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The Toda Mund (Hut)


Vernacular architecture
is a term used to categorize methods of construction which use
locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and
circumstances. 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 characterized by
stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic
purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements.

Vernacular Architecture
As you go closer to nature, you get a divine feeling. That is what
anyone experience in a green hill station like Nilgiris in South India.
Evolution of civilized man brought across many ideas through his
incessant, tedious discoveries on creating a comfortable shelter.
Every traditional human habitat belongs to a particular region which
is influenced by physio-geographic factors like physiography,
geological structure, forest cover, climatic conditions, soil properties
Toda Settlements consist of few semi barrel shaped huts, These
structures, though specially suited for the place, aesthetically and
functionally; some minor modifications have to be incorporated so
as to meet the present day human needs and comfort.
The settlements of Toda do not have any enclosed barrier of gate or
fence, but the units of the settlement are just dispersed in the
surroundings of the glorious landscape of Nilgiris. Many of these
settlements in this hill station have deteriorated now. Every
settlement is called mund which means village. Every mund consists
of dwelling huts, fenced off circular open ground for buffaloes,
sheds for calves and a temple.
Dwelling unit
Dwelling unit or hut is called arsh. These everywhere have almost the
same internal layout though the overall dimension vary a little. The
construction method is very meticulous but simple. The arsh have a
curvilinear roof starting from the ground to top and a rectangular plan.
This resembles the top of an elephant in shape. These are east facing
structures. The total width of a huts which the author visited is having a
width of around 4.2 m., height 3.3 m. and depth ranging from 4.5 m to
6.3m. The arch shape is maintained by the two opposite walls on either
end of the hut with wooden planks erected in ground, fixed with mud
mortar . On top of these wooden walls, right in the center there will be a
strong pole of around 12 cm. diameter running along the depth of the
structure. Thinner and strong poles of wood goes parallel to it at
intervals; seven to eleven numbers on either of the arch . The air gap
between the roofing on its top and wall below are filled with mud
plaster later.
View of the front door from inside the hut
Rear view
Front view
Toda hut as a vernacular
The Toda hut itself is a pent-shaped structure created with native materials
of lashed bamboo sticks and fasteners of rattaen, the pliable stems of the
bamboo stalk. Overall, the Toda hut is a simple, yet refined and extremely
effective building type for that culture and location
simplicity of assembly, ease of replacement, accommodation of same
forces, and composition of common materials
Toda hut as a vernacular
Toda hut in contrast with the surrounding natural background .
Toda hut is made out of native material by indigenous using a
special technology of construction which gives the feeling the it
comes from the ground .
Toda hut is made out of many material that is already exists from
thousand years like rocks from the mountain , grass from the
Riegle approach (culture)
Toda hut ( settlement ) express the way of life of the people living there and reflect
the traditions and religious of indigenous ( they built a rock space around the hut for
worship the buffalos ) , at the same time it shows the lifestyle of the people who live
there ( the narrow space of the hut , the material used , the technique which was
used )
The door and windows might have made this tiny in order to give protection from
weather as well as sudden attack of wild animals So its successfully illustrated the
riegle approach defining the building ( toda hut ) as its reflect the culture
Viollet le duc approach (aesthetic)
The toda mund (hut) aesthetic is the contrast of the mass and
natural and how its complete the nature scene .
The proportion of the hut (height to depth to width ) and the
structure of arsh done in a proper way so it should not be enlarged
in size because if it is done so, the whole scale and the beauty will
be lost
These type of buildings are buildings which done without architect ,
which done by indigenous in order to live , worship and settle .
Its represent the people beliefs , traditions , culture and lifestyle .
Toda hut made out of native rocks and grass using a barrel shape
technology .
the clear contrast between the toda settlement and the nature give
it beauty and aesthetic.
Riegle and violet le duc approaches are clearly seen in toda hut .
inspiration from toda hut
first eco PODhotel in flims, switzerland

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