Architecture has undergone remarkable change over centuries. It has undergone changes in context with changing climate, surroundings, innovations, technology, and the lifestyles of people, and so undoubtedly, the construction and building industry has shown an exceptional growth not just with form and function of the structure but also by catering to the needs of the user.

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As Urbanization grew with time, the need for homes, industries, educational buildings, and various structures rapidly increased, producing approximately 40% of global carbon emissions from the building and construction industry alone.

“Today, India is said to produce 150 million tons of waste according to official figures and unofficially, it’s estimated to produce 3 to 5 times more! According to the data, only 1% of this waste gets reused or recycled and the rest pollutes air and water,” says Ar. Chitra Vishwanath (Principal Architect and Managing Director of BIOME Environment Solutions).

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Reducing, Recycling, and generating less waste has become a key to having and living in a sustainable future. There are no set of rules to achieve a perfect ecological balance; it is adaptive – even the smallest of effort counts.

A structure need not be prodigious to make a difference in the carbon footprint are the beliefs of BIOME Environment solutions (One of the Leading Firms in India) and proves this statement with an executed structure: Swastika Dance School, Bangalore.

Swastika Dance School is a music and dance studio executed in the year 2017 with a site area of 139.35 sqm (1500 sq ft.) by Ar. Chitra Vishwanath and her team. The brief of Swastika Dance School was to design a music and dance studio along with a venue for workshops and events on a small plot in Bangalore.

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The planning of the swastika dance school is rectangular. It’s designed with a concept of minimizing carbon footprint with the help of materials like – compressed stabilized mud blocks with stabilizers as lime or cement, Ferro cement, plum concrete, stone in load-bearing.

Swastika Dance School by Chitra Vishwanath: Minimizing Carbon Footprint - Sheet1
Front view of the swastika dance school_© https://www.biome-solutions.com/project/

Swastika Dance school is a two-story structure with a basement made in stabilized mud bricks. The double-height, acoustically treated basement forms the dance studio with enough provision of light and ventilation by a skylight on the east side and precast concrete rings that provide access to light throughout the day.

The entry to the structure is from the ground floor consisting of the car porch, which serves as a multipurpose area as a car porch and a temporary waiting area for parents of the students in the school.

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Swastika Dance School by Chitra Vishwanath: Minimizing Carbon Footprint - Sheet2
Interior view of the dance studio_© https://www.biome-solutions.com/project/

The first-floor level consists of the music studio & a double-height open space with a sloping roof with a skylight separated by full-length glazed windows helping the user to use this space according to their requirement, an office, and a common washroom.

Swastika Dance School by Chitra Vishwanath: Minimizing Carbon Footprint - Sheet3
Double height open space_© https://www.biome-solutions.com/project/

Whereas the second floor serves as a passage for guest suites of music, yoga, and dance trainers, all the floors are connected with a central staircase and a common frontcourt. The frontcourt also provides access to additional light in the building and serves as an interactive space during events.

The key elements of the structure that add more to making the building sustainable are: Rainwater which is harvested from the roof that gets reused for the studio’s requirements, avoiding unnecessary masking/plastering spaces, which reduces unnecessary usage of materials and helps in revealing true characteristics of the material and also proving the user with cooler interior and a great visual experience, Provision of Proper ventilation and natural lighting in the structure to minimize the usage of mechanical ventilation & lighting.

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The central staircase connecting all floors_© https://www.biome-solutions.com/project/

Sustainability in structures is mostly referred to in the context of climate, materials, measures to use renewable sources of energy efficiency and how effectively a structure can sustain itself and rarely spoken about how spaces in the structure also help the structure to be sustainable, how interesting spaces and corners in the building help it to be used often and help these spaces not to be neglected, how spaces, when used for multipurpose, provide interesting experience to the user and the dramatic experience of two eco-friendly material create interesting patterns.

Swastika dance school does not only stand as an example referring to just factors directly connected to the structure like – climate, materials, light, and ventilation but also spaces. The usage of multipurpose spaces is not just to satisfy the need for extra required space but also to help the user to utilize these spaces as small intermediate interaction pockets to share ideas and words.

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Swastika Dance school truly explains that A structure need not be prodigious to make a difference in the carbon footprint and stands as an exemplary example of a small-scale sustainable structure.

References

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Godrej Interio Talk The Walk | Architect Chitra Vishwanath. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlf3TyKdcAg.

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www.youtube.com. (n.d.). A Home For Nature. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmmAZTCkZpY.

BIOME

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS (2018).Swastika dance studio at banglore by biome

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environmental solutions.Retrieved from: https://architecturelive.in/swastika-dance-studio-bengaluru-biome-environmental-solutions/

Author

Disha is an architecture graduate from Nagpur University, 2021. Being an avid traveler, she has always tried to connect the city’s art & culture with architecture. She is a keen learner & an extremely creative individual who always seeks opportunities to enhance knowledge & experience in the field of architecture.

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