A matter of principle The principles of Vastu Shastra, the Hindu tradition of architecture, are being used to inform the design of new homes in India. Chris Godfrey of global architecture practice Hirsch Bedner explains the project to Well Home
What are the principles of Vastu? Chris Godfrey heads up the global residential business at Hirsch Bedner
Houses are organised around the cardinal compass points. As far as is practicable, spaces are then positioned according to their preferred location, for example, ‘water’ is located in the south west corner; ‘fire’ in the north east and ‘light/air’ at the centre of it all. As well as defining order and the flow of function, articulation of space and sunlight, Vastu is also deployed as a generator for materials and colour through the design; with colour being used to reflect and promote the spiritual 'elements’. The relationship of the different functions of each facet – variously framing or enclosing stairs, for example, or galleries, voids and private rooms – are brought together into a holistic installation.
What are the fundamentals? In Vastu the centre of the spiritual body is the centre of the house – the Brahmastan. We use the Brahmasthan to link and divide all the various elements of the house – the shared and private zones and the territories of the various generations of family members – and to bring light and air in to the heart of the home.
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