SPONSORED ADVERT

Friday, June 29, 2012

Raising the Bar


By Flying Elephant Studio
Photography: Manoj Sudhakaran; Courtesy the architects


A true synthesis of contemporary sustainable architecture meets the eye in an energy-efficient design that is inviting, user friendly, thermally comfortable and aesthetically stimulating.

Adopting a ‘building within a building’ concept as a response to the extreme hot semi-arid climate of Dharmapuri in rural Tamilnadu, architects Rajesh Renganathan and Iype Chacko of Flying Elephant Studio, Bangalore have designed a high quality outpatient, primary healthcare facility that intends to serve a group of villages set in the neighbouring agricultural lands.

.

Here is a contextual archetype, dictated by a compact footprint, made linear for better day lighting and cross ventilation. An inherent programmatic split has the core clinic functions and waiting areas arranged as two concentric layers creating a ‘building within a building’. A generous and airy waiting verandah wraps around the core hospital, while an additional outdoor layer of varied cultivated landscapes provides an aesthetic climatic buffer that controls glare and dust. Further, a low-cost stepped amphitheater-like extension at the entrance end, allows for small gatherings related to public health awareness initiatives.

.

.

Incorporating Green Design features, and working on a shoe-string budget, the architectural vocabulary exploits local construction skills and utilizes a material palette predisposed to available building skills in grass thatch and random rubble masonry to accomplish a highly weather tight, secure and easy to maintain clinic building. Innovative structural design utilizes the strength characteristics of individual materials. This is furthered by simplicity of plan and repetition of building elements.

.

.

Sensitivity to local produce and practice imbibes ‘Vetiver’ grass woven thatch window panels and the agricultural practice of clearing stone rubble from fields to prepare for cultivation. While the Vertiver grass grows in the region and is a traditional building cooling system (by wetting woven grass mats and allowing air to pass through), the rubble stones are used to build retaining walls for the raised floor plinth including the outdoor gathering space and for landscape bund elements. Besides, the project also employs the best sustainable water management practices including both, rainwater harvesting and ground water recharging and drip irrigation.

.

.

While these functional elements are brought together in a simple design that maximizes a holistic ambience for a rural healthcare facility, feel-good aesthetic elements are proposed as a peripheral landscape to be developed along varied distinctive themes recalling the five landscape types referred to in traditional Tamil Sangam poetry.  

.

.

Essentially, the project gives visual expression to the idea of water as a life-giving element appropriate to the theme of health and well being. This also recalls local folklore pertaining to the place – Devara Outhou Pallam, literally meaning ‘God’s Spring Village’ and the ancient stories woven around it; adding another layer of culture specific meaning to the visible architecture.

12 comments :

  1. Is this an actual or theoretical project? Will it be or is it built?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm fascinated by the imaginative work here, and also in your other designs on the webpage. Exciting, to say the least. I do have one question, though, and that is about domestic charm and comfort. Most of these buildings have a public look to them, and the interiors seem arbitrarily geometric. Where in these do you have a sense of relaxation and personal ownership?
    Posted by Edward Eriksson on Linkedin Group: The Literary Platform.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Realy good
    Posted by Anurag Thukral

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a really great project. I would like to know if is actually being built, and how it is being funded. I find that it is difficult to convince independent businesses to try something like this.
    Posted by Bridget Gaddis, AIA, Leed AP on Linkedin Group: Design and Construction Network

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are as built photographs. The project was funded by various charities in the UK.

      Delete
    2. Thank you. The photographs are after completion. the project was funded by various charities from UK that are involved with MAT - a local NGO that works in the area.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for your reply. When was the project completed and do you have any follow up data on how it is performing?

      Delete
  5. I think this concept should work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Clean and simple design using green technologies. Something we can all learn from. To many times we go over the top when designing eco-friendly buildings, trying to incorporate every bell and whistle, after which the end result is still not reached.
    Posted by Anup Magan on Linkedin Group: London Architecture Network

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was completed and occupied in early September 2011. I think the building is functioning well; at least from what we've seen on subsequent visits. Also, no complaints received from clients /users, so far..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you. Many of our commissions are restricted to Architecture and don't include Interiors. Also, we do avoid 'over articulating' design solutions; leaving room for the users to 'personalize' their space. However, we do try and achieve a play between predominant orthogonal geometries and irregular architectural elements.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...