- HASSAN FATHY - LAURIE BAKER - GEOFFERY BAWA
1) HISTORY - INTRODUCTION. - WHAT IS VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE ??? - INFLUENCE OF VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE. - PRINCIPLES OF DOMESTIC VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE 2) CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES. - FACTORS INFLUSING VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE - METHODS IN VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE - STRUCTUAL ROMANCE WITH BAMBOO, BY INSPIRATION WHY BAMBOO………..??? 3) WHAT IS AUROVILLE ? 4) WHAT IS ORGANIC IN ARCHITECTURE……??? 5) EARTHEN ARCHITECTUR IN AUROVILLE LINKING A WORLD TRADITIONAL WITH MODERNITY. 6) ARCHITECTS IN VERNACULAR
7) PROJECTS IN VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE. - FARM HOUSE, NADHAWADE, SINDHUDURRG,MAHARASHTRA INDIA. - INFLUENCES OF INDIGENOUS, FORMS AND CULTURE ON ARCHITECTS. - PRARTHNA. 8) VANISHING VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE……….??? 9) CONCLUSION.
local needs. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural and historical context in which it exists. It has often been dismissed as crude and unrefined, but also has proponents who highlight its importance in current design. It can be contrasted against polite architecture which is characterised by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements. “...a building designed by an amateur without any training in design; the individual will have been guided by a series of conventions built up in his locality, paying little attention to what may be fashionable. The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal. local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and
1) HISTORY:The term vernacular is derived from the Latin vernaculus, meaning "domestic, native, indigenous"; from verna, meaning "native slave" or "home-born slave". The word probably derives from an older Etruscan word. In linguistics, vernacular refers to language use particular to a time, place or group. In architecture, it refers to that type of architecture which is indigenous to a specific time or place (not imported or copied from elsewhere). It is most often applied to residential buildings The term is not to be confused with so-called "traditional" architecture, though there are links between the two. Traditional architecture can also include buildings which bear elements of polite design; temples and palaces, for example, which normally would not be included under the rubric of "vernacular." In architectural terms, 'the vernacular' can be contrasted with 'the polite', which is characterised by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated by a professional architect for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements. Between the extremes of the wholly vernacular and the completely polite, examples occur which have some vernacular and some polite content, often making the differences between the vernacular and the polite a matter of degr
imported quite exceptionally………..”
The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World defines vernacular architecture as: “...comprising the dwellings and all other buildings of the people. Related to their environmental contexts and available resources they are customarily owner- or communitybuilt, utilizing traditional technologies. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of life of the cultures that produce them…….”
3) INFLUENCE OF VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE.
Vernacular architecture is influenced by a great range of different aspects of human behaviour and environment, leading to differing building forms for almost every different context; even neighbouring villages may have subtly different approaches to the construction and use of their dwellings, even if they at first appear the same. Despite these variations, every building is subject to the same laws of physics, and hence will demonstrate significant similarities in structural forms. A) Climate. B) Culture. C) Environment and material. 2
2) WHAT IS VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE………???
Vernacular architecture is a term used to categorise methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address
A) CLIMATE:One of the most significant influences on vernacular architecture is the macro climate of the area in which the building is constructed. Buildings in cold climates invariably have high thermal mass or significant amounts of insulation. They are usually sealed in order to prevent heat loss, and openings such as windows tend to be small or non-existent. Buildings in warm climates, by contrast, tend to be constructed of lighter materials and to allow significant crossventilation through openings in the fabric of the building. Buildings for a continental climate must be able to cope with significant variations in temperature, and may even be altered by their occupants according to the seasons. Buildings take different forms depending on precipitation levels in the region - leading to dwellings on stilts in many regions with frequent flooding or rainy monsoon seasons. Flat roofs are rare in areas with high levels of precipitation. Similarly, areas with high winds will lead to specialised buildings able to cope with them, and buildings will be
people interact and many other cultural considerations will affect the layout and size of dwellings. For example, the family units of several East African tribes live in family compounds, surrounded by marked boundaries, in which separate single-roomed dwellings are built to house different members of the family. In polygamous tribes there may be separate dwellings for different wives, and more again for sons who are too old to share space with the women of the family. Social interaction within the family is governed by, and privacy is provided by, the separation between the structures in which family members live. By contrast, in Western Europe, such separation is accomplished inside one dwelling, by dividing the building into separate rooms. Culture also has a great influence on the appearance of vernacular buildings, as occupants often decorate buildings in accordance with local customs and beliefs.
C)ENVIRONMENT AND MATERIAL:The local environment and the construction materials it can provide governs many aspect of vernacular architecture. Areas rich in trees will develop a wooden vernacular, while areas without much wood may use mud or stone. In the Far East it is common to use bamboo, as it is both plentiful and versatile. Vernacular, almost by definition, is sustainable, and will not exhaust the local resources. If it is not sustainable, it is not suitable for its local context, and cannot be vernacular. Toda hut, Indian vernacular architecture
oriented to present minimal area to the direction of prevailing winds.
Climatic influences on vernacular architecture are substantial and can be extremely complex. Mediterranean vernacular, and that of much of the Middle East, often includes a courtyard with a fountain or pond; air cooled by water mist and evaporation is drawn through the building by the natural ventilation set up by the building form. Similarly, Northern African vernacular often has very high thermal mass and small windows to keep the occupants cool, and in many cases also includes chimneys, not for fires but to draw air through the internal spaces. Such specialisations are not designed, but learnt by trial and error over generations of building construction, often existing long before the scientific theories which explain why they work..
B) CULTURE:The way of life of building occupants, and the way they use their shelters, is of great influence on building forms. The size of family units, who shares which spaces, how food is prepared and eaten, how 3
along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. More than the architectural of secular or religious institutions.we can see in the evolution of house types a simple and frugal society that created habitat with elementary means but insight into the functional requirements and the potential of available materials
Before the 20th century.
. one of the common plan types and proceeded without any formal documents. The houses was built by simply following tradition. in consulation with the clients. house construction was traditionally the task of a village’s master mason (mu’allim) who selected. desires. houses mirror the needs. usually with participation from the owner’s whole family.4) PRINCIPLES OF DOMESTIC VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE
• The vernacular dwelling is the unconscious expression of a people’s culture. and living habits of a time because they are the direct result of the interaction between people and their environment. • In Lebanon and adjacent areas of the Middle East.
a)Form and Pattern
The form of these agraharams could be understood as a derivative of a grid pattern. The public wells – a key community interactive utility have been totally left have been rendered non-functional. The porch (thinnai) forms the semi public space – a transition from the public arena (theruvu – street) to the realms of the habitable space – the house. character and style to these agraharams needs to be explored in the current scenario as they are no longer evident. The concept of bathrooms was unheard of as the village ponds (kulam). is the store and the pathayam (granary) or the grain store is a take – off from the Kerala style. The temple tank forms an interactive community space with the Peepal tree (sthalavriksham) forming another focal element. The rooms (aria) were attached to the hall which was then followed by the kitchen (adukalai) which finally culminated in another open space (mittam) which completed the typology of an onaamkettu (first stage) house.The affluent had the second stage (rendaamkettu) which included a semi covered area for the cattle and the rear yard (kollai) with the toilets. The house of the Brahmins perfectly fits the laws of linear organisation with a clear demarcation of spaces as public. Linear in organisation. there was a long.
