000: 266.430 th 27,7 % Urban

Year 2010: 1. Dehli 22.16 mil Pop 2. Mumbai 20.04 mil Pop

Year 2010: 364.459 th 30,0 % Urban

Year 2020: 1. Dehli 26.27 mil Pop 2. Mumbai 20.04 mil Pop

Year 2020: 463.328 th 33,9 % Urban 9

Gaay Nagar • Building and means of production: seeking a localised economy

UN-HABITAT The state of asian cities 2010-11

The industry has undergone a gradual transformation, which has seen the medium and large manufacturing companies and the production of high technology, put side by side with the traditional base of companies represented by local artisans and small family businesses. Craft tradition is, indeed, continuing to prosper thanks to a strong labour pool. The building industry is, as a matter of fact, experiencing a manifold reality, that should be definitely maintained for a sensible approach to context design.

Decentralization: best practice from Tarakan, Indonesia

To go on one step further into the struggle, we should notice how the country is among the chartered destinations of the delocalisation process, in place on a global scale, involving several multinational companies. The above mentioned agencies are attracted by both the savings achieved from the reduction in labour costs, and the presence of personnel with high level of education, with knowledge of English and technical skills. The spread of new technologies in the industrial system, favoured by the entry of foreign companies, is now joined by the gradual liberalization affecting the traditional sectors, such as handicraft, textile (cotton above all) and jewellery. Getting back to a model of localised economy, while taking into account the industrial and technical development, would determine big changes in people everyday life at a micro level, while intervening in Indian economy at a larger scale.

Decentralization and democratization have helped small towns in Indonesia and the case of Tarakan proves the point. This is a 251-sq. km island-city in East Kalimantan with a pop. of 160,000. Historically, Tarakan served as a trading centre or transit point for travellers. During Dutch occupation, the town was an oil exploration centre and as such attracted many migrants. However, the oil sector now contributes only around 6% (US $7.7 million) of Tarakan’s total annual production of goods and services (equivalent to US $120 million). After decentralization became effective in 2001, under the strong leadership of its mayor, Tarakan underwent significant changes, especially in the areas of urban management, financing and cost recovery as well as environmental sustainability.


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3. Is there an Indian Urbanity ? 1. Human being and architecture Remaining humble: When working at first in Le Corbusier’s Firm in Paris, it was for Doshi: “ 8 months with olives, cheese and bread, and crying” “I’m not an architect: for me it’s like a search” “There’s always someone behind you, who’s better then you”, he says. “The human being is a compassionate, lovable animal…highly sophisticated” How does life reflects in architecture? The joy of lifestyle must be connected with the entire structure sustaining the building Ideal life: • Body (Built form, physical needs) • Action (Production) • Mind (thought, Concept) • Karma (Past, present and future) • Spirit (Relationship with nature)

In order to take off the first veil of continuous astonishment, go beyond the first general portrait I got of India and go just a bit more into depth, I got involved into this work, that now becomes my expression tool for what I learnt, absorbed and assimilated of the subcontinent.

Analysis of built and unbuilt areas, and the connection of those spaces with the behaviour, the habits, the activities of inhabitants, makes a project meet success.

If we think of Indian architecture the first thing that comes to our mind is the temple, where history and tradition meet each other: but the latter survives and prevails over history, remaining timeless and becoming contemporary. In fact India demonstrates to be much more then that: the highest populated nation after China is quickly turning into a place of urbanisation, industrialisation and westernisation, where chaos and crowding are daily bread and alienation and indifference have become synonymous of city.

2. Growth “Architecture is a matter of transformation of all kind of conditions” _Neelkanth Chhaya Sustainability and growth are tightly linked together. Liberalisation of economy changes the way people dream • Issues related with growth: • mobility • communication • Education • Access to finance • Microcredit easily accessible

All that being stated, some questions araise: • Is it possible to develop perceptions and consequent design interpretations to provide quality life among the inhabitants? • Can we modify the existing and transform houses into homes? • Can we get back to a psychological comfort, guaranteed by social commitment and mutual tolerance?

