The state government in Gujarat, India is in the process of building new roads for connectivity to small scattered villages and farming lands augmenting the existing infrastructure.
Many of these villages have existed without sufficient electricity, piped water supply and roads for several decades and are in the process of upgradation.
Along these new roads there is a need to provide facilities that include a few rooms for an overnight stay, washrooms and a highway restaurant for travellers.
These facilities are being designed with cues imbibed from the characteristic vernacular architecture of the region and are thus proposed to be made in materials that constitute these houses within the villages.
These ‘Bhungas’, as they are called in the region, are circular in shape and constricted in diameter, due to the fact that they are located in a high seismic region. This form helps sustain itself during the earthquakes by distributing forces evenly thereby eliminating the need of a heavy and deep foundation.
Hence, the design and form imbibes this methodology and adapts while morphing itself into a spherical free flowing form.
In response to the extreme desert climate and harsh sun of the region all the facilities that include open restaurant spaces and residential rooms are north oriented. Each space opens on to semi-public spaces which are connected by a curvilinear plinth and a flowing roof, creating enough buffer spaces to counter-act the harsh weather. They are proposed to be built in adobe finished in mud plaster with straw thatched roofs supported over bamboo framework.
The design thus takes cognizance of the people who would frequent these facilities and what they are used to. By using rural methods of construction and easily available materials from the region the buildings will be constructed very economically while being sustainable.
This methodology of construction will allow the buildings to be made within a fractional cost of typical concrete and brick construction.
With an envisaged cost of only 12 Euros per sq. ft., the building typology will relate to the climate, the people and simultaneously be eco-friendly and sustainable using materials procured within a two km radius from the site.
Several such traveller facilities are proposed to be built over the next two years along these new highways, giving impetus to building sustainably and reviving age old methods of construction in the Indian subcontinent.
Sanjay Puri , the Principal Architect of Sanjay Puri Architects, India has been a speaker and a judge at numerous international architecture events including the LEAF & WAF.
His firm founded in 1992, has won 134 international architecture awards including 6 Chicago Athenaeum Awards, 10 WAF Awards, 17 World Architecture Community U.K Awards, the LEAF , 5 Architizer Awards, 3 Hospitality Design Awards, 14 MIPIM Awards and several more.
His firm has successfully completed over 600 projects totaling over 60 million square feet.
Sanjay Puri and his firm of 72 architects now, continue their quest for creating sustainable design, charting new territories of spatial perception simultaneously imbibing the intrinsic values of Indian heritage & culture within their design solutions.