Orgination of spaces:5
. ornamental brackets. columns of the thinnai have been seeing shades of changes with grilles enclosing the thinnai for security reasons. the place of storage of valuable assets. The dwajasthambam of the temple stills holds reign to the settlement with the heights of the houses rising only upto the line of control specified by this vertical element. The arai.The house was organized around a courtyard with rooms around – typical offshoot from the illams and tharavads of Kerala. They were a clear response to simple needs of protection and survival. with the temple forming the main focus. narrow passage leading to the interiors. semi-public and private areas. streams (ozhukku) and the rivers (puzha) facilitated the purpose. The complete neglect of traditional techniques of construction and materials that once harmonized the entire settlement sees an ensemble pertaining to availability of local materials and modern techniques
Elements and spaces that rendered Imageability. The sunken portions were classified as the thalvaram and conversely the raised areas in the house were broadly categorized as the melvaram. This then led to a large hall (koodam) with an open area (nadumittam) which was a feature similar to the courtyard.From the verandah. The Vedic schools (Vedhapaatashala) have lost its ethnic charm and the settlements are caught in the quagmire of change. The well was located in the open space near the kitchen or at the rear end (Kerala Iyers Trust)
The pitched roofs. sloping roofs being replaced by the flat roofs with a variety of precast concrete motifs forming the parapet. Primarily being an agricultural community where the Brahmins were land owners the spatial organisation of the house reflects the occupation and the religious relevance . The upper storeys were the machi (on top).• The houses were built of the materials furnished by the environments and embededed in hilly landscapes humanized by countless terraces. The row of houses (tube houses) is either single or 2 storied with the traditional pitched roof striking a significant profile against the sky – the imageability context. the culmination point being the temple as the early settlements were by the priests who were Vedic scholars who attached themselves to the religious activities. on one side of which would be the grain store (pathayam) below which was the nilavara or the nilavarakundu.
there are a few strategies for improved earthquake resistance of these buildings.2)STONE AND BRICK MASONRY CONSTRUCTION
A) FACTORS INFLUENCING VERNACULAR CONSTRUCTION
Locally Available Materials The first factor influencing the development of vernacular construction practices is related to the availability of local building materials. These strategies are as follows: • Good choice of building shape (preferably a circular floor plan).
Examples of traditional wooden houses are found throughout Japan and the Russian Federation . This type of construction is widespread in many different cultures. Clay brick is a traditional building material used for centuries in many parts of the world.The advantages of timber housing construction stem from the use of timber. mainly in the form of uncourse (random) stone-rubble construction. It should be noted that the wood is quite vulnerable to the effects of humidity and insects. clay. If possible. the stones have been shaped. In many areas. • Use of timber to reinforce earthen walls. the locally available resources have governed the use of the following constituent materials for walls: • Earthen construction. • Use of a lightweight roof to reduce the mass on top of the walls. In some cases. Such construction is called “dressed-stone masonry. or concrete blocks) • Τimber construction
The most widespread vernacular housing construction involves the use of masonry walls as the load-bearing structure. generally classified as adobe. Moreover. The use of burnt clay bricks is widespread where wood or coal fuel is available. usually by hand tools. column– beam or panel-beam) and their ability to transfer the forces from one building member to another and then down to the foundation. stone and Masonry construction • Αdobe (mud blocks or whole walls) • Μasonry (stone. Adobe construction offers a very limited seismic resistance. described in the previous section. especially among poor populations that do not have access to more sophisticated building materials.”
Earthen dwellings utilize mud walls or adobe block walls. however. it is crucial that the floor plan be absolutely regular. the use of timber construction is limited by the local availability of suitable wood materials. a secure roof-to wall connection is essential for satisfactory earthquake performance. A critical issue in timber construction is related to the connections (floor-beam. Stone is the locally available material in some regions. Timber reinforcement must be adequately protected against humidity and insects (such as termites in Africa and India) in order to ensure long-term structural integrity. The simplest technique is based on the use of sun-baked blocks.
. Unshaped stone blocks collected in the field have also been used for housing construction for centuries. In order to achieve desirable seismic performance. it should be symmetrical in both orthogonal directions. a lightweight and ductile building material. Timber reinforcement can be added to increase ductility and secure the connections.
non-toxic building material which provide sufficient thermal mass to buildings to ensure excellent thermal performance. not kiln-fired. Before drying out. The small Adobe units provide great flexibility in the design and construction of earth buildings.One of the biggest advantages of the Adobe system is that it allows the individual units or bricks to shrink before they are placed in the wall. Adobe bricks can be easily cut for fitting and can be provided with holes for reinforcing and services. The outer
. the finished walls are smoothed down.Many people find the pattern and texture of Adobe walls very attractive. Due to the production process and the nature of clay. Other benefits include low sound transmission levels through walls and a general feeling of solidity and security. The risk of extensive shrinkage and cracking.
a)The Adobe Brick (Mud Brick) Adobe bricks (mud bricks) are made of earth with a fairly high clay content and straw. Adobe bricks are a fireproof. which would otherwise occur in soils of high clay content in a large monolithic wall. When used for construction they are laid up into a wall using an earth mortar.
c) Cavity Wall Cavity wall consists of two walls with a 5cm to 8cm. If produced manually the earth mix is cast in open moulds onto the ground and then left to dry out. Adobe bricks are only sun-dried. Nevertheless it is very important to provide adequate weather protection of the earth walls. durable yet biodegradable. Adobe bricks have good water resistance. Often a clay render is applied as a surface coating. -Advantages of Adobe bricks : Making use of Adobe bricks is probably one of the simplest forms of earth building. is prevented.
B) METHODS IN VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE
Adobe Brick (mud bricks) Rat trap Bond Cavity Wall Filler Slab
b) Rat Trap Bon : It is bond. especially in exposed situations. This is normally done with the provision of adequate eaves.which probably used in vernacular contruction.cavity between them.
Bamboo generates a crop every year. spread across eighteen genera.Ernakulam. timber or concrete and has a higher strength by weight ratio than steel and timber which means that for equal weights of bamboo. The treatment process may or may not be polluting – the choice is in our hands. at Hotel Sarovaram.
has a higher strength than the other two materials. bamboo creates greater yields of raw material for use.covering an area of 6000Sqm.
A) Structural Romance with Bamboo by Inspiration Why Bamboo?
64 % of the bamboo species are native to South east Asia. To build 1000 houses of bamboo annually. it would require 500 hectares of forest cover. 33% grows in Latin America. One clump can produce 200 poles in the three to five years. All natural treatment methods are of course non-polluting and chemical treatment methods can be managed in a non-polluting way by using nontoxic chemicals and re-cycling / re-using the chemicals used for treatment and taking all other necessary precautions. A sixty foot tree cut for the market takes 60 years to replace. It can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods. with some considering a few bamboo species to be even stronger than steel in terms of comparative stiffness factor and tensile strength. Comparisons It is very much light in weight compared tosteel. steel and timber.. The soil atSarovaram is of a weak marineclay kind and the site isbordered by backwaters on the western side.an effort for which we have been honoured with the National award by HUDCO. This diversity makes bamboo adaptable to many environments.consists of a 10 cm( half brick) thick wall and the inner wall is sufficiently thick and strong to carry the imposed load safely. material may be takenfrom a 60 hectare bamboo plantation. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2 to 5% fortrest.wall also known as outer leaf.the minimum thickness of the inner wall is restricted to 10cm(half brick). If an equivalent project used timber.It is nonpolluting in its growth (unless of course chemical fertilizers are used) or even after it has been harvested and when it is being used. covering an area of 2750 Sft. It scores comparably with mild steel. The provision of a continous cavity in the wall efficiency prevents the transmission of dampness to the inner wall Advantages -They are economical -They have good sound insulation property. This high strength and low weight factor of bamboo means that it inherently has a capability to be earthquake and cyclone resistant. Some Projects One of earliest usageof bamboo constitutes abamboo reinforced road base. .the availability of bamboo resources in India is the second largest in the world ranking only behind China. Being the fastest growing grass in the world (one canliterally SEE and HEAR bamboo grow – the species Phyllostachys Edullis can grow upto 120cm/day!) it is ahigh yielding renewable material resource. and the rest in Africa and Oceania. It definitely scores above other types of timber.
Why or how is bamboo ecofriendly?
Being a naturally growing material it is nonenergy-intensive in the sense that no energy is used as such in its ‘production’. belonging to BTH Group of hotels.