Growth is a fact of life Make place for transformation Negotiation Encroachment Entrepreneurship Porosity Absorption “Buildings shake hands: draw a plan where grow can take place but can remain constant” (IFFCO)_Balkrishna Doshi 11

Gaay Nagar


Gaay Nagar 3. Self reliance

6. Negotiation

“In architecture, the end product is never as exciting as the process” How do you make people grow their own thing instead of making them dependent on a system? Smart Urbanisation = Give everyone a stake; Give everyone a place Self reliance >>>Aid, charity, are not sustainable! Baroda (200 Km from Ahmedabad)= The first microbank started in Ahmedabad. Do you want a Hi-Fi System, or do you want to change your life? = Activate a Process of assimilation

Multifunctional facilities: imaginativeness of Indian people is reflected on the different use they make of their potentials, their creativeness. Through occupation, urban space becomes ANPHIBIOUS: • Street sellers • Business on the road • Architectural extensions • Outside activities: Cook, sleep, pray Small scale design: the same fabric finds a lot of variations using the same pattern Many more small definable parts, rather then a few larger ones. Despite emptiness, people make use of undefined spaces, and as we saw, a creative and diversified one. Adaptability, understanding and sharing are elements of the homogeneous heterogeneity that India represents. Leaving room for negotiation is the real solution to social contradictions.

Architects are not designers but catalysts! “You don’t design a house, but what is capable of becoming a house”_Balkrishna Doshi 4. Ambiguity India= Paradox and harmony synergize What is chaos and order? How do we define them? India = Ambiguity : I may come…I may not! There is nothing right or wrong: the context makes this (Space out and in; Material; Weather; Public or private territory; Boundaries – Ambiguity: Different uses & multiple purpose) In the global world, art is always changing: there are no boundaries anymore Flexible, cooperative, diversified, tolerant space >>> Viability (nature) Cooperation, Respect and Tolerance are the main rules for living in Indian society.

7. Sharing Community vs Individuality The richer people get, the less they share The community, characterised by unaffordability and fear of death, share because has nothing to lose. Inter-dependence is not “convenient”, when you risk to lose power! “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” _Mahatma Gandhi

5. Sense of Identity The sense of belonging, of ownership, is different to the concept of individuality: being part of the community involves the capacity of cohesion between private developers’ initiatives.

Share is a game of giving and receiving: if people care about their own needs, why do they forget about the –receiving part of sharing? “There are businessmen and human beings”_Balkrishna Doshi

In Indian urbanity, everyone is an actor (Like in social networks: if you don’t write, nobody writes you back) >>> It creates addiction! Physical and perceptive (sensitive). Consequences: Colours, Horning, Façades decorations. 13

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Section II


Gaay Nagar

Vastu-Shilpa Foundation & CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

4. International Habitat Design Studio 2011 Habitat Design in an Urban Context Duration _13th February to 13th April

Participating Institutions:

• Asia Pacific University, Dhaka, Bangladesh • Center for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, India • Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, Spain • Goa College of Architecture, Goa, India • Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen, Germany • Technical University , Delft, The Nederlands

Studio Co-ordinator:

Rajeev Kathpalia

Faculty in charge:

Balkrishna Doshi - Architect, Planner Neelkanth Chhaya - Architect Rajeev Kathpalia - Architect, Urban Designer Sönke Hoof - Architect


Gaay Nagar


Doshi’s “SANGATH” in Ahmedabad, India


Abhijeet Singh Chandel


Joseph Varughese

Faculty in charge:

Balkrishna Doshi - Architect, Planner Neelkanth Chhaya - Architect Rajeev Kathpalia - Architect, Urban Designer Sönke Hoof - Architect

Guest speakers & visiting critics:

Arunav Dasgupta - Architect,Urban Designer Debashish Nayak - Architect Durganand Balsavar - Architect Hemang Desai - Writer Himanshu Parikh - Engineer Jaimini Mehta - Architect, Urban Deisgner Kashikar Vishvanath - Architect Piyas Choudhari - Architect, Urban Designer Rajan Rawal - Architect Rajiv Kadam - Architect, Urban Designer Riyaz Tyabji - Architect Sandeep Virmani - Architect Sharmila Sagara - Artist Surya Kakani - Architect Utpal Sharma - Architect, Urban Planner

Doshi’s “SANGATH” in Ahmedabad 16

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Studio Enphasis:

• Holistic design with multi disciplinary approach integrating dimensions of Planning, urban design, architecture as well as Technology. • Contextually relevant design which is responsive to Socio-Cultural political, administrative, climatic and economic context. • Sustainable development optimally managing the prevailing scarce resources and innovating methods for generating newer resources • Research based design involving first hand understanding of the context and its realities through fieldwork and the site visits.

