Architecture influences Management Decision

Regional Architecture & Interiors Dated:  Oct. 28, 2014
submit to reddit
0 Comment(s)

The Design of Vedanta Center was commissioned in September 2013, to serve as Veda Patashala for young people, who desired to study the Vedas, while  pursuing their academic interests. Architectural organization CFIA was briefed to design and build the residential campus. As the project construction evolved, the management of the Centre decided that the campus, given its simple grandeur, should serve as a Vedanta Centre where scholars met and discussed the Vedas and other spiritual matters. In effect, the current campus is an instance of Architecture influencing Management decision.  This, management decision in turn, forced CFIA midway, to redesign the campus to serve the changed needs of the Centre.

A Panoramic view of the Residential BuildingA Panoramic view of the Residential Building

The Campus & Vastupurush

The campus is spread over 2.5 acreas of land. The built site occupies about half an acre.

Overall, the entire campus has been laid out according to the tenets of the vastupurush methodology of  indigenous (Indian) architectural tenets.  At the heart of the campus is the circular Amphitheatre, which is centred around a lotus pond, which marks the Brahmastanam.

East of the amphitheatre, is the residential villa. Villa, in fact, consists of four Studio Apartments, two on each floor. Each apartment comprises a Hall-cum-Living Area, a Kitchenette and a large Bathroom.

On the Westside is a huge Lecture Hall on the groundfloor., above which is the Yoga Studio.

Behind this building, there is the Kitchen-cum-Dining Hall. The four-storey building boasts two guest rooms on the first and the second floor. At the top is the huge Overhead Tank. This building is flanked by the Water Purification and Storage tank on the South and the Washrooms on the North. The Waste Water Recycling Tanks are alongside the washrooms.

Architectural Building

Unique Architectural Features:-

•    EXPOSED BRICK WALLS: All walls are left unplastered – exposed brick walls. To minimise use of cement, to reduce cost and to allow the walls to breathe easy.
•    MUD BINDING: The binding on the outer wall is done with a combination of red soil and cement, to further emphasise the earthy look

Verandas on all four sidesVeranda

•    VERANDA ON ALL FOUR SIDES: Verandas on all four sides minimise the exposure of the rooms to direct sunlight and as a sit-out, a place to walk around.

view of the Veranda running on all four sidesNorthern Facade – With clear view of the Veranda running on all four sides

•    CANOPY/OVERHANG: A 5’ tiled canopy (overhang) is provided to provide further protection from harsh direct sunlight.
•    THREE LAYERED TILE WORK: Most importantly, all tile work consists of an inner flower tile (poo vodu), and and outer tile, sandwiched with an 1” thick thermacole board to provide additional insulation. The same method is used in the overhang and the pinched four-sided ceiling on the first floor.
•    PALMYRA WOOD: Palmyra wood is as joists all through the building.
•   MADRAS TERRACE: the ceiling above the ground floor is a combination of brickwork, the traditional Madras Terrace consisting of a mix of brick jelly, kadukai, and jaggary – and resting on palmyra joists.

Doors & WindowsDoor & Windows

•    DOORS & WINDOWS: These are made of reused old teak recovered from other sites. Each of them boasts an adjustable wooden blind, and a louver on top, to moderate light and air.
•    STAIRCASE: Laid with bricks, besides its intricate beauty, it will stay cool even in midday heat, making it possible to climb them barefoot even in the middle of a harsh summer.

Stairs to the First FloorSouthern Facade – Stairs to the First Floor

•   TANDOOR STONES FOR FLOORS AND ON WALLS: Natural Tandoor slabs have been used on the floors and as dadoo in kitchen and bathrooms. Saving costs and avoiding use of manufactures alternatives like ceramic tiles.
•    KITCHENETTE: Each apartment is provided with a small kitchenette.
•  WATER PURIFICATION & WASTE WATER RECYCLING: Water from the well is passed through a chamber comprising Charcoal and Sand, to improve its potability.  Similarly, the waste water is recycled using the same process. In addition, the waste water passes through a tank in which korai and nanal grass are grown. Passing waste water through the roots of these plants makes the grey water more safe and usable in the gardens.

The Centre has been designed to be a near zero-wastage built site. In perfect harmony with the surrounding environment. CFIA has incorporated many cost-saving, eco-friendly, and almost forgotten features. The Vedanta Centre is truly a worthy tribute to Indigenous Architecture.

submit to reddit