. Here are 1500 species of bamboo on the earth. A sixty foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace. walls and roofs in ways that meet our contemporary needs. bamboo 9
Our other non-building but structural uses bamboo include the following: Our own office and an experiment where we have attempted to develop a technology forusing premises in Eroor.Kerala.. is a first of its kind structure bamboo in floors. . With about 125 species.
the entire dead weight of the building has been reduced to almost 1/3rd of a similar building done with conventional RCC slabs and masonry walls.Basically.The other advantages are the thermal insulation provided by the hollow cavity of bamboo and additional carpet area because of reduced wall thickness. The basic advantage is that because bamboo is a light material. 400kg per sq.m live load and to withstand wind speeds of up to 200 km per hour. The structure stands on stilts. the building is a framed structure designed for a loading condition of approx. This has helped in bringing down the cement and steel consumption by almost 70%. The two storied building is built on column footings about 3feet deep. All bamboo used has been given preservative treatment.
wall interior Wall corner
We at Inspiration have the backing of over 15 years of research done in structural application of bamboo by Shri
. which reduces the chances of dampness seeping in as well as the attack on the bamboo by wood by rodents and insects.
Chennai. with the highlight being making use of the available bamboo on site for the entire construction – walls. Mumbai
• • • • • • • • • Preservative treatment of bamboo with non-toxic pressure treatment Preservative treatment of bamboo using coal tar Creosote oil. Tamil Nadu
An exquisite reteat with an wholesome treatment facility along with deluxe and executive cottages.R. Use of Re-constituted bamboo-wood composite for soil retaining walls for construction of water retaining structures. numbering 30.N. Gore of Geo-Scienc Services.
Web: ww w. Use of bamboo crating for packing dry rubble as retaining
Cholayil MEDIMIX Ayurvedic Retreat.inspir Bamboo House Research Project
With Kerala Forest Institute. Datye and Shri V. Use of combination of Geo-fabrics and preservative split bamboo mesh for reinforcement in clayey soil as road base. floors and roofs.K. Cold dip with LOSP (Liquid Organic Solvent Preservative)treatment. Use of Split bamboo and reinforced plaster combination in walling. Use of Split bamboo and reinforced plaster combination in floor slab and roof slab.
. Use of full bamboo screen and reconstituted bamboo-wood composite for soil retaining structure.
WHAT IS AUROVILLE?
The name Auroville means ‘City of Dawn’ and refers to the dawning of a new consciousness. and an inaugural urn that contains earth from 124 countries as a symbol of international harmony.Kerala.Prefabricated bamboo house at Kallara. Together they envisioned a great future for humanity. The city is divided into four directional zones: cultural.
Bamboo for partition walls
FROM DUST TO DAWN
Raven Le Fay describes how an eroded landscape was turned into a beautiful eco-city and improved the local climate in the process. It was conceived and founded in the late 1960s by the French visionary known as ‘The Mother’. 2. breathing life into all their activities. and surrounding everything 12
Bamboo office for socio Economic Unit Foundation
. It is a place for the spiritual evolution of humanity: an awaken-ing of the divine consciousness that lives in us all.000 people from 35 countries currently live in Auroville. a galaxy shape that spirals out over 5 square kilo-metres (2 square miles). This truth is most strikingly reflected in the organic architecture of its town plan. an amphitheatre for ceremony and ritual. international and residential. one where all might live together in peace and harmony. Auroville intends to realise this dream of human unity. and spiritual evolution is their driving force. The Matrimandir (‘Temple of the Mother’) sits in the centre alongside an ancient banyan tree. a spiritual collaborator of the philosopher and yogi Sri Aurobindo. industrial.
and as a sacred sanctuary. This in turn further enriches the environment through seed dissemina-tion and fertilization. in an attempt to recharge the aquifers. they aimed for solutions suitable to the climate that would incorporate passive solar features. they slowly developed an integrated soil and water conservation strategy that restored the fertility of the land. firewood and building materials. next to dams and ponds. organic farming. since earth was abundant on site. Today. machinery. They were both constrained and motivated by such factors as no electricity. Initially both native and non-native species were planted. food. or conventional building materials on the one hand. an area dedicated to the promotion of biodiversity.is the ‘green belt’. millions of trees have been planted behind bunds. As the vegetation has grown the microclimate has changed.83 with 13. As they became more skilled and efficient in their work. Auro-villians started building their infrastructure. The basic building material was an obvious choice. transportation. regeneration of the environment was their first concern. and an abundant but unskilled labour force on the other. as a microclimate moderator. and sustainable research.
and insects. and produce up to 1. Through careful observation and listening to local traditional knowledge. protect from rain. reduce energy consumption and utilise rainwater har-vesting. prevent saltwater intrusion and conserve water for irrigation. The presses are robust. It has become cooler and more humid. Auroville’s botanical gardens have a 20 hectare (50 acre) plot that is being developed into a research and demonstration site with over 5. and finances were limited. Aurovillians turned their efforts towards the bioregion. Solutions had to use local people and materials. The Auroville Earth Institute and Centre for Sustainable Research (CSR) have developed a successful manual press to create Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs) that are used like bricks. be inexpensive. Now these trees are harvested. using a high compression ratio of 1. they placed features near the top of the watershed following the topography. and runs a revitalization pro-gramme for medicinal plant traditions. reforestation. the Auroville forest is acknowledged and safeguarded as an invaluable resource for the community: for medicine. which facilitates more plant growth.
Having established vegetation and water control. Extensive networks of raised earth bank and ditches called ‘bunds’ were placed along the contours of the land.5 metric tons (15 tons) available force. Work units ‘Palmyra’ and ‘Water Harvest’ are currently targeting the rehabilitation of an ancient network of community catchment tanks that once covered the land. and efforts are focused on recreating the native vegetation of a tropical dry evergreen forest. erosion control. but the Australian ‘work tree’ (Acacia auriculiformis or Darwin Black Wattle) became invasive and crowded out other species. water or shade.000 accurate blocks per day of adjustable height and shape (including hollow blocks that save on material and give insulation). wastewater treatment and renewable energy systems. Pitchandikulum Bio-Resource Centre also has a 20 hec-tare (50 acre) forest where it has collected over 440 indigenous plant species. and simple to implement and maintain.
SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION
When the Auroville pioneers arrived. There was no electricity. and through trial and error succeeded in their goals.000 specimens from the native forest. birds 13
Since the 1970s. Keen to integrate appropriate technology into their designs. Learning the hard way to work with nature. and brings in many species of animals. along with a series of earth check dams and catchment ponds. Both have seed banks to protect forest biodiversity. Fences have made from thorn and cactus to protect the vegetation from grazing.
The term “organic architecture” wascoined by the famous architect. ecology. Currently Auroville has over 40 water treatment systems of small to moderate size many using horizontal or vertical planted filter beds. and also using baffled tank reactors. Many buildings in Auroville demon-strate this through vaulted floor and roof designs. Along with earth construction. Recently Auroville has been researching Effective Microorganism (EM) technology to improve system performance. biogas plants and at least one Living Machine. the blocks are stabilised with 3-5% cement to prevent water erosion. inexpensive combinations of septic tank and soak pit. cheap. While not a truly sustainable solution.Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959). and is made possible through the blocks’ adhesive properties with the clay mortar. The first wastewater recycling solutions that Auroville developed were simple. Auroville has had great success in the use of ferrocement. and the technology is easily transferable.???
Integrating humanhabitat with thenatural world. where a thin cement mortar is laid over steel wire meshing that acts as reinforcement. durable. ecological.
. also called constructed wetlands or root zone treatment systems.WASTE WATER TREATMENT
In Auroville. it has proven to be a very cost-effective and highly efficient building material that is adaptable.. The blocks are adaptable and can be used without support or form.