Design issues:

• Design innovations for the improved quality of life • Optimal designs with minimum resource demands • Reinterpreting the traditional for the contemporary relevance • Design strategy for urban insert as well as blank site development • Conservation- Adaptive reuse - New construction. • Quantitative and qualitative challenges of the built form • High density mass housing • The role and resolution of the unbuilt


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4.i Descovering wonderful Gujarat... Sun Temple,Modhera - 1026-27 A.D. One of the seven temples dedicated to Surya, the God of endless energy, it is situated on the banks of the Pushpavati river. The temple comprises three separate but axially-aligned and integrated elements. The “Kund� or water tank, built to perform cerimony rights,is a unique subterranean typology of this region. This sun temple has many unique astronomical features: for the construction of this temple not a single design was made on paper. Infact the mathematical calculation was so precise that the first raise of the morning sun fells exactley on the image of Surya, the Sun God. Religious gatherings are held in a magnificent pillared hall that is open from all sides and it has 52 intricately carved pillars,some of the best scupltures depicting indian mythology and human life. Habitat Design 2011 group on the steps of the Kund


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Louis Kahn: Indian Institute of Management - 1962-74

Plan of the School: building and open spaces Indian style...Restoration, February 2011

While Louis Kahn was designing the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh in 1962, he was approached by an admiring Indian architect, Balkrishna Doshi, to design the 60 acre campus. Kahn began to question the design of the educational infrastructure where the classroom was just the first phase of learning for the students: the hallways and Kahn’s Plaza became new centers for learning. He incorporated local materials (brick and concrete) and large geometrical façade extractions as homage to Indian vernacular architecture. The porous, geometric façade was positioned to act as light wells and a natural cooling system, protecting the interior from India’s harsh desert climate. 19

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Balkrishna Doshi: Amdavad ni Gufa - 1992 Hussain Doshi Gufa is an underground art gallery located in Ahmedabad that depicts the works of the famous Indian painter named M.F.Hussain. It has been designed by the famous architect B. V. Doshi. Thus, the art gallery has been named after the two eminent personalities, Hussain and Doshi. The gallery is more popularly known as Amdavad ni Gufa. It has been given the name Gufa, as its structural design resembles a cave.

Interior ceiling slab, light wells effects and graffiti Plan and section of the complex

For the art lovers, Hussain Doshi gufa is a real feast for eyes. The Hussain Doshi Gufa art gallery in Ahmedabad lies in the surrounding areas of the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology. This structure has been constructed using simple hand tools and that too by unskilled workers. The form of roof shells is guided by computer designs and the structure, built in ferrocement, is in the form of skeletal skin and wire mesh, sandwiched on each side by layers of cement. It is a lively whimsical fusion of modern art and natural design with undulating interconnected domes inlaid with mosaic tiles. Sit here to watch the sunset or enjoy a cup of coffee in its Zen Cafe. This space is a nourishing hub of creative exchange. Habitat Design 2011 group at Gufa, Navarangpura


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Balkrishna Doshi: School of Architecture, CEPT University - 1966-68 The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) was sponsored by the Ahmedabad Education Society (AES), a non-profit organisation established in 1935 devoted to the cause of education at all levels in several branches of learning. CEPT has a 5-acre Campus near Gujarat Universty, primary concept of which was it to be “an open place with hardly any doors”, and Doshi was determined to use such accessibility not only as a metaphor for academic freedom, but also for environmental responsiveness. To do so, he used an L-shaped configuration based on parallel bearing walls on a northsouth axis to capture and direct prevailing breezes through the studios, offices and classrooms. A funnel-shaped entrance under the south facade is designed to direct the wind through the building.

