The Ab­stract & The Or­ganic

MGS Architecture - - Greening India -

The boldly dra­matic Shyam Farm For­est Re­sort, hous­ing 16 cot­tages, is lo­cated at the very edge of Gir Na­tional Park and wildlife sanc­tu­ary; the sole home of the Asi­atic lion, sur­rounded by 1400 sq.km for­est in Gu­jarat, is built on the new ver­nac­u­lar style by d6thd De­sign Stu­dio

Guests are im­mersed in na­ture with fort like cir­cu­lar cot­tages in­spired by a com­bi­na­tion of lo­cal no­madic com­mu­nity houses. Fur­ther to the de­sign di­rec­tion was the eco­log­i­cally sen­si­tive no­tion to “em­brace the na­ture gen­tly”, mean­ing that no as­pect of the con­struc­tion should im­pose on the ex­ist­ing mango trees since the site was a farm with mango trees at thirty feet in­ter­val in grid. In­stead of chop­ping down trees, the

cot­tages were de­signed around the trees, and in­te­grated into the built en­vi­ron­ment.

Ex­posed brick­work us­ing lo­cally avail­able thin bricks in its naked form gives the en­tire re­sort an earthy feel. Con­struc­tion tech­niques us­ing ran­dom rub­ble stone foun­da­tion, load bear­ing ex­posed brick walls, arches, sand stone jalis and clay tile roof have contributed to the low cost of the project. The court­yard with a mango tree within the cot­tage clus­ter acts as a tran­si­tion space be­tween the more pri­vate cot­tage bed­room and the in­for­mal semi open liv­ing area. Each clus­ter has a large foyer space shaded by a mango tree to wel­come vis­i­tors. In-built sit outs of sand stone be­low the trees al­low for an in­ti­mate in­ter­face with the out­doors.

Cot­tages with small win­dow open­ings re­spond to the hot and dry cli­mate of the re­gion. Due to its cir­cu­lar shape, there is only one line which is di­rectly per­pen­dic­u­lar to the sun­rays hit­ting the sur­face of the struc­ture at a time, hence, most of the heat is re­flected away. This cir­cu­lar shape is well known for its struc­tural sta­bil­ity dur­ing nat­u­ral calami­ties like earth­quake and cy­clonic winds. The round shape re­quires 10% less wall

than a square, and al­most 15% less than a rec­tan­gle, to en­close the same floor area. This means less ex­te­rior wall and less foun­da­tion wall to pay for ini­tially.

Be­ing lo­cated on a rocky ter­rain, the re­sort had a re­duced foun­da­tion re­quire­ment; no trees were cut down, and all the wild species of plants were not only re­tained but prop­a­gated as well. Door and win­dow frames are made from lo­cal neem wood. Only lo­cally avail­able bricks and sand stone within less than 50 km ra­dius were used for the ma­sonry. This, along with en­gag­ing lo­cal labour­ers brought down the over­all travel miles. Rain­wa­ter runoff is used to water the ad­join­ing farm where or­ganic veg­eta­bles pro­duce is used on a small scale for guests.

The hon­esty and sim­plic­ity of ma­te­ri­als and tech­niques em­ployed are not just time tested and re­li­able but clearly re­flect a cul­tural sen­si­tiv­ity to­wards the area Ar. Himanshu Pa­tel, d6thd De­sign Stu­dio

Ty­pol­ogy: Eco Re­sort Lo­ca­tion: Bho­jde vil­lage, Gir Lion Sanc­tu­ary, Gu­jarat Built up area: 1300 sq.mt Site area: 1.5 acre Com­ple­tion: 2016 Client: Lo­cal farmer Cost: `1,25,00,000

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