WHAT IS ORGANIC IN ARCHITECTURE…. CEBs are energy efficient (using bet-ween 5 and 15 times less energy to make than a fired brick). bio architecture and so on. Later. This technique is known as free-spanning or Nubian. but lime or bitumen can also be used. • Presently organic architecture forms the foundation and mother of all architecture sustainable architecture. European funds enabled the CSR to research and develop planted filters. alternative architecture.
FLW was not concerned with architectural style. flexible and surprising. Temperature flows also behave better in curvilinear interiors.fraternity. Rudolf Steiner. • Organic Architecture is not a style of imitation but composition consisting of buildings and its surroundings. It also explores our need to connect to nature. • It is a total harmonized blending of outdoor and indoor space. It promotes a more positive link between man and nature.• Organic architecture develops itself from inside to outside. beauty. There should be marriage in between the site and the structure and a union in between the context and the structure. affinity for place and holds the promise of achieving a compatible and sustainable relationship between people. based on natural forms and structures and simple local materials. • Primitive vernacular architecture was innately organic. non cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past. 15
Primitive vernacular architecture was innately organic. Architects could create swooping arches without visible beams or pillars. which is never be the result of an imposed style. because he believed that every building should grow naturally from its environment and it should exalt the simple laws of common sense. In modern & post modern period. Patterns and forms in nature such as the spiral and fractal are products of internal laws of growth and of the action of external forces such as sun. present or future.
. It gives respect to natural materials blending into the surroundings and honest expression of the function of the building with relation of each piece to the whole and the whole to the surroundings.
• It is not a style. A building is a product of its place and itstime intimately. joy and love. Architects Gustav Stickley. Bruno Zevi and most recently Anton Alberts and Laurie Baker are all famous for their work related to Organic Architecture. interrelated rather a reinterpretation of nature’s principles to build forms more natural than nature itself. multifaceted. radical. connected to a particular moment and site. Wright. many eminent
WHAT IS ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE?
• • •
ECOLOGICAL + INDIVIDUAL’S= ORGANIC
Organic architecture is the outcome of the feelings of life. • It has more of a vernacular approach. or of super sense if we prefer determining form by way of the nature of materials. Bruce Goff. • Organic Architecture is influenced by Biophilia (love of life – nature or living system).from the interior life (that flows in space)to outdoor. based on natural form sand structures and simple local materials. F. It is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world throughdesign approaches. wind and water. idiosyncratic and environmentally known. It is well integratedwith its site and has a unified. Organic shapes and forms that elicit a human affinity for nature. nature and the human built environment. Vernacular is a characteristic style common to a particular region.Organic Architecture describes an expression of individuality. but unique and unrepeatable because it is related to the man. culture or period. Architecture has an inherent relationship with both its site and its time.
• • •
Vernacular Architecture consists of buildings or landscapes that affirm a distinctive material. • It also embodies the human spirit. freedom. wind and water.L.It is visually poetic. Louis Sullivan. like integrity. harmony. AntoniGaudi. site and time (three variables). • Patterns and forms in nature such as the spiral and fractal are products of internal laws of growth and of the action of external forces such assun.
EXPLORING ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE
• Organic Architecture does describe environmental concerns. transcending the mere act of providing shelter from surroundings which shapes and enhances our lives.
Antonio Gaudi. Zambian vernacular architecture isorganic. keeping the essence of organic architecture which is more comfortable to the inhabitants with natural surroundings. Mainstream architecture is also adopting outward organic forms. Spanish architect designed sculpturally the creative and irregular organic form. • The design of brick jail promotes natural air movement to cool the homes interior and create intricate patterns of light and shadow. • In his design of Gobhai Mountain lodge. low-cost and high quality.
Modern organic designs are never linear or rigidly geometric. Nari Gandhi uses ‘art of craft’ in order to achieve an organic and sensorial architecture with an ethos towards the spiritual. • The buildings are aesthetically beautiful. Gobhai Mountain Lodge. beautiful and most importantly comfortably integrated with the local climate. culture and harvest cycles
In India the famous architect Laurie Baker designed the buildings with local materials. because most of the natural aspects are curvilinear and asymmetrical in shape. Instead wavy lines and curved shapes suggest natural forms.
other eminent Indian Architect. Nari Gandhi views. the • Rajmachi hilltop fort and the Valvan lake below. which the verandahs overlook. he explores a jewel like exercise in geometry and simplicity.
EARTHEN ARCHITECTURE IN AUROVILLE LINKING A WORLD TRADITION WITH MODERNITY •
Gobhai mountain lodge. like Sydney Opera House. The R&D conducted by the Auroville Earth Institute finds its source of inspiration in the traditional earthen architecture which is found worldwide.
• These “world heritage sites” show how earthen architecture has been use for achieving great and long lasting monuments. Every aspect of TZED has been designed to conserve the natural resources and to have minimal impact on the environment.The oldest one can be seen in Egypt. Tradition has accumulated over the ages wisdom and knowledge and it is our duty to distillate the essence of this genius and use it for today’s development. the nature of the materials used. the nature of the life concerned and the purpose of the building itself. laterite blocks are used. totally adapted to the local context – social. near Luxor. individual. many are the examples of earth as a building material. like stone and mud. etc. • A building should grow from its site as nature grows from the inside out and shaped by the forces which surround it. India also shows very old earthen buildings: Shey palace in Ladakh. • It is an integrated approach with several innovative systems to minimize environmental impact. technical. the nature of the system using them. From the roof of the world in Tibet. • The solution of every problem is contained within itself. Its plan. fly ash blocks. Natural building materials. 17
. • We propose that all architecture should be organic. in the “rest” of Thebes. There is hardly any continent or country which does not have numerous examples of earth construction. or the Andes Mountains in Peru. built around 1300 BC: the vaults of the Ramasseum. But vernacular architecture worldwide shows also how a local material has been used to create an endogenous architecture. which is again the modernist approach of organic architecture. to the Nile’s shore in Egypt or the fertile valleys of China. and ecological. Fresh air input and builtin energy efficient lights are among the features. climatic. built in the 17th century and Tabo monastery in Spiti Valley – Himachal Pradesh. in the natural form of lotus. form and character are determined by the nature of the site.
The development of earth architecture in Auroville attempts to link the ancestral tradition of raw earth buildings and the modern technology of stabilised earth. • Fariborz Sahba designed the Bahai temple in Delhi. • Earth architecture and the skill of earth builders disappeared since a century: from the end of the 19th century till the latter half of the 20th century.built with adobe blocks in 996 AD and which has withstood 1010 Himalayan winters.Nari Gandhi. • TZED homes in Bangalore by BCIL are a residential project consisting of environmentally sustainable and aesthetically sound homes for ninety-five families.
• The roof of the east face is pressed down to redirect the airflow of the prevailing southwest winds.
TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE: A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Since ages raw earth has been used all over the world as a building material to achieve amazingly long lasting buildings. economical.
• The“modern world” does not have such sensitivity… The Auroville Earth Institute (AVEI) lays a lot of emphasis on the management of resources. wastewater treatment. etc. the value of earth as a building material has been acknowledged for its economic advantage. • Today. schools.treatment
BUILDING WITH EARTH IN AUROVILLE • The creation of the Auroville Earth Institute in 1989. as well as its comfort and quality. MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES • People in so many different cultures worldwide have used earth to build their habitat and they managed the resources in such a way that buildings were totally integrated in nature and they did not degrade the environment. Since then. But on the opposite side. • Stabilised rammed earth is slowly getting known and a few projects already implemented this technique. gardens. • If well managed. earthen buildings can be totally integrated in the natural environment. started a new era in earthen architecture.Shallow ones for landscape design. apartments and individual houses.• The Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy was the precursor for the renaissance of earthen architecture in the middle of the 20th century. pools
. which promotes indigenous and sustainable development. and the construction of the Visitors’ Centre. mismanagement of resources can lead to the degradation of the environment.Most of the projects are built with compressed stabilised earth blocks (CSEB). Auroville shows quite a few examples of integrated management of soil resources: . as this technology benefits of half a century of research and development worldwide.
