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Auroville Experience

May 2009



- Alan

The apartment complex provisionally called Joy was originally conceived as Citadines 2. However, it was renamed as the site and specifications as well as the philosophy behind it are different.

In the first phase Joy will consist of 15 single bedroom apartments for singles and couples. It will be one building consisting of four staggered blocks. The apartments will be simply finished and relatively small – all less than about 50 square metres – but this is compensated for by 250 square metres of collective space provided in the rest of the building. How these spaces will function is still not clear, but they may include a laundry and common room as well as gardens.

Model of Joy. Photo courtesy Sonali

The Government of India is providing the funding, which is less generous than that for the Citadines project. Consequently ordinary bricks rather than the more expensive aerocon blocks are used for the construction. As ordinary brick is less efficient acoustically and thermally, a lot of attention is paid in Joy to ensuring that all the outside walls are shaded – a rooftop pergola will shade the southern and western sides of the building – and to separating the apartments: all apartments face on to green spaces, not on to each other. The building is also orientated according to prevailing and secondary winds. These will be able to circulate freely as the structure is not one continuous façade but is ‘transparent', with many openings through it.

While there will be a wastewater treatment system no alternative energy systems will be provided because of lack of funds. However, the necessary plumbing will be installed to allow residents to upgrade later.

Joseba, a member of the Housing Service which is the project-holder for Joy, says that they would like to experiment with a new line of financing. One idea is that residents of Joy would make regular financial contributions, either as a form of rent or as payments for the apartment. The contributions would go into a fund which would finance future housing. The Housing Service has not made any final decision as yet, but priority regarding occupancy may be given to Newcomers and new Aurovilians.



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