View of an internal-open space passage Side elevation: the school is recessed into the landscape

Working with the hilly contours of the site, the architect decided to treat both inside and outside as educational space, refining Le Corbusier’s notion of the open area under buildings raised on piloti to become shaded, naturally ventilated gathering areas. Students Graffiti on a wall in the lively courtyard


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Le Corbusier: Mill Owners Association - 1954

Located on Ashram Road, in the western part of Ahmedabad, overlooking the river Sabarmati, the building is said as Corbusiers built manifesto.

Its many walls (with windows in between) slant, and there are trees actually growing out of the side of it. Also, the drainage system is built into the handrails of the balconies.

The building is oriented according to the prevailing winds. The east and west facades have sun braking structure, or brise-soleil, with a high depth, whereas the north and south facades are nearly blind.Sun breakers are one of Corbusier’s many formal inventions, which, while avoiding harsh sun, permit visual connection and air movement. While the brise-soleil act as free facades made of rough shuttered concrete, the north and south sides, built in rough brickwork, are almost unbroken.

A ceremonial ramp leads into a triple height entrance hall,on the first floor, where the executives’ offices and boardroom are located. The assembly hall, characterises the ground floor with its organic wall, constructed of double thin brick walls, pannelled in wood.

Axonometric view showing both blind and brise-soleil facades


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Charles Correa: Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya - 1963 The site on the Sabarmati River bank is part of the larger ashram complex and is integrated into its gardens. Five interior rooms contain the collection of the museum. The rooms are enclosed by brick walls and wooden louvered screens. All five rooms are part of the 6m square module. Correa’s subtle changes of the enclosure allow for variety in the module’s lighting, temperature, and visual permeability. A square, uncovered shallow pool is located between the five rooms.

View of the complex overlooking green side Section showing operable louvres Air gap Tiles Boarding

The museum uses a simple but delicately detailed post and beam structure. Load bearing brick columns support concrete channels, which are both support the wooden roof and direct rainwater. Boards are nailed underneath the joists and tiles are placed atop the joints. The foundation is concrete and is raised about a foot from the ground.


The monumental and archetypal structure of the museum recalls the well-known work of Louis Kahn, who began two projects in the region shortly after Correa’s museum was built. Wooden doors, stone floors, ceramic tile roofs, and brick columns are the palette of the building.

Operable Louvres

The enclosed units are counter pointed by areas of visual rest where the visitor can meditate - in varying conditions, from closed-box to open-to-sky, with easy and subtle changes from one to the next.

Section showing channels for carrying rainwater, and for adding new units: it is a “living” structure which can grow and modulate Enclosed Units

Open Courtyard



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Le Corbusier: Sarabhai House - 1951 Single family house in Ahmedabad, is oriented according to the prevailing winds, and its faรงades are furnished with brise-soleil. For the structure, Catalan vaults: cradle-vaults of flat tiles set in plaster without framework, coupled with a row of bricks cast roughly in cement. These half-cylinders are carried to the walls by the intermediary of a rough concrete lintel. This allows the windows solid-voids game on the facade. One of the most brilliant solutions is that of the roof. The half-cylinders of the vaults, once the waterproofing is assured, are covered with earth and the upper part of the house becomes a magnificent garden of lawn and charming flowers. The ground floor is of Madras stone with an unobtrusive black bonding. This permits the contractor to have no waste at ail in achieving an harmonic richness, unequalled until now. This technique was used in Ahmedabad for the Sarabhai house, the Shodhan house, the Palace of the Millowners and the Museum. At Chandigarh, for the palaces of the Capitol. Ceiling slab, overhanging and curved View of the house from the back: the pool has the role of a cooling basin during hot season


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Balkrishna Doshi: Kamala House - The house where Doshi lives - 1959-61 Located in Navrangpura, a suburb of Ahmedabad, Doshi’s residence has been described as “the first positive step towards translating Corbusier’s lessons to fit the Indian context”. While using the Corbusian vocabulary of wide concrete fascias and deep setbacks, the house is sensitively oriented to sun and wind and has a non-compartmentalized, open plan that allows for more flexible use of the interiors. Doshi wanted to recreate the shadow and proportions of Le Corbusier’s Sarabhai house, and to use more polished surfaces. “How much you care for the building depends on how close the building is to your skin. If your house is your second skin you will clean it like your own skin” _V.B.Doshi

Doshi invited the Habitat Design group for an ice cream on the lawn of his garden Detail showing the potentialy covered terrace

