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Avani aug18


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Avani aug18

  1. 1. Animish B. Thaker A Graduate in Science (1983) from Bombay University, and a Diploma in Printing Technology holder, the author is also the co- AVANI promoter of Krishna Graphics a Mumbai based Design & Print Studio. His photo features on various facets of society have been carried - using appropriate technologies by Times group of publications as well as Ananda Bazaar Patrika. He has also taught at Sir JJ & JIPT, Mumbai. His long asociation with for creating I.I.A. has inspired him to write this paper on sustainable architecture. better livelihood opportunities thakeranimish@gmail.comIndia over the coming half century will make a historictransition from a largely rural and agrarian society to the onethat is predominantly urban yet retaining the fabric embeddedwith values nurtured and handed over through 5000 years ofcivilisation known to have co-existed with nature. ABOVE: Staggered Building structure constructed using locally quarried stone with pitched sloping roof overhang Here, one sees a complete integration of the three basic elements of light, air and water into the built environment so carefully conceptualised on the steep hilly slopes. Avani teaches, educates and emancipates while disseminating appropriate technology in these far & distant hilly areas and by adapting green architecture principles into it’s slowly expanding built form. BELOW: 40 mm thick 2’ x 2’ Glass panels are strategicallyABOVE: Avani’s inconspicious entrance gets easily missed embedded into the ceiling to rein in maximum availablewhile driving through the precipitous slopes and curves on sunlight for the vegetable dye making & fabric dyeingthe picturesque Chakori - Berinag Road areas located below .The challenge for young architects is to cope up with India’surbanisation along with making our rural hinterland livable,secure and sustainable and provide a vibrant socio-economic environment that not only nurtures but alsoencourages innovation through art and sustainablearchitecture.Captured herein is the pristine essence of such an self-sustaining endeavour of the humble Jains from Almora inUttranchal. Their exemplary vision coupled with over adecade of sheer hard work in the ardent mountainousterrains of Pithoragarh district has brought livelihood,electricity, education and therefore smiles into over 600homes at 6000 feet above sea level.2011 JULY 11
  2. 2. BELOW: All the activity zones are located in a geodesic dome shaped structures that act as rain water collectors which in turn is then stored in to underground tanks constructed underneath for activities ranging fromABOVE: Solar Photo Votaic Modules mounted atop thesloping roofs of its various activity zones generates 3KWpower every day. Enough to light up the centre’s variouscommercial activity zones during working hours. The centre itself generates 9 KW of electricity from dried pine leaves a.k.a. needles and 3 KW from Solar panels fixed on roofs of its various activity centres. At, Avani which is located near Chakoudi, Tehsil Berinag, in Pithoragarh district of Kumaon, Uttranchal, young women are not only taught to assemble the solar panels, but also carry out wave soldering to assemble solar lanterns. Their effortless handling of drilling, plate bending and metal cutting machines can easily put a batch of ITI students from any Tier 2 & 3 cities of India in awe of these young women. Over 600 families spread across four centres collect various plant materials & forest produce like ArithaABOVE: Dried pine leaves (needles) found in abundance BELOW: A Kindergarten class in progress inside aon the forest floor and which are rich in eucalyptus oil and geodesic domed activity structure for the children of localbear a acidic pH nature is the main fodder. BELOW: An women employed at the centre. The naturally amplifiedindigenously fabricated steam distiller is used for acoustics far outweigh the slight disadvantagegenerating 9 KW of electricity to augment the smooth experienced in designing furnitures & fixtures for anrunning of various electrically operated industrial devices. interior with no straigh lines.12 2011 JULY
  3. 3. LEFT: Young women learn to solder & assemble solar RIGHT: Handlooms are used for manufacturing variouslanterns which are then sold to the nearby villagers. textiles like shawls, stoles and carpets bringing gainful employment into this remote and mountainous region.CENTRE: Skillfull operation of Re-winding machines by Local women working on traditional waist looms arewomen - a very useful trade skill in the electrical industry. trained here to work on frame looms.(Sapindus Laurifolia), Marigold flower, Madder, Walnut effluents from water used in dye vats also gets treatedfruits, Myrobolan & Eupetorium for use in extraction of before being re-used in the plantation.vegetable dyes which is manufactured under stringent ISOstandards to meet the export guidelines. Avani has greatly contributed in reviving the weaving skills of the locals and helped establish a sustainable livelihoodThe centre’s spinning, weaving, dyeing & stitching centre base.engages over 100 women from the surrounding villages tomake much sought after shawls, stoles, jackets, durries, A natural synergy therefore co-exists between the use ofcushion covers and even carpets for the principal cities of appropriate technoloy and the means of livelihood whichIndia. has fueled more income leading to easier acceptance to such eco-friendly technologies.The finished product is hand spun, hand woven, naturallydyed, made by local artisans and most importantly made Here lies an example of integrated yet open architecture ofout of locally available raw materials using electricity identifying, creating and then nurturing a village basedproduced from non-conventional bio-fuels. Integration can enterprise, supported with elements of vernacularnever be better defined than this. architecture that has now emerged as a self sustainable entity and has helped slowdown the migration of the hillAlthough located in a high rainfall area, due to lack of people to the plains in search of better living standards.catchment areas, the centre has evolved it’s indigenousrain water harvesting system and annually collects over 3lakh litres of roof run-off rain water and is stored in tanks Pictures By Authorwhich are located below their various activity buildings. The Assembly of Solar panels being carried out in the open air workshop using appropriate technology2011 JULY 13