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Samskara, Made in India © 2014 Anshika Varma


Wall House

Auroville, India
1997 – 2000
Client: Self
Project: Anupama Kundoo
Contractor: Self
Wall House is situated outside the planned city limits of Auroville, in Auromodele, an area designated for research and experimentation. The architect’s residence, it compactly accommodated everyday needs whilst effortlessly expanding to absorb guests. It attempted to not only redefine the building program for a private-residence; it tested various spatial and technological innovations to inform other projects. Spatially, it redefined borders and transitional spaces in response to the climatic conditions and contemporary culture.

Technologically, it involved local materials in new and inventive ways given the global resource crunch and rapid urbanisation. Landscape design, an integral and inseparable part of the overall architecture, worked with the topography to integrate the indoor-outdoor transition as an integral experience. WallHouse was the culmination of an ongoing extensive research and experimentation in low-impact building technologies that are environmentally and socio-economically beneficial, bynegotiating the balance between hi-tech and low-tech and incorporating everyday materials through techniques that include the participation of those with lower skills and education with few skilled craftsmen.

Such hybrid technologies focus on new ways of using age-old local materials that combine hand skills and local craft traditions alongside knowledge-based scientific systems. A laboratory for research and experimentation, this was a prototype for future development.