In Har­mony With Na­ture

Pro­mo­tion of the lo­cal build­ing ma­te­ri­als while re­spect­ing the sur­round­ing green­ery, flora and fauna, is a key in­gre­di­ent in the de­sign of Camp Fork­tail Creek by De­sign Con­sor­tium

MGS Architecture - - Greening India -

The camp, lo­cated in the dense jun­gle of Jim Cor­bet Na­tional Park in Ut­tarak­hand, con­sists of 3 mud huts and 6 in­for­mal struc­tures (tents). The plan­ning of the camp site was in har­mony with the nat­u­ral trails within the wood that pro­vided least amount of dis­rup­tion dur­ing the con­struc­tion process. It uti­lizes re-us­able ma­te­ri­als, causes least con­struc­tion im­pact, and in­no­vates waste re­cy­cling.

The de­sign ad­dresses the ver­nac­u­lar as the fo­cus for sus­te­nance and shel­ter. Go­ing back to wat­tle and daub with wood & thatch, the build­ing con­struc­tion tech­niques draws back to the ba­sics of liv­ing in the woods. Min­i­mal and op­ti­mal use of lo­cal ma­te­rial re­sources en­sured the green­est ap­proach to de­sign, which was not lim­ited to ma­te­rial choices and pas­sive com­fort strate­gies, rather, it ex­tends into in­volve­ment of lo­cal peo­ple and camp fa­cil­i­ta­tors.

Machan De­sign Con­cept

Ar­chi­tec­turally, the sets of func­tions were de­vel­oped as sep­a­rate spa­tial en­ti­ties such as the din­ing thatch, li­brary-machan, liv­ing quar­ters etc. A bal­ance of ac­tive and pas­sive use of nat­u­ral re­sources blends into the de­sign. It was per­ti­nent to use only nat­u­ral sources of en­ergy to run the sys­tem. So­lar en­ergy is har­nessed ac­tively through pho­to­voltaic cells and used pas­sively through strate­gies like green roofs, uti­liza­tion of nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion, adobe ther­mal mass in­su­la­tion and evap­o­ra­tive cool­ing tech­niques.

The tallest struc­ture within the fa­cil­ity is typ­i­cally a tra­di­tional machan (a view tower), made with wood, sup­ported by stone pil­lars. The cool thatched struc­ture ex­ploits the best views and the lo­cal wind path to cre­ate the most pleas­ant am­bi­ence for all sea­sons. The ground floor of the struc­ture is used as a wait­ing lounge for vis­i­tors.

Build­ing ma­te­ri­als typ­i­cally con­sid­ered green in­clude rapidly re­new­able plant re­sources such as bam­boo, thatch vege­ta­tion, fallen lum­ber from lo­cal forests etc. The din­ing area used river stone as struc­tural sup­port sys­tem. Tech­ni­cal knowl­edge of work­ing with adobe blocks and wat­tle-daub con­struc­tion was shared and con­ducted as an ed­u­ca­tional camp site con­struc­tion process for var­i­ous groups of peo­ple in­volved in the project.

Ver­nac­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture is the lan­guage used in de­sign­ing this jun­gle re­sort. Lo­cally avail­able ma­te­ri­als such as mud, brick, bam­boo, thatch and stone have been put to good use in the con­struc­tion Ar. Ni­lan­jan Bhowal

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