HomeThe City > Architecture > Collective Housing > Prarthna

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The housing of Prarthna started as a conventional housing development with an array of Apartment blocks comprising of different types of Housing units. But after the first 2 blocks it became clear that a mixed land use of row houses and apartments would be more appropriate for the needs of Auroville. Auroville is a society of extreme cultural, social and economic diversity and often the lifestyle of the people are very different to be accommodated within the narrow range of different housing types of 2 bed/bath or 3 bed/2 bath………….We needed to explore a more site specific and climatically suitable principle of housing.

Taking this into account the neo-urbanism model of using streets and semi private green spaces was adapted into the site plan. This was enhanced by evolving a building language that was inspired from the vernacular forms of costal Tamil Nadu. The concept of using transition spaces that are verandahs, sit outs and terraces as the living spaces with a cascade of shading roofs in terracotta tiles as the skyline.

As this was then the unifying element in the housing, one could then freely explore the internal layout of the houses to the needs and lifestyle of the occupant.

Like most of the projects done by the Architecture Dept, Auroville Building Centre the guiding principles are

  • Solar passive design
  • Participatory design process with the end user
  • Flexibility of functions within spaces
  • Low input construction techniques and materials
  • Recycling of waste water
  • Minimalism of built form

Architect: Suhasini Ayer

see also: Suhasini's gallery; Pour Tous II

contact: suhasini@auroville.org.in


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