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Housing in Kutch
This is a discussion about this project in the ArchNet Digital Library: Housing in Kutch
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Housing in Kutch
I have visited the site after reading and got impress about the project, but when I visited the site, I was shocked. It was blank, a total failure. I also met the owner mention in the book and he agrees the same.
NoorAli Meghani
Housing in Kutch
I have read Snjay Udhamale's Housing in kutch.....
In the book, the design team and their entire design process, documentation of kutch housing is thrown a light upon....

as a design process and design product, its a master project...

i went flat on seeing the innovative alteration and additions the team has done, to the typical vernacular hut of banni settlement of kutch.

As a design product, the project rocks....

now, there could be many reasons why the project failed on site... i guess, the major being the arid climate and scarcity of water.

But all architects should go through the book, and witness a great architectural design and documentation....
Sonika Kulkarni
Housing in Kutch
i dunno about this purticular project in detail but yes i have surely heard about it and i must say that most of the architects and their projects whic work so well on paper donot work well on the ground realities , maybe architects should change certian parameters and adress such issues
Vinit Nikumbh
Housing in Kutch
i have read the book as well as been on site .the concepts and the ideas were gr8.........the reason of failure is not the concepts .......but planning fact the construction is done so well that the structures have withstood gujarat earthquakes.......and they need very little maintenance.
Neha Shukla
Housing in Kutch
The design is nice, but most likely only affordable for the relatively rich, this limits the clientel already. Furthermore the owner must be open minded for innovative approaches, this reduces the potential very much.

If one wants to contibute significantly to the housing in Kutch, one should look into the improvements of traditional house construction.
I worked (German finacing through KfW , BGS consultants in cooperation with KSA-DPS Ahmedabad) on random rubble stone houses reflecting traditional floor plans and we got earthquake and cyclone safe basic houses for less then 50 000 RS or 1000 Euro (built with SEWA housing)in Kutch.
Further improvements were made with Hunnar Shallah or Abdjan in Kutch, especially cyclone safe tiled roofs.

Starting with the needs and means of the benficiaries in the sense of a "Reachable Technology" is more likely to work.

Looking at the design details:
Windows should not be in the sun! (pictures 5 and 6).
The central ventilation chimmey is a good idea (similar roof extensions are used in Timor, but some architect forgt why and use them only as a tradtional element without openings at the top!). It would be mor effective, if the openings were near the top and the colour of the upper part would be dark.
An option would be arabic Wind Towers.
Norbert E. Wilhelm
Housing in Kutch
Thank you very much for the response.
I am from Kutch region and still learning architecture. I was very impressed by reading the book ��Architecture for Kutch�� by Ar. Sanjay Udamala. I appreciate the efforts taken by him to study the architecture of the region. The documentation and the study were very impressive.
I had visited the site after reading and got impress about the project, but when I visited the site, I was shocked. It was blank, a total failure. I also met the owner mention in the book and he agrees the same.
The owner was unhappy with the project. The project is not built, only sample of typical houses was build. The owner is not using those build structures or sometimes he is using as a store and that after modification. The client had built his new home opposite to the existing structures.
I discussed with the owner and came to know that he was not accepting because his life style did not suit the space. For example, people in this region use to hang calendar in their homes on the walls by the hook or thread. The first question that owner ask me was ��where to hang the calendar on a circular wall?��
The other problem was interior layout. People who was suppose to stay in that homes had stayed in rectangular homes and were accepted to ready made furniture so they were not happy with circulation pattern and hence the furniture layout.
The third problem was about the building material, which was used. The material use were mud bowls (locally wataka) and mud plates(tawadi). The bowls were stuck on the sloping circular roof while the plates were placed on the circular walls. These mud blocks were broken either hitting a stone by someone and sometimes by birds as it was a farm area. Also due to its less strength they had fallen off.
The next owner told me was about his vastu belief. He told me that the beam was passing through the center of bad room, which was not considered fruitful. Also this arose a question of fixing a fan, where should it placed on one side or the other as it was a sloping roof with beam passing in between.
There were many such problems which becomes a functional design into a non functional space design.
Many people say, ��That most of the architects and their projects which work so well on paper do not work well on the ground realities��
I will say to this that it is a failure of an architect than a design itself because till you don��t design a project which is built able you are giving this society or the universe nothing and if your are giving nothing to this society by your ability you are nothing.
Thank you
NoorAli Meghani


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