The site is set amidst large patches of agricultural land, adjoining government forest reserve and is located in close vicinity of UNESCO world heritage site of Champaner, the archaeological park, and the Pavagadh hills.
The region is rich and diverse in flora and Fauna, invites large numbers of nature enthusiasts. The site shares its boundaries with the forest reserve, the brief was to design a campus to house 7 independent cottages, dormitories, and common facilities for ornithologists and other nature enthusiasts.
Considering the ecological sensitivity of the zone and the brief the major considerations for the project were:
1. The structures are carefully designed and built-in bamboo and earth, to minimize the impact on the natural setting as well as creating opportunities to engage with it.
2. The construction and finishes of the built pathways and landscape elements employed materials with low embodied energy.
A stay for nature enthusiasts and ornithologists. Each of these accommodates a double volume living space, with a mezzanine overlooking the forest reserve. The lean-to roof and enclosure towards the south protect from the harsh summer sun and provide privacy from the hustle of the common facilities. The north facade opens to a private garden and brings in ambient light into space
The gazebo, placed at the center of the campus is the common dining space for the entire campus. It begins with an Amphitheatre opening towards the Pavagadh hills at its front and ends with the kitchen at its back. The cantilevered trusses tied together in a complete circle with solid bent solid bamboo forms the structure of the gazebo!
A material with life engages with living in different ways and vice versa. It was refreshing to see the artisans interacting and working with their indigenous materials in a new environment with different challenges to tackle, here not only their familiar material is used to the fullest possible means but also how other things lying around become their new tools of the trade and ways of living. Here the unsuitable bamboo for the structural members is employed for the walls then the floorboards, the leftovers are carefully crafted in making roofing tiles, and I am assuming the wastage from all of that is added to their firewood. Each cottage combines structural members and enclosing elements to create a compact space using various forms of bamboo for roofing and structure and walling enclosures from various forms of earth, both fired as well as un-fired with locally available stone-forming their base.
Fired earth slabs(Patu) that are used as a flooring material in some villages of Gujarat have been redefined as a walling element on the ground floor whereas the first floor will be enclosed with wattle and daub by employing the local skills of the neighboring residents of the village.
The flexibility and strength of the otherwise linear bamboo in combination with the circular form helped create the humble canopy to dine under, that sits lightly alongside the grounded stone structure
of the kitchen
Pavagadh, Champarner, Panchmahal Gujarat
Shubrota, artisans from Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Dahod