Doshi began designing his house by drawing four pillars in the centre of a sqaure. The plan developped as a cross, having four equal rooms for living, dining and sleeping. The four arms of the cross are respectively the stair, the kitchen and the services. Doshi about Husain’s painting in his drawing room: “There is no figure, no animal, all of it is abstract. Yet, it was tailor-made and fits the place well. It is like an installation that not only suits the house space but also one that we see all the time.” 25

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2.ii Habitat Design Workshop

2.ii Habitat Design Workshop

Duration _February- Apri 2011

Duration _February- Apri 2011

Humans as part of Nature: In Indian cities it is not uncommon to see cattle and sheepherders allowing motorized traffic to negotiate through their herds. Can these supposedly conflicting demands of the agrarian village and the industrialized city be seen as a continuum and an opportunity for an ecologically sensitive resource management? How do we blur these distinctions between urban and rural?

Context: Context cannot be seen as a unidirectional flow of information from outside within; a process whereby surroundings influence and determine design decisions in a project. Context also implies a study and an understanding of the influence of design decisions of a project on its surroundings. The area of intervention might be limited by the plot, but the sphere of influence is much larger

Individual, Family and Society: Collective direction and Individual action with neighborly negotiations- Development of Indian cities usually happens in piecemeal form mainly through initiatives of private developers. Town planning schemes only lay down the road network and related infrastructure due to which there is a lack of development vision for cities. Given the fractured development of sites what should be the nature of negotiations between adjacent plot developments, and at a much larger scale what common vision should such developers work towards?

Tradition and Modernity: The craft tradition practiced by the artisan continues to thrive due to a rich history backed by a strong labour pool. On the other hand, rapid development has heralded and era of mechanised mass production that provides a different sets of benefits. Both these modes of production are currently seen in the building industry. Maintaining a balance between the two is a prime concern.


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Diversity: Perhaps nothing reflects the diversity of India better than the contemporary City. The coexistence of temporary and permanent and the variety of grain within the Indian city in comparison to the western city may be interesting to compare. Density and Critical mass: Densities prescribed by Indian planners reflect standards that were often conceived in other cultures for other societies. Traditional and spontaneous settlements in India reflect another reality. Scale: The idea of scale and the economics of production. It is often assumed that large formal production in factories is the generator of the economy. However recent studies indicate that small scale informal production actually is the greater generator of economic wealth. Boundaries: Boundaries between formal and informal, between monument and fabric, between bazaar and home are never clearly defined in our context. These ambiguous edge conditions offer interesting anomalies and paradoxes whose explorations may reveal interesting interdependencies and offer examples of sustainability

Enphasis from Vastu-Shilpa-Foundation The intention of this workshop is to create an awareness of the complexity of Indian urbanity and issues related to its growth; and to highlight the need for a sensitive and holistic approach to habitat design. 27

Gaay Nagar Habitat Design in Urban Context India is witness to another phenomenon marked by a struggle between different modes of production, a phenomenon that is echoed in the debate of tradition vs. modernity. The craft tradition practiced by the artisan continues to thrive due to a rich history backed by a strong labour pool. On the other hand, rapid development has heralded and era of mechanised mass production that provides a different sets of benefits. Both these modes of production are currently seen in the building industry. Maintaining a balance between the two is a prime concern. Indian society does not view these seemingly opposing forces as an either-or choice. This is due to the multiplicity of value systems prevalent in the Indian society. This multiplicity is evident in the apparent chaos of Indian cities. What appears, as chaos to the outsider is actually a robust balance between multipleconflicting needs. Such an approach is possible due to the acceptance of manifold reality. The design solution, hence, does not necessitate making a polarised choice; it is the skilful interweaving of the seemingly contradictory demands that will lead to a contextual urban habitat.