. People were sensitive to Nature and respected it.Deep ones for rainwater harvesting. Auroville can show a wide variety of projects: public buildings. basement floors. as showed in the tradition. work or play areas.
One of the aims of the Auroville Earth Institute is to give people the possibility to create and build their habitat themselves. workshops. publications and consultancy within and outside India. • The Auroville Earth Institute is researching. the endeavour to promote and disseminate raw earth as a building material for sustainable and cost-effective development has brought a series of 12 awards: eleven national awards and one international award. developing. using earth techniques. seminars. which had been founded by HUDCO in 1989. • These technologies are disseminated through training courses. Over the past decade.HOUSES Up to ~ 1990 they were not so many architects and most of the time houses were built by people themselves. in a way or another to the building process. promoting and teaching earth-based technologies that are cost and energy effective. The Auroville Earth Institute is today the South Asian representative and Resource Centre for the UNESCO Chair "Earthen Architecture – Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development". THE AUROVILLE EARTH INSTITUTE • The Auroville Earth Institute was previously named the Auroville Building Centre/Earth Unit.
. Since then architects are designing houses and often people participate.
for producing about 70 different types of blocks.handling equipment.His life-long career has been mainly devoted to an architecture that serves a greater good. Arabic peninsula and China. cement and reinforced cement concrete. which was built by. about 1-1. USA. to rammed earth equipment. have an average dry compressive crushing strength of 50 kg/cm2 (5 Mpa) and a wet compressive crushing strength of 25 kg/cm2. Note that these technologies are seen only as tools for creating a safe. A few machines have also been sold in Europe. Not only has his interest been in providing affordable housing for the poor but also in reinstalling pride in the vernacular andtraditional architecture of the Arab world and mainly his home country of Egypt.
• CSEB made in Auroville with 5% cement. • The Auram press 3000 is a multi mould manual press which can fit 16 moulds on it. hand tools.eco-friendly and sustainable. The main research and development is focussed on minimizing the use of steel. as it is testified by the vaults of the granaries of the Ramasseum. We owe him thanks for the worldwide renaissance. as is shown here after. Craterre . has been researched and developed from the very onset by the Auroville Earth Institute. • It ranges from a press for compressed stabilised earth blocks. The Nubian technique was revived and disseminated by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy.
ARCHITECTS IN VERNACULAR # Hassan Fathy
Hassan Fathy is one of the few names of 20th century architects in the Middle East that is also known in the West. the Auram equipment. This technique has the advantage of 20
. The Nubian technique was also used for building circular domes. • The press 3000 is today being sold worldwide – mostly in South Asia and in Africa. scaffolding. with various shapes and thicknesses. the sun dried bricks.Ramses II around 1300 BC. • The press 3000 with hollow interlocking moulds was sold in large quantities to Gujarat-India. was the silty-clayey soil from the Nile and the blocks used were adobes. Egypt. and the Auroville Earth Institute inherited his spirit and commitment towards the earth as a building material and what the latter can do for people. The vault was built arch after arch and therefore the courses were laid almost vertically. in the 20th century. vaults and domes. The Nubian technique traditionally needs a back wall to stick the blocks onto. so as to increase the adhesion by force of gravity. there by using a local resource to help develop technologies that are energy saving. It has been used since ages. hence the name Nubian. comfortable. The binder.APPROPRIATE BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES BASED ON EARTH • This research aims at making extensive use of
stabilised raw earth as the main building material. of earthen architecture and construction with arches. progressive and aesthetic architecture. quality control devices for block making. The unevenness of the adobes made it necessary to slightly incline the courses. # NUBIAN TECHNIQUE This technique came from Nubia. for the rehabilitation of the zones affected by the severe earthquake of January 2001. The water absorption is around 10%. from Southern Egypt. using a compass.the International Centre for Earth Construction. Country fired bricks have around 35 kg/cm² for the dry compressive strength and 12% water absorption
COMPRESSED STABILISED EARTH BLOCK (CSEB) • A wide range of equipment for building
with earth.5 cm thick.
Nevertheless. Courses should now be laid by steps The masonry goes on with horizontal steps. the following mix can successfully be used for vaults and domes: 1 cement: 6 soil: 3 sand. This technique with vertical courses has a major disadvantage. It allows courses to be laid horizontally. which is that the earth glue is very liquid and the blocks are very thin. This technique combines also the use of vertical courses. • If the mortar for walls is 1 cement: 3 soil: 9 sand.
. The vault rises with horizontal courses building a semicircular vault of 6m span It is essential to study the location of the centres of gravity so that the weight of the masonry never goes beyond the springers.
courses of the 3.
FREE SPANNING TECHNIQUE The free spanning technique is an on going development of the Nubian technique that the Auroville earth Institute is working on since a few years.60 m span equilateral vault have reached their maximum height. meaning that the soil is too sandy. as it should not have an excessive shrinkage. Depending on the shape of vaults. as the blocks are bigger. and assumes the most direct way. The basis of the technique with horizontal courses is not anymore the adhesion of the blocks by the earth glue. as the load transfer passes into the half dome which is at the end. Limit of stability of the horizontal courses Load transfer in the shape of a catenary in an equilateral vault with a half dome Force as a rampant arch Equilibrium of forces Force as a rampant arch Limit of stability of the curved corbel The vault. Therefore. the specification for vaults and domes could be 1 cement: 5 soil: 4 sand or. Note that soil and sand should be sieved with 1 mm mesh. being built with horizontal courses. Very flat segmental vaults and certains shapes of vaulted structures (i. if needed. It is needed also to develop a certain sense of how the forces behave in the masonry. like in the Nubian technique.The horizontal 21
# Vaults and domes built with the Nubian technique The binder for vaults and domes is like glue and should be more clayey than the one for walls in order to stick the blocks properly against each other. Forces through the keystone The forces pass through the keystone of the equilateral vault. structures are built either with horizontal courses. this glue should not be too clayey. and their transfer onto the next courses and the masonry in general. vertical ones or a combination of both. no sand should be added and the mix could be 1 cement: 9 soil.e. rises like a corbel which is curved and has courses inclined at the same angle as the radius of the curve. Equilateral vault with horizontal courses. if needed. • If the soil is too sandy. • If the mortar for walls is 1 cement: 7 soil: 5 sand. groined domes) cannot be built with horizontal courses. which will induce a lot of cracks in the structure later on. less soil and more sand. The transfer of loads always takes the shape of catenary curves. as no force can balance the gravity forces. more soil and less sand. The construction has to go on with vertical courses. meaning that the soil is too clayey.allowing one to build vaults and domes without centering. The Free Spanning technique with horizontal courses presents an advantage compared to the Nubian technique: the glue is sandier and the quantity of glue is proportionally less. but the equilibrium of gravity forces of the various courses. the specification for vaults and domes could be 1 cement: 7 soil: 2 sand or. • If the mortar for walls (1 cement: 4 soil: 8 sand) gives satisfactory results. The 6m span semicircular vault cannot be built horizontally anymore. the vault tends to crack less because there is less shrinkage due to the glue.
