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A house in the Tropics

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Title:
A house in the Tropics Konkan, India
Creator:
Ajgaonkar, Partha U
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
34 leaves : ill. (chiefly col.), col. maps, plans (chiefly col.) ; 22 x 28 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Architecture research project, M. Arch ( lcsh )
Genre:
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Master's Research Project (M. Arch.)--University of Florida, 2001.
General Note:
Printout.
Statement of Responsibility:
Partha U. Ajgaonkar.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Partha U. Ajgaonkar. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
030416973 ( ALEPH )
53140978 ( OCLC )

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Full Text
A House in the Tropics;
Konkan, India
Partha U. Ajgaonkar
Committee:
Stephen Luoni, Chair Micheal Kunstle
A Master's Research Project presented to the Department of Architecture at the University of Florida
In partial fulfillment of requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture
Fall 2001
Dedicated to the memory ofLate Shri. Ramesh Shankar Samant,
a true son of the soil whose love and affection has kept me closer to my roots and native soil.




Outline
abstract ............................................. 0 1
the location ............................................. 02
konkan .................................... 03
geology .................................... 05
a typical house ............................................. 07
construction materials and methods .................... 09
foundation ................................ 09
structure .................................. 10
w alls ...................................... I I
roof ....................................... 12
finishes ................................... 13
the site ............................................ 14
the existing house ......................................... 17
program ............................................ 2 1
the project ............................................ 23
site studies ............................... 23
project drawings ........................ 27
project model ............................ 33




abstract The proposed house is an extension to an
existing 150-year-old house in a rural village in Coastal India.
The existing house is to be adapted to serve as a factory to produce local food products and store the farm products. Parts of the house need to undergo change and new materials need to be introduced to solve existing problems and adapt to the new program. A modest house, (about 1500 sq.ft.) is to be designed next to the existing house to suit the lifestyle of the users, creating a living and working environment.
Materials and method of construction design should allow respect for the customs and traditions of the local land as well as respond to the changing lifestyle and requirements. Use of local materials and cost effective, available technology is important. The house needs to be well ventilated and comfortable without the use of HVAC system.




1."2" CHII NA
4,
the location The state of Maharashtra, in the western , ": Ti-..ET
part of India, of which Mumbai is the capital ... .
Rainshan k im BHUTAN
! raes .S Assamh Nagaili.,
city, is geographically divided into two major ,"parts; the Deccan plateau spreading across most oT~ st d ... r
Sm a .MadbyBagal Mzeram
of Southern Indian peninsula and the Konkan M.. Aa ...-,,
Diu, 0-Yor (BUR.11?
area which is a narrow coastal strip running .
down the western side of the peninsula separated Hyda y
ndhra
by the Sahyadri mountain range (the Western C rdeh
"Ghats"). n l
Tamil
Nadu
0 500 kion.aa
A.
1
r .
A. Map of Indian Peninsula B. Coastal Maharashtra (Konkan) C. Malvan area
C B.
2




konkan The Konkan strip had been vastly
neglected in the past with very little opportunities for prosperity. Most of the Konkani people ended up working in Mumbai City. The local people are known for being modest and docile with deep-rooted pride and respect for their land and traditions. As a result of their SindhudurgFort
increasing political power gained by these expatriates in Mumbai and elsewhere, this region has started to open up and prosper in the recent past. The Konkan Railway, an ambitious project was recently completed setting a number of records in terms of speedy completion, highest viaducts, longest tunnels, etc. The Sagari Mahamarga, a highway connecting most of the coastal towns is also nearing completion, Ramparts of the Sindhudurg Fort
winding across numerous creeks and water inlets and hilly terrain.
The Konkan strip south of Mumbai is made up of three districts: Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. Sindhudurg district is the southern most district, which borders with the state of Goa.
3




Famous for the picturesque beauty of its pristine beaches and blue waters, Malvan is an old town in Sindhudurga district. Just a mile off its coast is the famous 16th century island fort Sindhudurga (sea fort) built by Chatrapati Shivaji, from which the district gets its name. Monday weekly bazaar (market) on the Malvan beach
The site of this fort was personally selected by Shivaji. It was built in 1667. Sprawled over an area of 48 acres, once seized by the British, and renamed Fort Augustus, the fort's strength was its inaccessibility. It is approachable only through a narrow navigable channel between the two smaller islands of Dhontara and Padmagarh.
Malvan beach with Sindhudurg fort in the background
Malvan also has the only marine sanctuary in the region. The 29.22 sq. km. in Malvan Taluka was declared as marine sanctuary in 1987. This area is rich in coral and marine life.
The region receives about 330-360 cm. of rain every monsoon season which lasts from July-September. Malvan harbor
4




