Aaranya Farmstay: Distinct Roof Caresses Mother Earth On The Indian Countryside_ d6thD Design Studio
Aaranya Farmstay: Distinct Roof Caresses Mother Earth On The Indian Countryside _ d6thD Design Studio
“Aaranya” an agriculture farm stay is located in rural settings at the edge of Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary, Gujarat; and was designed by Ahmadabad-based architect Himanshu Patel from “d6thD” design studio with the overt principle of vernacular architecture in mind.
Mother Earth has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed. This simple statement remains the greatest insight into the ecology of this planet. The concern for climate as well as economical and cultural sustainability has been looked at to incorporate without which sustainability may not work in the Indian context. Rather than spending millions on the best technology to create the greenest of the green buildings when very few Indians can associate with them and even fewer can afford them, architects have come up with simple, established, and honest practices offered by vernacular architecture.
“Roof material is made from terracotta, a material associated with the memory of many family generations, it has become a representative of the image of almost half a million Indian villages and so the whole design is evoking this one strong element of Indian architecture- The terracotta tiled roof. “
The longer surface of cottages facing north-south direction in order to minimize heat gain and maximize cross ventilation and airflow from adjoining agricultural field.
With an objective to minimize its visual impact and response to its earthquake-prone area, the scale of the building has been kept so grounded.
Twin cottage plan with hip roof intended to help offset the heavy rainfall in monsoon and heat in summer, native to this region.
At a glance from the front, the sloping roof looks like it unites the earth and sky.
Externally, the elongated tiled roof forms a distinctive presence yet blended into the landscape, while internally; it shelters the entrance foyer and secures the visual privacy of the bedroom.
In the near future, the entire roof will be covered in creeping plants emerging from the punctured roof and spread on the tiled roof.
When the roof will be fully vegetated, the building will virtually disappear.
One feels a psychological transformation in one’s inner space as soon as one experiences chirping birds and the smell of the flowers in this space.
Cottages were carefully designed as if planted among the existing mango trees.
The front yard having a mango tree defined with the natural bio fences constructed of shrubbery acts as a transition space between the more private cottage bedroom and the open farm area.
Inbuilt sit out at foyer along with twisted sandstone column below roof adds drama into the welcoming gesture.
This space is creating a refuge for contemplation. It also allows guests for an intimate interface with the outdoors where you actually wouldn’t need a book. Building form allows one to instinctively experience the psychological assurance of security on the one hand and the exhilaration of exposure and proximity to nature on the other.
Once the guest is in the cottage, he is cozy and protected. He has everything he needs, as in a womb.
The bathroom has a dry and wet area separated with a small buffer space having stained colored glass panel on one side and a waste glass bottle wall on another side.
Vivid colored daylight appears in the bathroom through that buffer, fills up the space with joy and excitement.
The Natural skylight from the dome above; lit the shower space and that makes the bathing experience more refreshing.
The old construction techniques using rubble stone packed foundation, load-bearing exposed natural sandstone walls, the brick dome with china mosaic on top and clay tiled roof are not only cost-effective and time tested but architect’s methodology to create a job for local villagers as a beginning step of social sustainability and shared happiness.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the cottages remain true to their context and testifies to the norms of vernacular architecture.
There is an element of vulnerability certainly during an evening spent on local wooden charpai (bedstead) under the stars, listening to the wind rustling in the mango trees and the distant call of a roaring lion but more than that, it brings a humbling awareness of one’s place in the world and harmony with the Earth. This can happen only when we are able to connect to our roots in Mother Nature.
Architects: d6thD Design Studio
Project: Aaranya Farmstay
Type: Farm-Stay (Cabins)
Location: Bhojde Village, Gir Lion Sanctuary, Gujarat, India
Lead Architect: Ar. Himanshu Patel
Construction team: Jagdish, Mansukh, Jitu, Ramnik, Nanji, Nitin
Client: Nishant, Dhanaji
Text: Ar. Himanshu Patel
Photographs: Inclined Studio
About d6thD design studio:
d6thD means The 6th dimension to “feel good”
They design to let you feel good. The 6th dimension is not restricted to measure the physical world but to explore the Feel Good Spaces. Any object or space can be measure in 3 Dimension but to feel good about it is the 6th dimension.
d6thD promotes the use of locally available materials, traditional building techniques, culturally and climatically relevant building design. They are passionate about design but driven by ideas rather than personalities. They are interested in exploring the ways in which spaces can create experiential happiness.
d6thD visualizes the practice as a sheltered and collaborative place for reflection, where a community (including clients and other collaborators) can reflect on how to make life happy and feel good through architecture.
Ar. Himanshu Patel is an ardent architect (2006) from M.S.University. After graduation, he has worked in one of the foremost international architectural firms (Arif & Bintoak) in the Emirates. His research work as a cm fellow (2009) on high-profile Gujarat tourism projects has been well recognized on social development under the Chief Minister’s Fellowship Program. His practice in vernacular architecture is inextricably bound with his entire childhood spent in a village. For the last five years, his Ahmadabad-based d6thD design studio promotes the use of locally available materials, traditional building techniques, culturally and climatically relevant building design. Retrospective of his work in various regions of Gujarat reflects his perseverance to design with the overt principles of vernacular architecture. He has lectured and conducted workshops widely related to vernacular architecture among several colleges and universities in India.