According to data available with the UN, 2008 marked a turning point in human geography with more people living in cities than in rural areas for the first time in history. South Asia, though not the most urbanised, is amongst the fastest urbanising regions in the world. The FAO, on the other hand has proclaimed that arable land is shrinking at an annual rate of 1.6% due to urbanisation and land degradation. Design in such an era needs to sensitively handle the sometimesconflicting demands of the agrarian village and the industrialised city. The world is moving towards a pattern of excessive consumption due to an increase in affluence. These trends have been concurrent with a steady depletion of resources in the natural world. While the development in material culture has been heralded as a sign of progress, depleting natural resources have caused worldwide concern. Design, in this 28

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Leaving the development aside, no plan or person has looked into the community aspect of Sarkhej. These were predominantly cattle rearers, most of them having small land holdings. A part of the sarkhej land was also be used by these rearers but today as land rates are high and monetary gains lure everyone, a lot of these cattle rearers have sold off their land leaving others stranded. There are fights within communities as to where the cattle and the sheep can be reared. Capitalizing on work being done by the government and the heritage committee, this year’s studio focuses on the fact that if all these changes are inevitable then how would the up coming developments respond to it. The site taken up, acts as the gateway to the site, located at the start of the ceremonial pathway, thatrequires to be strengthened. Space from the site necessary for tourist infrastructure including parking, an orientation center, souvenir shops, tourist facilities etc. will need to be accommodated.

Studio Brief by Vastu-Shilpa Foundation The growing metropolis of ahmedabad, today is aiming for the status of a world heritage city. New and old monuments that had been long forgotten are being re-looked at. New infrastructure is being proposed, new town plans are being drawn up, monuments are being restored and lit up. The approach still remaining more towards beautification than re-looking at the whole idea of how and where these monuments stand in today’s context.

Focus of the Habitat Design Studio The focus of the studio will remain the making of community and sustainable habitat. • Variety, difference, synthesized by interdependence the hallmarks of Indian urbanity shall be the guides in formulating the design. • Issues of water management (learning from Sarkhej ) • Movement and accessibility for large number of people, scale of public/open space • Recycling waste, use of minimum energy and exploring options of alternative energy • Relationship with the ceremonial pathway/market street and community development will be explored in the studio • Considering the land parcels, groups are required to evolve around 200 dwelling units as follows: 45 m2 - 60 % 90 m2 - 25 % 120 m2 - 15 %

Today when development (of any kind) signifies growth, Sarkhej has taken a back seat. The river has been channelized. Where the tributary used to flow that land is being filled in, day in and day out to make way for new housing. The ceremonial pathway is encroached and the pylons are in ruins, and Sarkhej is dry. The tank which collected the monsoon run off is now perennially dry, in fact if anything at all goes into it, it is sewage from the adjoining village and shanties that surround it from two sides.


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Gaay Nagar Doshi’s Contribution to Architecture Balkrishna V. Doshi is an Indian architect, educator, and academician. He worked with Le Corbusier in Paris (1951-1954) as senior designer, and then in India to supervise Corbusier's projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. He established the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design in 1955, known for pioneering work in low-cost housing and city planning. He also founded and designed the School of Architecture and Planning in Ahmedabad ( CEPT).


Gaay Nagar

5. Learning from Doshi Study of five residential interventions 5.i LIC Housing

Open entrance shared with the neighbours Axonometric view of the unit sample, showing possible expantions, and limits to it (staircase)


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5.ii IFFCO Township

Detail of masterplan: Cul-de-sac roads help developing identity within the neighbourhood Axonometrical view of the unit sample, showing: connected terraces allowing social contact; open entrance stair case limiting expantion in time


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Balkrishna Doshi: IFCCO Township - 1970-73 Masterplan: The IFFCO township at Kalol is also driven by the dictates of hot dry climate and demands of social interactions amongst inhabitants – predominantly the industrial workers. Located amidst a rural setting the township attempts to capture the ambiance of a close knit, cohesive and active town. Activity centre as congregation of collective amenities namely school, shopping arcade, club and community hall, is located in the centre surrounded by rows of houses arranged in a staggered geometry. Alternated pathways create a maze of pedestrian linkages across the transverse to the settlement.

Environment: As a part of concern for cleaner environment and commitment for ISO – 14001 certification for both plant and township, following activities have been carried out during Year 2003-2004. 1. Water Conservation Final liquid effluent is utilized for gardening purpose within the plant premises so as to reduce raw water consumption. 2. Tree Plantation In order to develop cleaner & greener environment, 28.5 acres & 30.5 acres area are covered As green belt in plant & township respectively and 1 acres of land is covered as green belt during year in the plant. Also 1990 Nos. fruit plants and 4812 Nos. foresty plants have been distributed to near by villages during the year. 3. Disposal of Biomedical waste We have our own set up for bio medical waste treatment facility like autoclaving, chemical treatement and also disposal facility for sharpes (needles and blades) by burying in rectangular pit constructed as per the guidelines mentioned in clause of Biomedical waste rule 1998.