geology The geology of the surrounding area is
unique. It is made up of "Sada" or laterite capped plateau with fertile valleys cutting through these ranges.
The Sada is hot, mostly barren, used mostly for cattle grazing and growing paddy during the rainy season. The latter is achieved by putting a thin layer of fertile soil (brought up from the valley below) on the flatter laterite Typical "Sada". Stony with golden grass.
strata.
The slopes descending into the valley are planted generally with mango and cashew trees. The lower slopes of the valley and flat terrain on either side of the "Vhal" or stream are usually used for dwelling-clusters and thick groves of coconut and betel nut palms, pineapple and numerous other exotic fruits, flowers and spices. A "Ghati" derived from Ghat is a descending stepped trail from the Sada to the valley and has been the shared means of movement for man and material before the advent of vehicular roads.
Sales women climbing the "Ghati" with their goods.
The small river or seasonal stream flowing through the valley enriches the soil every year during the monsoon floods. The plantations on
5




the slopes do not need constant irrigation after the first two years of planting. They can live off the rain that lasts for four monsoon months every year. The plantations on the floor of the valley are irrigated by an elaborate network of water channels.
The Sada, although barren, is dotted with small towns along the roads with their small farms and orchards subsisting on locally available water sources. These communities usually have road-side shops, cafes, marketing and storage spaces, small scale industries, schools, post offices, etc.; which act as centers for daily activities of the settlers from nearby valleys. The villages in the valleys are usually not accessible by vehicular roads. Residents useRodiehungaaontesd' the "Ghatis' to descend into the valleys. The Old laterite quarry now collects trash. Could be put to better use.
"Vhals" or streams usually have pedestrian Water supply to these houses from wells and bore-wells.
bridges called "Sakavs", which reverberate with laughter and shouted messages across the stream and also serve as diving platforms for swimming children.
6




a typical house A typical house plan in this region has a
three layered transition of spaces from public to private consisting of a "Khala" or front yard, a verandah and the living area on the front and the rear of the house.
, The Khala, leveled and plastered with
cow dung is an important part of the house. It is A typical house with sloping tiled roof mud walls and khala in the a multipurpose space, for gathering during front. Entrance from the east.
functions, recreation, making sun-dried
products, etc. From the Khala one enters the verandah usually a couple of feet higher, which is also a public space, sometimes separated by a colonnade or a wooden screen. typical house plan and section Hence there is a transition from public to
semi-public to private spaces. Guests are usually entertained in the verandah space unless they are invited over for dinner, in which case, they dine in the main central room. Passersby and neighbors use the khala as a place to greet and chat with each other without entering the house. Similarly the rear of the house also has a verandah, which is used as a workshop for farm Houses on terraced clearings with front yards (khala) used for drying
fruit, gatherings, pooja and access to lower houses. Great meeting products. places (as people pass by) and to spot strangers.
7




products.
The plan is usually based on a square grid oriented in the east-west direction with the entrance facing east. The layers (public, semipublic, private) are in the north-south direction with the middle private layer being the widest and the others in descending order. The cattle sheds in some cases are placed such that they can be seen while entering the house (a sign of A typical kitchen with sitting clay stove fueled by wood or cow dung
prosperity of the owner). The wash areas are at cakes.
the rear of the house although there is usually a water container or more recently a water tap at the entrance to wash one's feet before entering the house.
8




construction materials and Laterite stone quarried in the area (Sada) is the
methods main material used in most buildings.
foundation Continuous laterite masonry foundations are
made with mud or lime mortar. The use of cement mortar significantly increased in the recent years. Though lime mortar is cheaper and stronger than cement mortar, the preparation is laboiou an tie cnsuinganditssetingA building site on the sada with material and part plinth. time is four times longer than that of cement mortar. Concrete foundations are also being used in recent constructions due to the development of roads and the availability of expertise in the region. Laterite stone blocks have always been labor intensive due to hand cutting, but machine cut blocks are now available in the area. Freshly cut laterite blocks are usually exposed to weather for a year to "season" them to make their surface harder and water resistant. A laterite quarry. Rectangles cut into laterite and pried loose in
blocks of 6" thick, building material.
9




structure Wood structure: Older houses were built with
Teak or Shisham wood. Due to scarcity of teakwood, coconut or jackfruit wood is used for columns and beams. Laterite masonry columns with wooden beams are also common. Laterite being a hard but porous stone is not good for tensile stress. Hence it is only used for lintels with short spans.
Most houses are single story structures with load-bearing walls and sloping wood framed roofs. Therefore the use of columns and beams is not a problem.
Reinforced concrete is limited for thed structure in larger institutional buildings.
Compressed and sun dried mud-bricks used for building arches and load bearing walls
10




