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Poonam Gallery 3


Nandanam Kindergarten, Centerfield, Auroville, 2003-04

This project uses an experimental type of curved roof, with hollow terracotta roof blocks laid between composite rafters supported by a steel trusses. Here too the enclosed spaces are kept compact, with ample light and ventilation, while the verandahs provided are generous. Five blocks are arranged around an open court, which is the essence of the building.


Annadana Seed center, Botanical Garden, Auroville, 2002-03



Annadana works towards the conservation of traditional, open-pollinated vegetable seeds from a planetary collection. This project proved to be a turning point in my practice, where the building was a result of a utilitarian, spatial and structural cohesion.The building, with a skeletal structure in concrete elements, is raised on “Pilotis”, maintaining minimal physical contact, thus minimal damage, to its natural surroundings at the same time increasing natural ventilation possibilities; providing an appropriate environment for the storage of seeds. The distribution of activities is compactly devised, and this solar powered building functions as an independent mechanism. The building is envisaged to extend into a larger complex with a Central courtyard on the Verandah side.


Caretakers’ house, Botanical Garden, Auroville, 2001-02

This , my own house, was built in a period of 3 months, from conception to moving in. It uses an assembly of geometric shapes as the base plan: a hexagon in the center, and 3 pentagons on every alternate side of it. This enabled an easy roof construction , below which the wall layout developed organically.
I used the dry toilet system, which is the most ecological sanitary engineering system. A dry toilet is a simple system to convert human waste to usable nutrients through an aerobic decomposition process. It consists of a toilet seat with a chamber underneath to collect the waste. In this toilet, water is not used to dilute or transport human waste, thus conserving the quality and quantity of potable water which is otherwise used for flushing.


Green workers’ Accommodation, Revelation Auroville, 2001-02

This project was conceived as an “ecological house” as it is situated in the green belt around Auroville’s city area. Here there was an exploration into the use of natural building materials like wood, bamboo, earth, and palm in a more refined way, which was done with a comprehension that everything in nature completes a cycle. The space was to be for a large family and was designed as having common functions downstairs: dining, living, bath, kitchen ; and private spaces on the mezzanine. Materials used were: Rammed Earth for foundation and load bearing walls, Matted palm leaves for roof, Locally grown timber for mezzanine floor. The dry toilet system was used in this project, linked to the main house through an open walkway, enclosing an open to sky bathing
Pool in between.


Contact: poonam@auroville.org.in


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