White Rabbit in India

01 / 05 6.8m X Y Distribution of Served areas(X) towards open-able facades and support areas(Y) towards dead side X/Y = Golden Section (An aesthetically balanced pro- portion) Courtyard and service areas are intro- duced against the dead wall. Circulation space acts as a veranda and extension to the served areas . Services + Courtyard Circulation Served Area View of the informal settlement and our proposed insert - seen from a neighboring hill Design Approach The current centre is poorly planned with insufficient areas to accommo- date its varied functions. Our task was to completely redesign this inade- quate centre to respond to the diverse needs and address its challenges in the local constraints. Hence, to make the project sustainable in the entirety, we framed 3 key contexts: 1. Emotion: We intended to come up with an architecture to provide the end users with the missing freedom, stability, playfulness and warmth through an aesthetically appealing shelter which can uplift their lives emotionally. Hence, the core is ‘Emotion’, which deals with the feeling and interaction of user and community with the architecture. 2. Efficiency: The in-between layer of ‘Efficiency’ deals with two things, the affordability by design and shared use of various spaces and features. This directed us to solve the problems of the tight-area and the low budget of the project. 3. Environment: The peripheral layer is an ‘Environment’ covering the urban and ecological contexts of the site. In our project Warm and humid climatic condition and the surrounding slum fabric were identified as key constraints. Responding to these 3 contexts we came up with 6 design elements as a sustainability strategy (ref diag. 01- Design Approach) Stacking/ Planning The ground floor of the centre is kept open to accommodate community activities for senior citizens, a crèche, women’s development training etc. The space is planned like a veranda opening up to a private courtyard on the north side and partly opening up to adjoining lanes on the other 3 sides shaded by first floor overhang. The middle floor dedicated to children’s sleeping areas is more enclosed to create a secure and personal environment. Protected by a facade of opera- ble nursery installed louvers on the south, recreational bands are provided towards the east and west with the north side opening up to the private courtyard below. The top floor houses all the storage spaces, study areas and caretakers sleeping place. It shelters the children’s living space underneath from direct sun. The Envelope North : The North facade is a dead wall shared with an adjoining house so all services are planned against it, keeping the remaining envelope open for ventilation. Central courtyard against it helps with passive cooling & natural light reduc- ing the operational energy load. South : A vertical nursery is planted on the South to buffer the living areas from the scorching heat. It also functions as a small scale industry yielding returns in the form of 15% of the Centre’s maintenance cost. This nursery is installed in adjustable terracotta louvers making it easy to access & maintain the plants. East & West : The sun shades, made out of thin folded plates of concrete, on the East and West are used as private recreational areas by converting them into play-stations, furniture etc, giving the centre an additional 25sq.m of usable area. At our interaction with children there, we noticed that most of the space was actually occupied by storage, there were 30 people living in 650 square feet with no spillover space. Because of the limited space, the kids were not behaving true to their age. We wanted to give them the freedom to act their age, to give them their childhood back. Construction Efficiency Wall in-fills consist of custom designed terracotta hollow blocks with one side left open to use as shelves. Fabricated by a terracotta factory in a neigh- boring slum, this new construction system helps to involve local artisans. The load bearing members i.e. the columns, weather protections, staircase etc is made out of fair faced concrete making it maintenance free and con- suming the least amount of floor area as compared to any other building material. A raft is used instead of isolated footings, creating an extra underground volume at the nominal cost of retaining peripheral walls,with this space used as a 100,000 liter rainwater harvesting tank. Closely placed columns also allow for flat slabs making the structure more economical. Introduction and Design Approach Home for marginalized children Thane, India Diag. 01 : Design Approach Emotion Efficiency Environment 1. Courtyard 2. Stepped Pavilion 3. Nursery 4. Recreational Band 5. Terracotta 6. Rainwater Harvesting + Structural System Entry to the existing center. Interior of children’s area with tin roof and minimal windows, packed with storage cabinets. Closely packed neighboring structures The kitchen Utility with inade- quate space. The loose sleeping mattresses are spread and stacked back daily after use One of the resident children The shelter was established for safe residential environment for the chil- dren of commercial sex workers. Cur- rently it is a home to young girls from the age group of 3-16years, with the maximum capacity of 30 children. (On an average 02 in every 30 girls is HIV positive in the shelter) Senior citizens gathered in the community hall during daycare session. Day care unit for 25 Senior citizens run twice a week serv- ing them with one time meal and center also support many of them with basic ration for their household. (One of the present senior citizens have lost her son and daughter-in-law due to aids and the grand daughter lives in the same orphanage shelter) Visiting doctor checking the senior citizen’s routine health as a part of medical camp. The community center pro- vides access to fundamental social services such as edu- cation, health-care, nutrition and vocational training, en- abling communities to pull themselves out of poverty and become self-reliant, in- dependent and socially re- sponsible. Top, left to right : Visiting Staff 1.Teacher: Age-53, lives 500m away 2.Cook : Age-52, lives next door. (Her daughters were raised by the center, who married and settled now. 3.Teacher: Age-22, lives 300m away (ex orphan girl from the same shelter home) 4.Maid: Age-38, lives 500m away Bottom, left to right In-House Staff 1.Manager: Age-56, Has been associated for 35 years *2.Cook: Age-33, Has been associated for 5 years *3.Caretaker: Age-26, Has been associated for 3 years *4. Maid: Age-38, Has been associated for 2 years. ( * rescued from domestic vioelnce and sheltered by the center) Community toddlers gathered during a poetry session in Crèche. Crèche runs for 50 young kids belonging to the same slum community when their parents are away at work. Stacking of functions Store room and study Children’s Residence Community Hall Planned scope of intervention includes an addition of covered terrace for ancillary functions. Roof of courtyard side lowered in order to allow sufficient light and ventilation at all the levels. Higher volume planned for bunk bed space Toilets and corridor accommodated in split level Section Derivation Existing structure prone to flooding due sunken plinth. Original Condition Structure - Its tin roof and lack of ventilation makes the summers unbearable, with the monsoons flooding the ground floor. The design also does not provide for any open space and disregards basic necessities such as adequate light, storage, sleep- ing areas and sanitation. The Users, Staff and Volunteers Visual 01: Front elevation highlighting the entrance and the interactive facade as a recreational space. Design proposes a new playful elevation that follows differing proportions to respond to the varying anthropometric needs of its users. Site plan 0 50m N access road Strategies Context