The extrados of an optimized vault. First courses of the vault
. • If the mortar for walls is 1 cement: 7 soil: 5 sand. • When the courses rise further and have a steeper angle. Therefore. which is built with horizontal. can use this glue: 1 cement: 9 soil: 3 sand or more soil and less sand. Add progressively some soil to the glue and reduce of the same proportion the sand content. Higher courses of the vault The fluidity of the glue is essential when laying the blocks. the first courses of the vaults. • When the courses get steeper and that the blocks start to slip down. Filling steps between courses. A sample of the glue taken with the trowel should leave a film of 3-4 mm thick on a trowel placed vertically . if needed. if needed. which are quite flat.Thickness: The vertical joint.Thickness: The corners of the blocks are touching each other at the intrados edge.3-4 mm left on the trowel #Circular domes (Hemispherical. the glue can be modified as such: 1 cement: 5 soil: 7 sand. which is built with horizontal courses. • If the first courses uses a mix of 1 cement: 4 soil: 8 sand.• If the soil is really too sandy and the mix 1 cement: 9 soil does not give good results. in order to reduce the shrinkage when drying. The binder is like glue. The fluidity of the glue is essential for the adhesion. is specially developed for building vaults without support. which is binding the various courses of the vault. The fluidity and thickness of the glue varies according to the work: #Vaults. the mix for the earth concrete can successfully be 1 cement: 2 soil: 3 sand: 4 gravel (1/2” size) Note for all specifications concerning binders: Types of soil are as different as human beings. Therefore. the first courses of the vaults. the soil/sand ratio should be increased progressively. meaning that the soil is too clayey. should be the minimum thickness. • If the mortar for walls (1 cement: 4 soil: 8 sand) gives satisfactory results.
#Vaults built with the free spanning technique The Free Spanning technique. their angle becomes steeper from the horizontal. built with horizontal courses. need a glue sandier than the one for walls. which uses horizontal courses. the various mixes which have been specified here are merely indicative and need to be adapted to suit each individual soil. meaning that the soil is too sandy. the first courses of the vaults. has steps which should be filled with an earth concrete. The mortar specifications vary as the vault rises: • The first courses. or even more. the glue should become more clayey. The glue will have at the end the same specification as the one for vaults with the Nubian technique: 1 cement: 6 soil: 3 sand or more soil and less sand. It is crucial that the intrados corners of the block touch each other. • When the courses rise. 7-8 mm left on the trowel
• If the mortar for walls (1 cement: 4 soil: 8 sand) gives satisfactory results. It should have the same fluidity as for the vaults built with the Nubian Technique.The best would be 1 mm thick and the maximum should be 2 mm thick.Fluidity: The glue needs to be very liquid. or more soil and less sand if needed. • If the mortar for walls is 1 cement: 5 soil: 7 sand. in order to increase the ratio soil/sand. cloister and groined domes . . A sample of the glue taken with the trowel should leave a film of 7-8 mm thick on a trowel placed vertically. the cement/soil ratio could be increased to 1cement: 8 soil or 1cement: 7 soil. Note that soil and sand should be sieved with a 1 mm mesh. the side of the joint facing the intrados has a triangular shape. can use this glue: 1 cement: 3 soil: 9 sand or less soil and more sand. can use this glue: 1 cement: 4 soil: 8 sand. if needed. The glue should have more soil. As the courses are circular. which has changing proportions when the dome rises. which is built with horizontal courses. the blocks tend to slip down and fall. pointed and segmental) .Fluidity: The glue needs semi liquid like paste.
Insert the block. Grind the keystone to adjust its thickness 9. the blocks are laid on the side of the centring in a similar way to thatdescribed above.Arches usually need a centring to be built. where the centre of gravity is of the arch being built. the supports are made with brickwork which is laid with a mortar made of earth and sand. 90 cm span Masonry centring. The following method was developed to build an arch without centring. Wedge the keystone with stone chips
. The Nubian technique needs a back wall to start sticking the vertical courses onto and the vault is built arch after arch. which is the inner side of the pier. ~ 5 m span Steel centring. Check the linearity of the last course 3.It should not go beyond the limit of stability. and outside the joint thickness will depend on the curvature of the arch. Pressing the mortar joint 6. Start the vault on both sides 2. The main exception is corbelled arches. Wedge the block with stone chips 8. It presents the advantage of going faster. by corbelling regularly the horizontal courses of the wall masonry. -Types of centrings Wooden centring. The method presented hereafter allows bridging without support for this gap between both halves of the vault. No mortar is in between the blocks inside. as it needs a support for the voussoirs. Note the mortar on the sides 6. as more masons can work on the same structure. At the other end it is nearly impossible to lay the last course between the vault and the opposite wall. Adjust the block by sliding it vertically 7. The bond pattern is essential and the blocks should cantilever preferably by 1/4 of the block module with the maximum projection 1/3. This technique was developed to start building the vault on both opposite walls at the same time. Triangular joint of the mortar 5. Apply 2-3 mm of glue on the block 5. so as to get the last blocks parallel near the apex. Wooden and steel centrings can have supports made of wood poles or steel pipes only if the arch has to be built many times. which has to be closed. Wood and steel centrings are useful when the same arch has to be built several times. steel or masonry. Pour water on the keystone 10. Insert the keystone after applying glue 11. 1. For building such an arch. It is essential that the arch rises with the blocks perpendicular to the centring. before the masonry starts to tilt. but the blocks need a support for being laid. One should evaluate. As both halves of the vault get closer to each other. ~ 80 cm span -Common procedure for all arches It is essential that the blocks touch each other at the intrados. Grind a block to adjust its length 4. Centrings can be made of wood. The centring should go down slowly and vertically. Slide the block laterally 2. Build the arch symmetrically 4. so as to close a vault which was built with the Nubian technique and started at both ends of a room. as their cost is mostly the labour which made it. Masonry centrings are often used to save the cost of a prefabricated centring. They may have any shape and span. Hit gently to get the keystone to wedge it 12. For arches which are not too flat.Centre of gravity of a corbelled arch Arches built with the free spanning technique A “curved arch” is normally never built free spanning. Most of the time.The last blocks laid on top of the centring are laid according to the details mentioned hereafter for veryflat segmental arches. 1. Extreme care must be taken over the decentring. Check the right angle 3. it is essential to pay attention to the balance of the masonry when courses rise. there will finally be a gap between both. Removing wedges and decentring 1)Segmental arches Depending on the flatness of the arch the procedure will be different. Roundness of segmental arches
2)Corbelled arches built without centring Corbelled arches were developed because they can be built without support.
It starts with the same specification as for arches and progressively become more clayey. The control of the shape is ensured from the inner diameter and thus a cursor or any kind of mark made on the compass is needed.The binder varies when the vault rises. It is then indispensable to work with a very high accuracy and to leave always 1 mm gap between the blocks and the string line. Therefore. The reason is that any mistake in accuracy. so as to reduce the shrinkage of the glue and cracks in the vault later on. to see if they are according to the calculations.BUILDING VAULTS 1)Building a vault with the Nubian technique The back wall should be built first. The template can also be made of welded Tor steel.Compress the joint
BUILDING DOMES 1)Circular domes Circular domes are defined by the rotation of a compass. to ensure the height of the various courses their cord and span must be checked. Note that it is better to lay the net of string lines outside in the masonry. it is sometimes necessary to lay the string lines below the masonry. It is essential to check the balance of the portion of the vault which progressively corbels. A template is needed to ensure the shape of the vault. like in the Nubian technique. In certain cases. It is essential to compress the vertical joint very well and to keep it to the minimum. It can have exactly the shape of the extrados of the vault or it can be quadrangular and the extrados of the vault will be drawn onto it. What is presented here is only the particular details for laying the courses horizontally. will not change the linearity of the string line. with a block laid lower or slipping down. It is necessary to create a net of string lines between the back wall and the template. The lengthof the compass is taken at the outer diameter of the dome. which can be re-used afterwards for reinforced cement concrete. so that the direction of the block can be adjusted by the angle of the compass. It can advantageously be the future window frame on which are temporarily fixed some spacers to get the extrados shape of the vault.Back wall Window frame as a template 2)Building a vault with the free spanning technique Vertical ones. Compass Triangular shape of the mortar (section) Triangular shape of the joint (inside)
2)Square domes 24
Traditional roofs 4. Jalies 3. BAKER’S CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES
LAURIE BAKER (1914 to 2007) Laurie Baker is truly the Hassan Fathy of India people say that Baker has developed his architecture based on Vernacular architecture of Kerela. String lines are pulled at regular intervals. Baker was aware of mud’s total recycle-ability. producing intricate patterns of light and shadow. from diagonal to diagonal of the template. he came to understand the real relation between materials and the beings. terracotta tile & coconut.yet the construction of this form of cross-Ventilation requires. Mud is gathered either at the construction site or rom nearby areas. He understood that these methods were the cheapest and the most simple. primarily mud eventually.Square domes are generated by the intersection of two vaults. Consequently. BAKER’S STYLE 1. the most sustainable and renewable resource. Baker became the champion of Using mud. when the squinches meet at the centre Cross alternately the blocks for the keystones Right side cover Cross alternately the blocks for the keystones left side cover
Baker learnt the actual way of practicing architecture by observing how the rural people were building their houses. used locally available building materials like mud. instead of using steel and cement. A template is required and it is generally made of a pipe which is bent according to the need. These. It catches light & air and diffuses glare while allowing privacy & security combining the function of a window & a ventilator.He began to build houses by making use of whatever was available in nature. Traditional structure 25
LAURIE BAKER IN VERNACULAR
. Baker. Skylight 2. which create the groined or cloister domes. brick. stone. Baker was aware of those using concrete. but built them on their own.a perforted screen made of Bricks with a surface of tiny regular opening in the wall. by which bricks are made. Pipe template and string lines Hearing bones of the joints. The procedure described as follows is for cloister domes which are built with squinches. He also observed that these people did not even employ expert workers. A jali openings encourages air flow. A Charateristic feature of Baker’s work is the jali. he began to feel that his education and the skills acquired.