walls Reed and mud walls: Mud walls with Karvi (a local
reed) or bamboo reinforcement are common. Sometimes the karvi or bamboo is stitched close together with twine and simply plastered with mud or cow dung. These walls are typically used as interior partitions. Exterior walls are thick mud walls or laterite stone masonry.
Load bearing walls are either laterite Mud bricks made at an on-site workshop
masonry or sun-dried/burnt brick/ compressed mud blocks with cement and concrete blocks have been used in some structures.
Mud walls with bamboo grills for ventilation with thatched roof
11




roof Sloped roofs are a necessity due to the heavy rains.
Konkan receives about 300 cm of rainfall each year. Rafters and joists are made of hard wood. Battens are made up of betel nut palm split in four. Mangalore tiles (country tiles) or Nali tiles ('Roman' tiles cylinders cut in two). The roof tiles and battens are usually changed every 5 to 6 Thatched roof usingpalm fronds, for ventilation and coolness.
years. However, scarcity of skilled carpenters in the area has led people to want permanent roofing materials. Better wages and permanent jobs have led carpenters to seek work in industries and factories popping up around towns and on the Sada.
Concrete slabs are being widely used in the new constructions. But flat slabs invariably leak Thatched roofwith bamboo framingover verandah.
after a few years. Sloping slabs require skilled labor not readily available in rural areas. Concrete slabs also get extremely hot in the summer making the interior very uncomfortable. Placing hay blocks on top of slabs is sometimes used for insulation. Mangalore tiles over sloping concrete roofs also works and are aesthetically pleasing.
Steep roof with Mangalore tiles.
12




finishes Rammed earth with cow dung plaster is
typically used as flooring for the ground floor and a new layer of cow dung slurry is applied once a month. The floor gets a texture/pattern when the brush applies the dung and water paste. The cow dung also acts as a natural pesticide. The attic floor is typically wooden. Quarry tiles placed on wooden Cow-dung plastered floor finish
joists are also used.
Mosaic tiles or cement tiles for flooring are gaining popularity due to their permanent nature. People do not have the need to own cattle any more for milk or farming due to the availability of tractors for farming and dairies for milk. Hence availability of cow dung is a problem. Tiles, though, are not as insulating and obviously more expensive.
Mud plastered walls.
13




the site Kumbharmath is a town on the Sada about
6 km from Malvan. It has a school, a post office and a few shops. Ghumda is a small village in a Ghat about 2km from Kumbharmath. This village with a population of about 150 is spread around the Kumbharmath sada with the "mangar" (store on the sada) in temple of Goddess Ghumdaai on the banks of a background
small stream about 20 feet wide.
A footbridge links the parts of the village on either side of the stream. Most people living in Ghumda either have their own land, work on somebody's land, work in the few factories coming up recently on the Sada or go to sell their produce "Mangar" and a cashew nut tree, rare on the sada in a ditch or in the Malvan markets. A lot of people born and natural depression in laterite.
brought up in this village have traditionally migrated to the metropolitan Mumbai, 500 km away.
Ghumda has been recently linked with Kumbharmath by an asphalt road. The village has electricity, telephones and television. There is no government water or drainage system in place.
People have their own wells and septic tanks. Ghumdaai temple
During a major flood in the 2000 monsoons, waters flowed up to the eave boards of upper roof when the footbridge over the stream (vhal) was destroyed.
14




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Some parts of the sada, which have some layer of Access to the ghati. To the left is an opening with removable
topsoil, allow grass to grow. By digging ditches and Detail: Stone compound walls called "gadaga" bamboo piece for the animals and a narrow opening for people
filling them with soil, trees are planted. But, unless on the right. Wide access at the ghati was for the and
there is a crack below, to drain the ditch, the roots rot. unloading ofgoods onto carts. The goods were later carried on
peoples' backs. Now an asphalt road reaches the temple.
Ghatifrom sada to the Samant house and the temple
Det ad. Entryfjr animals into the ghati.
Detail: Entry for animals into the ghati. Samant son and father in front of the house below with its front
yard and covered verandah.
Steps (coming down from asphalt road) to the house.
On the left is a stepped retaining wall for the road to A temporary footbridge has again been installed (appropriate
the temple. The government steel concrete bridge was washed technology?) over the vhal, built by villagers as they used to do
away in the floods when floating tree trunks rammed every year 'after' the floods. It represents a low-cost, lowthe center support-piers and broke it in pieces, tech, environmentally friendly solution.
16




