Where two entities from different walks of life but similar aim, collaborate to procreate is rare, that’s why this project is one of its kinds. The client here being Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) is committed to strengthening, reviving or restoring the eco-system, where necessary, the process of ecological succession and the conservation of land, forest and water resources in the country.
Project name: Foundation for Ecological Security
Architect’s Firm: Aayam Architects
Project location: Anand, Gujarat
Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): sq ft
Lead Architects: Ar. Hiten Kakadiya
Rammed Earth: Hunnar Shaala Foundation
Craft Partner: Roots & Wings
Carpentry work: Shravan Bishnoi
Compressed Stabilised Earth Block: Kesarjan
Photo credits: Rahul Zota, Zotography
The main building of FES which was an adaptive reuse of an existing structure was built by Hunnarshala Foundation which Aayam architects was a part of. Due to their increasing size they required to design an extension block to the existing building consisting conference room, dining hall and kitchen using eco-friendly technologies.
The site itself enforces the ‘Green’ ideology on the design as the symmetrical building, linear along its axis sits in a setting similar to a forest with trees, birds and other parts of the ecology surrounding it. Thus the approach with sittings among the green itself gives a grounded feeling.
The entrance pulls one into a transaction space between the ramp and the dining hall. The dining hall being the daily gathering space for the employee have lower flat roof and large windows on three sides of the hall making it feel horizontally larger. These windows looks into the lush green outside bringing natural light inside. From the dining hall, on the opposite side of the entrance is the semi-open kitchen with a view of lush green trees in front. The furniture is also made from the refurbished wood.
Across the transaction space is the dog-legged ramp, curving at the turn giving a curved façade in front. The ramp is linear with higher walls, solid on one side of ramp and perforated on the other. The perforations are created by the band of separated, exposed, rammed earth walls and ribbon windows on three sides of the ramp above the rammed earth wall. These windows end with shallow sloping roof above it. The long ramp creates ease in the movement providing enough time to resonate with ones thought while climbing up or down the ramp. Through the ramp, from the dining to the conference room, one experiences reduction in the height of the roof. Thus the ramp itself suggests the transaction from a public space towards more private space.
The ramp ends in another transaction space with two doors leading into conference room with sloping roof. The high pitched roof makes the room large in vertical direction.The sloping roofs are made from waste wood and floor board and walls from rammed earth and compressed stabilised earth block (CSEB) helping in better climate control.
Earth used to make the walls is acquired from the front of the building, creating a pond in front of it naturally. The water in this pond is retained with bentonite clay only. The approach to this building is made indirect by the pond, giving an amazing experience through the trees and pond. The paving here is made from the waste aggregate, cement and other waste materials, reducing the wastage of material.
The reflection in the pond, the chirping of birds, the cool breeze through the trees along with the building, stands right to the reason of its existence.