two parallel planks are held firmly apart by metal rods and clips or bolts. there is no doubt at all that the life
. or by small cross pieces of wood. For example. Otherwise. It is also an attempt to increase the strength of the wall by ramming it. in many parts of the country small roughstones are found but it is quite difficult to build a wall of any size or height with suchpieces. one above the other. these vertical joints can later turn into a large vertical crack! However. Rammed earth or adobe walls. Overhanging CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUIES The first simplest and certainly the oldest system is called “COB” With only a little water to form a very stiff mud. there is no doubt at all that the life of rammed earth walls is usually very long and they can carry heavy floors and roofs and be used for two and even three storey buildings. For example.5.
of rammed earth walls is usually very long and they can carry heavy floors and roofs and be used for two and even three storey buildings. Stiff mud is thrown in between these two planks and rammed down with either a wooden or metal ramrod.All forms of mud work are less prone to cracking if dried slowly. There are other local systems where some mud is used in one way or another to assist other materials to stick together. in many parts of the country small roughstones are found but it is quite difficult to build a wall of any size or height with suchpieces. this cob method is a very simpler straight forwards uncomplicated. the two boards are moved along and the process is repeated until the whole plan is completed. Stteped arches 6. So the stones are often used as fillers to either Cob. or Laterite. Otherwise. Rammed earth or adobe walls. the sides are smoothe over so that the holes and cracks disappear. or even construct it from a material like Burnt Brick. Openings for doors. Basically.The second method has developed from the cob wall so as to standar dise or regularise the thickness of the wall. or with a veranda. in the shade and not in 26
The vertical joints between one rammed section and next are not vertically one above the other. So the stones are often used as fillers to either Cob.There are other local systems where some mud is used in one way or another to assist other materials to stick together.In many hill and mountain areas the stone is deliberately and carefully added at the external base of the wall and this deal with the splashing of rainwater quite effectively.In many hill and mountain areas the stone is deliberately and carefully added at the external base of the wall and this deal with the splashing of rainwater quite effectively. and windows are a problem. these vertical joints can later turn into a large vertical crack! However. which can be solved by using temporary vertical planks or shuttering. When one section is completed and hard. It is known as the Rammed Earth. Stone.
Once you have obtained the feel of the right consistency of mud. A row of these cobs of mud are laid neatly side-by-side preferably somewhat pressed together when three or four courses have been laid. As we have already pointed out there is no virtue in being fanatical about mud and trying to do every single item with mud.
SITTING A MUD HOUSE CURING MUD BLOCKS It can also be said here that for many single and double storey buildings mud can be used as a mortar for ordinary burnt brick walls and for stone random rubble walls If your site is a very exposed one with a frequent strong driving rain then of course it is better to protect that side of your building with plaster. The vertical joints between one rammed section and next are not vertically one above the other.
strong sun. Bawa has exerted a defining influence on the emerging architecture of independent Sri Lanka and successive generations of younger architects. His architecture is a subtle blend of modernity and tradition. a mirror in which ordinary people can obtain a clearer image of their own evolving culture. Geoffrey Bawa recieved the prestigious Chairmans Award from the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his lifetime achievement. a mirror in which ordinary people can obtain a clearer image of their own evolving culture. building and landscape. he has broken down the artificial segregation of inside and outside. Sri Lanka’s population has almost tripled.
(1919–2003) Geoffrey Bawa was Sri Lanka’s most prolific and influential architect. from Arab traders and from European colonists. providing a bridge between the past and the future. Bawa has continued this tradition. East and West. providing a bridge between the past and future. His ideas have spread across the island. Although it might be thought that his buildings have had no direct impact on the lives of ordinary people. formal and picturesque. he has drawn on tradition to create an architecture that is fitting to its place. Since Bawa started out on his career. and it has always succeeded in translating these elements into something new but intrinsically Sri Lankan. while its communities have been fractured by bitter political and ethnic disputes. His ideas have spread across the island. Sri Lanka has been subjected to strong outside influences from its Indian neighbours. Geoffery Bawa in Architecture
Throughout its long and colourful history. and he has also used his vast knowledge of the modern world to create an architecture that is of its time.
. After mud blocks are made they should be stacked so that air circulates around the blocksand so that they will not be disturbed or damaged preferably close to where the building will be constructed.
PROJECTS IN VERNACULAR 1) Farm house. Maharashtra. Nadhawade. He blended them so beautifully that ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ became a continuum. his cosmopolitanism and a sense of culture and the past were essential components. Geoffrey Bawa’s architecture produced canvasses for the art of living so unobtrusive that his forms became props which ‘respect. to be enjoyed. A love of natural form. Bawa’s attitude to life imbued his work with a sybaritic ethos. the discipline he learnt in England tempered by conviviality in elegant surroundings.Geoffrey Bawa shied from discussing his work. which is ubiquitous in his designs. India
Shirish Beri & Associates on Farm house at Nadhawade said “The farm was bought with the idea of creating an ecologically balanced environment with maximum use and recycling of local materials. Fundamental to his approach was an empathy for place and a direct interaction on site. Sindhudurg (Dist). preferring it to be experienced instead. enhance and celebrate the environment’ and are above all. The existing potential of the natural landscape was always accommodated within and around Bawa’s spaces. 28
. Both life and training shaped his ideas. Quintessentially.