the existing house The Samant house is a picturesque
traditional house about 200 yards from the Ghumdaai temple. It sits about a 50 feet off the plain and 250 feet below the Sada on the Ghati.
It belongs to a well-to-do educated Samant family who own about 50 acres of the surrounding Entrance passage to the existing house from the east through the land. Until recently Mr. Samant had been working cattle sheds.
as the head of the village committee for the past 20 years.
The house is about 150 years old, made of wood columns and mud walls. The foundation and stem walls are laterite stone and lime mortar. The sloping roof is country tiles on wood framing. The floor is compacted mud with cow dung finish. It is a single story house with an attic. The attic is Front elevation with the "khala" and the covered verandah with mostly used as storage for coconuts, betel nuts and wooden grills
mangoes during season.
The house is equipped with modern utilities such as a television set, refrigerator, telephone, etc. An on-site biogas plant produces natural gas for cooking. The plant processes cow dung, which, when combined with certain bacteria produces gas, which is then piped into the cooking range. Roof view of the house with the back yard and dense plantation.
17




Traditional cooking fuel such as dry wood and cow dung cakes sometimes supplement the biogas.
Water from an on-site well is pumped up to the overhead water tank and there is running water in the kitchen and wash areas. The toilets are a
sepaatestrctue atthebac ofthe ous wih aGobar gas (bio-gas) plant next to the south side of the house septic tank. consisting of three chambers.
The plantation is now being irrigated by a Drip-irrigation system, replacing the traditional water channel network. The channels though are kept in operational condition for irrigating the neighbors' plantations in drier months.
There is no artificial HVAC system, but the
mud walls and the design of the house help the Smokey kitchen with a combination of the old and new.
interior stay cool during summer. Electric ceiling fans offer a lot of ventilation on a very hot and humid day.
Entrance passage to the khala of the existing house from the east leads through the cattle sheds. The cattle shed houses the half a
doze orso owsand ufflo hatprovde ilkandCentral main room with wooden stairs going to the attic. cow dung for the biogas plant. The buffalo are used for rice farming during the monsoon seasons.
18




dozen or so cows and buffalo that provide milk and cow dung for the biogas plant. The buffalo are used for rice farming during the monsoon seasons.
The rear verandah is now used as a small-scale factory to make native food products sold commercially. The space is tight and the existing house is expected to be needed soon for the growing business.
Looking back at the house from the northwest, the well is in the ore round with the reen i e oin to thewaeun
The rear verandah has been adapted as a workshop.
19




Panoramic view of the existing house with the Ghumdaai temple in the background, The structure in the foreground is the cattle shed which is to be demolished.
20




program The existing house will be adapted to
serve as a factory to produce local food products and store farm products. Parts of the house need to undergo change, as new materials will be introduced to solve existing problems and provide for the new programmatic needs. Looking back towards the home, young plants stabilize the slope and
an unused upper pat' (irrigation channel) for water is on the right of A new house will be designed next to the walkway. The black irrigation pipe now substitutes for the 'pat'.
old house creating a live and work environment. The design program includes a modest house, about 1500 sq.fi. to suit the lifestyle of the users.
The design will respond to the site conditions and the immediate environs in a contemporary fashion while maintaining a balanced relationship between the aspirations of the family and the culture, tradition and vernacular architecture of the region.
Materials and method of construction design should allow the to respect the customs and traditions of the local land as well as respond to the changing lifestyle and requirements. Use of local materials and cost effective, available technology is important. The house needs to be well ventilated and comfortable without the use
21




of HVAC system.
The proposal integrates the two structures into a single scheme with exterior spaces devoted to live and work functions.
Steps going down from behind the bathroom to the lower pat' now unused, lead to the well.
22




the project The orientation of the site is such that the
north side faces the valley while the slope and trees protect the south side. The entrance is on the east as desired. The breeze from the sea in the west site studies comes in along the stream and turns due to the
shape of the valley to enter the site from the north. 1t There are excellent views of the temple and the Study 1.The design proposal uses the existing site language of
I the "gadaga" to organize the circulation between the public and
plantation along the stream (vhal) on the north side.
private spaces
The pedestrian entry is from the south transition spaces whereas the vehicular entry can be from the south
at a higher level or from the east. The site to the east of the existing house is perfect due to its orientation as it faces east and the existing khala becomes a courtyard retaining its use.
The new khala is at a higher level accessible The design is a transparent box of wooden lovers that can be
from the road and being on the east of the new opened and closed tofacilitate ventilation. The box is saddled
hous ca thn belined o ths curtard reaingover the walls that arise off the boundary walls and run north house can then be linked to this courtyard creating south from the sada to the vhal.
-. an interesting interlock of open spaces.
The circulation between the open spaces and I i..
the new house maintains the access from the
courtyard to the temple and the plantation level.
wind and light studies 23




