Concept for a Sustainable Agro-Community in Hyderabad


A project proposal – currently in progress.

White Ant Studio was invited by Fountainhead Design Hyderabad to collaborate with them in the concept development of an envisioned sustainable Agro-Community on some beautiful land near Hyderabad.

This post aims at giving a brief overview of the project components and shows some preliminary visuals of the building types to be developed.

At present this project is in the concept phase only but hopefully will take shape soon. Projects like this are surely needed to reconnect with the land we – city dwellers most of us – all so much depend on and to help us re-connect with each other. Shown here are first cut images of the preliminary master plan and the various unit types in first concept studies.


(A reference image of what could well be a prototype for this project 🙂 )

Sustainability – From concept to reality:

The project holders and the architects realize that Humanity can live well on this Earth through the process of supporting individual self-realization and co-operative inter-dependence.

We recognize that to restore, sustain and protect the health and integrity of the environment, we begin by changing our attitudes, actions, and lifestyle, individually and in groups.

We believe in the potential of humankind to make the vision of sustainability a reality, and to apply our creativity so that we and the Earth not only survive, but flourish and thrive.


(This is the reality for soon more than 50% of Humankind … and it is not that we don’t like cities but they need to be planned in the right way keeping “nature” in mind)

The Urban crisis:

Understanding the impossibility of a truly healthy life in our present day urban context, the project aims to become a prototype for a shift in urban & regional planning.

A community to re-connect the lives of the future residents (mostly former city dwellers) with the more simple yet holistic life style of the country side.



It is time for us all to rethink our consumerist attitude towards

–          Energy

–          Food

–          Water

–          Waste

–          Traffic

It is time for us all to

–          rethink our relationship to nature

–          rethink our way of seeing the natural landscapes surrounding our cities (They are more than just an endless resource for the city to use)

–          to start changing now to survive … this project is aiming at giving us some answers and set an example to follow …

–         to achieve a balance between a largely urban life (which will be the background of most future community members) and the more basic life style of country living.


Returning Back to Nature:

We believe a re-connect with Mother Earth is essential for a healthy and meaningful life, for kids especially but also for more a senior generation.

Farming areas, gardens, walkways, natural reservoirs, animal husbandry zones form the core of the envisioned community.


Creating an Integrated Food cycle

–          Food creating and consumption are not separate any more

–          Every resident becomes a co-owner in the production process


Total Self-reliance and Energy efficiency :

–          Completely disconnected from the state power grid by extensive use of solar power

–          Usage of geo-thermal energy to cool the living environment  reducing power demand for air-conditioning

–          Usage of recycled and harvested water to reduce ground water consumption

–         Smart building design



Summary of the project and core values behind:

–          22.2 acres of land near Hyderabad

–          40 houses, mostly for permanent residence, partially as weekend/holiday home

–          Communal farming and agriculture as the heart of the project

–          Pre-engineered buildings, off the grid (100% autonomous from municipal grid for energy, water and waste)

–          Renewable energy sources, sustainable planning in regards to water and energy management

–          Innovative, economic and energy-efficient design

The project strives to assist us towards a life of honest, fulfilling work, caring and fruitful social interaction and simplicity of living coupled with abundance. We aim at creating a beautiful balance of individual plots with large areas of communal farming.

Key features of the project:

–          Each individual unit holds an even share of the overall community area, i.e. 0.56 acres each.

–          Each individual unit has an area of around 6500 Sft under its direct control; the majority – being under ownership of the individual – goes to common infrastructure, farmland and buffer zones.

–          The area dedicated for farming – around 7 acres plus buffer zones – will be managed by an outside agency experienced in appropriate and organic farming techniques (with input from involved residents).

–          A large farmyard of 1 acre near the entrance gives space for the required machinery, composting areas and animal husbandry as well as community and training areas.

–          The interaction between the often disconnected social groups – urban residents and the local farmers – is consciously encouraged by the buffer zone which allows residents to farm in a smaller scale

–          A shop and café give the opportunity to sell/purchase the farm produce as well as have leisurely conversation with people from within the community, people working there and people shopping or attending workshops and seminars.




(Images of the site, waiting to be transformed …)

MP 01

(The aerial view of the preliminary Master Plan …)


(The aerial view of the preliminary Master Plan …)


(The aerial view of the preliminary Master Plan showing the entrance area with the buildings for farm equipment, seminar facilities, local produce shop and cafe…)


(The entrance situation … already here the driving elements of the design become visible: modern design language, screens to provide shade and solar umbrellas to power the community buildings. Courtesy Mathan Ramaiah and Naveen 🙂 )

MP 06

(The aerial view of the main community area with sports facilities and club house)

Community area

(The schematic design of the community area: large deck areas connect the different program functions and allow to take in a maximum experience)

MP 07

(The rendered preliminary Master Plan explaining the various divisions: private plot with house and garden area around, buffer zone and community farm land …)

Type 01 Plan

(The schematic plan of the largest unit type with approx. 2400 Sft carpet area. A third bedroom can be either seen as independent bungalow or attached to the main building. Also it allows the future resident to decide flexibly on the size of the building.)

Building types, key characteristics:

–          The residential villas were designed keeping the overall spirit of the project in mind:

–          Sustainable in the way they impact on the ground and the way they are dealing with Natural resources

–          Modular and Pre-engineered to reduce the on-site construction and to allow for individual modifications and additions

–          Well-ventilated and filled with natural light, with a carefully designed natural landscape around to bind the house to the wider community.

–          The design shall encourage people to spend time outdoors in the large decks and terraces created for each unit

The material selection:

Steel and pre-cast concrete slabs, Insulated glass, light-weight cement blocks and the use of regenerative wood allow keeping the cost at a reasonable level and providing a modern home with enough natural flair to make it a fitting example for this new type of residential community.

East Facing Type 01 - 05

(The schematic view of the Type 01 unit looking at the street elevation)

East Facing Type 01 - 04

(The schematic view of the Type 01 unit looking at the street elevation)


(The rendered view of the Type 01 unit looking at the street elevation)

unit 1 back side B R1

(The rendered view of the Type 01 unit looking at the farmland elevation; seen in the foreground is the planned running and horse riding track… of course then not with cobbled stones – our much appreciated render specialist liked them too much 🙂 )

East Facing Type 02 - 04

(The schematic view of the Type 02 unit)

Type 02 Plan

(The schematic drawing of the Type 02 unit)

unit 2 Front side- R2

(The rendered view of the Type 02 unit seen from the main road)

unit 2 Rear side -R1

(The rendered view of the Type 02 unit from the farmland side)

The next render images show prototypes developed by the Hyderabad/Chennai team of Fountainhead Architects. Credit goes to Mathan Ramaiah, Durgai and Naveen. Thumbs up.)

Type 02 - 01

I really like the way this one is rendered 🙂

Type 02 - 02

Type 03 - 01

Type 03 - 02

Type 04 - 01

Type 04 - 02

A big “Thank you” to the FHD team to let white ant studio participate in this project. We are looking forward to see this manifest …


3 thoughts on “Concept for a Sustainable Agro-Community in Hyderabad

  1. Wonderful thought! Hope the project works out ………. just the way you’ve tried to portray it.

    1. Thanks Prithvijit,
      I do very much hope so … even if the unit design might vary, the underlying idea is good and worth a sincere effort.
      I hope all is good on your side, haven’t seen you in ages.

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