The gas plants design was based on a Chinese’s model. The well has been designed as a landscape element with stepped gardens. Konigsburger and Rory Fonseca were there to impart the best knowledge
. shade and beauty. The swimming pool is constructed with minimum construction and costed only Rs. The bedroom sit out recognizes the natural irrigation canal.) This material can be dressed to any size and shape. thus no water is wasted. The inside and outside spaces mingle with each other.m only. which comes Rs. The farm aid quarters and stores were constructed in he vernacular manner with laterite pillars in the cement mortar and in situ mud partition walls. The wash out of the pipe is connected to the irrigation system of the coconuts and areca nut gardens at the lower level. isolated rooms. 40 / – per sq. lend an unusual warmth and earthiness to the spaces. He has been involved with Aga Khan Award of Architecture. The flooring is cow dung and mud on ground floor (except toilets and wet areas) and timber on mezzanine. This building cost worked out 1/5th of the general prevailing building costs then. fully exposed to the modernist thinking of that era. The house was constructed in laterite stone masonry (a locally available porous stone of 26cm X 40cm X 16cm ht.The house has an organic quality with a unified interior space instead of segregated. Pakistan since late 60s. a cascade and a lily pool. The well compacted cow dung plastered mud floor has good impact strength. While studying at Architectural Association in London in early 60s. It acts as a play arena. has also led several architectural juries. Our attitudes towards life as a whole are mainly responsible for the shaping of this symbiotic living experience at Nadhawade. Kamil was no doubt. The wind on the farm was not enough for the exploitation. The sand was gathered from the streambed. well. These materials are natural materials. The use of locally available laterite stones wood. pool and services structure have been located centrally to facilitate better supervision. or the house extends out in low-built forms. which flows through the site from January to May. when the pool is dry. who has been working in Lahore. The use of the solar cooker. methane gas and wood from the energy plantations reduce the dependence of external energy resources. farm aid’s quarters.”Every requirement was worked out as activities and not as rooms. mud and cow dung besides bringing about economy. garden.
and brings about a great saving in cement The foundation is in Deccan trap stone obtained while digging the swimming pool. which runs along the property. 2500/-.The built environment has a lot of interrelationship with the natural organic environment also. British trained architect. which is more economical and indigenous. He has made tremendous contributions to architectural education in Pakistan in his own modest manner. Dr. better insulation. These were abandoned by local temple in the process of the renovation when plastered stone pillars were 29 Kamil Khan Mumtaz a Pakistani. and the pump shed is camouflaged by a rockery.
2)Influence of indigenous structures.The wood used for the structural work is all locally available jungle wood. and integrate them in the built environment. which are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. has good insulationvalue
constructed. The main Osri or portico pillars are beautifully carved old wooden pillars of 55cm diameter. The house was designed to grow around the trees.The old existing temples with their Deepmalas have been retained with improved arrival spaces in front. forms and culture on architects.
Our own house. Some times the garden comes inside. In tropical department at AA.
This is not an easy balance to strike if your clients have differing 30
. he was fully conversant with the sustainable approach to built forms rooted in local traditions. Kamil also worked with Keith Critchlow and Buckminister Fuller in Ghana for a while. particularly his interest in indigenous approach.
On his return to Pakistan he started his practice with all the current design influences and produced some work using modern 20th century influences. trying to keep alive or revive the building traditions that continue to suffer and deteriorate in Pakistan. surrounded by some of the best examples of traditional craftsmanship.
Islam and its rich heritage offers him a framework to bridge the gap between alien western culture on one side and prevailing lack of continuity and cultural relevance in local architectural world on the other. I have been aware of his high standards of architectural output for a while. Laurie Baker’s professional work adhered to his own brand of Quaker humanism. a much gentler. It soon became apparent to him that that all his western training and appreciation of modernist principals were at odds with the local building and cultural traditions and to make meaningful architectural progress in these environments required a reappraisal of all he has learned.about designing for comfort in tropical climates. His professional training abroad. in his view. almost put him off course and he was forced to make some ‘mid-way corrections’ to his professional progress to return to a point where his work was ’seamlessly’ connected to the centuries of traditions. culture and building forms and techniques were in harmony. He is striving hard to regain the understanding of the past where religion.
Kamil Khan Mumtaz was born and grew up on the sub-continent.
Like Laurie Baker. Kamil’s faith in Islam is influenced by Sufism. vernacular and civic architecture from pre-Mogul to British era. tolerant and almost secular approach despised by the hardcore intolerant Islamic wing causing the current disquiet throughout the world.
high rates of urbanisation. He is sensitised to the role of “function” and of “pure aesthetics” of sensible form. by exploring the validity of urban forms and morphologies which have evolved over the millennia in this particular geographic context. when he very kindly accompanied me to show some of his building projects currently under construction.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kamil in Lahore a few months ago. and rhythms which reflect the cosmic order and perfect balance underlying the apparent chaos of the universe An architecture based on appropriate technology will fail to convey its message unless it also employs a language that is appropriate and meaningful in the context of a specific culture
The sensibilities of the architect are moulded by his academic training. 31
…within these same environments the opportunities have also existed for architecture to act as a catalyst in promoting a meaningful debate which addresses issues which should be central to the discourse of architecture in these environments: Architecture can play this role by positing strategies for urban development in the context of high rates of population growth. by designing buildings which are responsive to the climate of their region. which are sufficient reasons for Kamil to politely decline such projects. and persistent poverty. or as a cultural metaphor rather than as religious symbol.expectations and ambitions. by developing an architectural vocabulary which is meaningful to the people and relevant to their culture and history. but not to that of religion as a factor in the design process. by imaginatively exploiting available material resources and skills and developing appropriate technologies. by creating relationships of spaces and buildings which are sensitive to prevailing
. that the average architect may be persuaded to incorporate some token reference to traditional forms into his otherwise “modern” designs. proportions.
I have been able to evoke the delights of discovering the hidden paradise with internal patios and fountains I have learned to work within the framework of a new discipline of symmetries. Thus it is only in deference to a valued client’s sensibilities.
Architect: Suhasini Ayer The housing of Prarthna started as a conventional housing development with an array of Apartment blocks comprising of different types of Housing units. This was enhanced by evolving a building language that was inspired from the vernacular forms of costal Tamil Nadu. Auroville is a society of extreme cultural.
Like most of the projects done by the Architecture Dept. one could then freely explore the internal layout of the houses to the needs and lifestyle of the occupant. Auroville Building Centre the guiding principles are
• • • • • •
Solar passive design Participatory design process with the end user Flexibility of functions within spaces Low input construction techniques and materials Recycling of waste water Minimalism of built form
.social values and norms. The concept of using transition spaces that are verandahs.We needed to explore a more site specific and climatically suitable principle of housing
As this was then the unifying element in the housing. and by clarifying the issues in the current debate on modernity and tradition in these societies.
Taking this into account the neo-urbanism model of using streets and semi private green spaces was adapted into the site plan. social and economic diversity and often the lifestyle of the people are very different to be accommodated within the narrow range of different housing types of 2 bed/bath or 3 bed/2 bath…………. But after the first 2 blocks it became clear that a mixed land use of row houses and apartments would be more appropriate for the needs of Auroville. sit outs and terraces as the living spaces with a cascade of shading roofs in terracotta tiles as the skyline.
about how new architecture can evolve from this.residential buildings activities do not repect the architecture values or practices of the past .In the end. kotlas.Each house had differences in the elements of the house. Mostly today’s urban. The vernacular house is a small part-palaces. used materials that were less disturbed our ecological balance. what we know about the richness of this architecture with the others.it looks at one of the many houses from the past that are being sold to ‘dismantling contractors’ so that . which were developed over many years and responded to the climate.Also lacking is a feeling for harmony and proportion But now as “the Earth Institute of Auroville” change the techniques in vernacular architecture. What does it mean to share one’s concern? It is to share. Some had one courtyard. that new ways of building must 33
The vernacular dwelling is the unconscious expression of a people’s cultue. monuments.necessarily derive from the past.It then looks at the new residential areas where the vernacular vocabulary is emerging in a fragmented way to make a ‘Style’.. It will need many groups of people in many towns and cities. administrative buildings and large institutional buildings. More than the architecture of secular or religious institutions.It asks question about why vernacular houses in the city are being replaced with modern concrete constructions. The balconies of the houses were also different. houses mirror the needs.
VANISHING VERNACULAR VOCABULARY
The changing face of the domestic architecture of India. Perhaps one day we will learn to maintain our commercial viability but at the same time respect the spirit and the qualities of traditional design.some two and some none.the construction techniques and materials also varied subtly. The unity of construction and landscape were lost.
.the land can become useable again for constructing a multi-storeyed residential buildings. Each house was from a different locality with varied surroundings. mosques. deorhis. desires. who are concerned enough to conserve some of the past and to plan the future with a greater awarenass. and living habits of a time because they are the direct result of the interaction between people and their environment.to share our knowledge of the building materials and their advantages. tombs and from the present development-modern shopping complexes. commercial buildings.