A house in Auroville:
A single-resident house in the tropical environment of Tamil Nadu expresses western architecture and modern perceptions of space in the context of the rich and colourful culture of the subcontinent. The aspiration to build a high standard home (clean, spacious, equipped with photovoltaic panels, water treatment and rain water harvesting tank) faces the challenge of extreme conditions and material limitations: weak materials, near unavailability of tools and machinery, power cuts, heat, rain, insects.
Reflecting the often extreme faces of today’s India, the house plays with seemingly contrasting elements: openness despite a certain foreignness, invitation and intimacy, light and massive elements, materials associated with hi-tech construction and traditional craftsmanship, sky and earth.
The eastern and north eastern facades protect from the heavy winter monsoon rains and are shielding the private against the public space. Entering the house one experiences an almost unexpected open atmosphere with the intense western sun light gently filtered through a wooden screen and reflected from the soft surface of the yellow-coloured natural stone floor. A double height space discreetly informs about the interior.
An abode for an open mind, the house changes its atmosphere with the light and the weather in the course of the day and the seasons, accompanying the resident on the journey to a higher consciousness.
Design Team: Fabian Ostner, Senthil Kumar Doss, Dominic Dube
Structural Engineer: Jayam Consultants/Chennai
Steel Work: HI-Tech Systems/Chennai, Technica/Auroville
Aluminium Works: Jean-Marc Moreno/Auroville
Contractor: Jean-Marc Moreno, Kumar
Renewable Energy/Rainwater Harvesting: AuroRE, Aurofilio