Gaay Nagar

Foto of a unit sample: the stairs limit growth in time, IFFCO Kota, Kalol

The IFFCO township at Kalol is driven by the demands of social interactions amongst inhabitants - industrial workers.


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Sample Unit, Aranya Nagar, Indore 36

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5.iii Aranya Nagar

Foto of a unit sample


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Modification in time, Aranya Nagar, Indore 38

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5.iv Vidyadhar Nagar

Existing Masterplan of the city, influenced by the Vastu Puruha Mandala toutghts Schematical explenation of Vastu Purusha Mandala


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5.v Ludya Village

Bhunga of the village with painted walls Drawings by Vastu Shilpa Foundation: Plan of a cluster, section adn elevation. Detail of Earth construction


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Partnering with People, Ludya Village, Kutchh 41

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Financial expedients:

Water management: • Check dams: construction over rivers, in order to collect water from huge tracts of land and the few inches of showers yearly are able to fill the reservoirs. • Committee: creation of an internal water management committee for reparations and maintanance • Wells: used to retain water. The reservoir can be made by dredging soil, which is previously used for housing construction. They regenarate a ressource which easily desappears through percolation and evaporation. • Underground watertanks: installation to ensure lasting water supply. Make available house to house drinking water. Each house will be equipped with sanitation facilities consisting of a soak pit toilet and a bathing area

• No Profit No Loss basis: The funds generated out of sale of residential, industrial and institutional plots are invested in acquisition of new areas, which enable to generate more plots for the public and more funds for the development works and new acquisitions. • Cross Subsidization: The plots to the Economicaly Weaker Sections of the Society are provided ona subsidezed rate of aproximately 500/300 Rps per Sq. yd, and the loss on this account is charged from the higher categories of the plots.

Income generating activities:

Animal husbandry:

• Depending on Social and Economic structure of users, mainly linked to the occupations on which it’s based, training courses for artisans and craftsmen can be held • Identify, ascertain and establish required facilities which help the villagers enrich their economic and social standing • Provide newer technology to assist and augment occupational production capacity

• Construction of grass bank to assist in storage of fodder and grass for the cattle • Cement troughs for animals’ drinking water • Cattle fodder distribution utilities provision


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Processes - Strategies - Methods “Site and Services” approach: • 1. General rules: Only basic buildings cores are provided - The built form can be extended by the occupants at a pace in tune with their capacity to mobilize resources - The enphasis should be on providing building materials, technical knowhow, finances and simple building regulations which can be adhered to • 2. Reconsidaration of Norms / Standards: The conventional norms, standards and building bylaws followedsince the British period are quite irrelevant as they call fo excessive provision of various amenities that won’t enhance affordability • 3. Optimization of Land Use: - Increase density to decrease plots costs - Hihgrise buildings incompatible with self-construction - Increase proportion of marketable areas (residents) - Decrease areas allocated for road network and public-community spaces. Provide multiple use of spaces, which are often under-utilized.

“Partnering with people” approach: • 1. A Social process - Develop social network with the community and build confidence in them about the agency’s commitment - Carry out socio-economic survey of the village - Users themselves as human resources building their own houses, being paid wages and material • 2. Local & participated programm: - Building with local materials in traditional style - Setting up material bank + technical supervision

“Self selection” design method: • 1. Autonomous growth: - User involved in the housing process at every level of design (self-selection of plots ecc) - Contribution of residents achieved from the micro level of individual homes, to the macro level of the settlement - Design team role = general regulator • 2.Continuous development: - Organic nature of the urban fabric, representative of traditional and unplanned settlements (no pre-conceived development plan) - Growth process as an unbroken cylce of events (progressive provision of major infrastructure)


Gaay Nagar Part I  
Gaay Nagar Part I  

Graduation thesis research in Environmental Architecture - Gaay Nagar: Re-housing settlement design project - Makarba Community, Sarkhej Roz...