,c-04ONLAT / OF.T6
30
40 24




i' V
An axonometric study of the existing levels and retaining walls showing irrigation canals (the upper "pat" and the Axonometric study of the relationship between the existing house lower "pat) and the lines of the "gadaga (stone boundary wall). and the beginnings of the new house.
Study 2: the box is simplified to work as a screen over the structure. The boundary walls dictate the overall circulation in a subtle way
25




Due to the changing lifestyle of the family from exposure to television and city life, there have been major changes in the planning of the interior spaces. Although the traditional transition spaces have been maintained the introduction of indoor plumbing requires some deviation from the traditional layout. The need for privacy and designated spaces for sleeping and dining, require the layout to change from a common central room layout to a more rooms-connected-by-hallway layout. The recent introduction of television has also had an impact on the activities and space utilization in the house.
7The design thus responds to the site
conditions, its immediate environs and the aspirations of the family in a contemporary fashion Site topography model with the temple and the site features.
while maintaining a bond with the culture and roof plane
traditions that are so ingrained in everyday life as well as with the vernacular architecture of the region.
26




project drawings
' A -4 North elevation
North east isometric view of the house with all the screens in closed position East side entrance to the new house
27




North west vtew
North east isometric view of the house with some screens in open position North east eye level view
28




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Birds eye view of the site including the temple in theforeground
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29




Wag NW,
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30




Site Section 1-I
Site Section 2-2
31




24




project model
North-East Side with entrance North Elevation 4
"'NN
North-East birds eye view East View with the new khala
33




North East view North West eye-level view South West roof view with the courtyard
34




Full Text

PAGE 1

A House in the Tropics; Konkan, India Partha U. Ajgaonkar Committee: Stephen Luoni, Chair Micheal Kunstle A Master's Research Project presented to the Department of Architecture at the University of Florida In partial fulfillment of requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture Fall 2001 Dedi cate d to th e m e mory of Lat e Shri. Ramesh Shankar Samant, a true son of th e soil whose love and affection has kept m e closer to my roots and nativ e soil.

PAGE 2

Outline abstract the loc at ion 01 02 konkan. .. .. .. . .. ... .. .. .. . .. 03 ge olog y........... ... .. .. .. .... .. .. 05 a t yp ical house.. . . . . . . . . . . 07 con s truction materials and methods.. . . . . 09 foundation. ..... . . . . . . 09 s tructure .. ... .. .. .. ..... .. .. ...... walls ......... .. .. .. .. .... .......... roof. .. .. .. ... .. ... .. ...... ......... finishes ...... .... ....... .... ...... .. the site the ex isting house .......... ... .. .......... .. ......... .. program the project site studies .. .. ...... ... ............... project drawings ... .. .... ......... project model .... .. .. ....... .. ....... 10 11 12 13 14 17 21 23 23 27 33

PAGE 3

abstract The proposed house is an extension to an existing 150-year-old house in a rural village in Coastal India. The existing house is to be adapted to serve as a factory to produce local food products and store the farm products. Parts of the house need to undergo change and new materials need to be introduced to solve existing problems and adapt to the new program. A modest house, (about 1500 sq.ft.) is to be designed next to the existing house to suit the lifestyle of the users, creating a living and working environment. Materials and method of construction design should allow respect for the customs and traditions of the local land as well as respond to the changing lifestyle and requirements. Use of local materials and cost effective, available technology is important. The house needs to be well ventilated and comfortable without the use of HV AC system.

PAGE 4

the location The state of Maharashtra in the western part of India of which Mumbai is the capital city 1s geographically divided into two maJor parts ; the Deccan plateau spreading across most of Southern Indian peninsula and the Konk.an area which is a narrow coa s tal strip runnmg down th e western side of the peninsula separated b y the Sahyadri mountain range (the Western Ghats ). A. A. Map of In dia n P eninsula B. C oas t al Mahar a shtra ( Konkan) C. Ma/van a r e a 2 ,, .. J J:i B. P 11111. 1 h \ : .\: r -1.; t ~ ~~ \ : Ma dh y a Pr ades h S n u r:d < '. I I I N A

PAGE 5

konkan The Konkan strip had been vastly neglected m the past with very little opportunities for prosperity. Most of the Konkani people ended up working in Mumbai City The local people are known for being modest and docile with deep-rooted pride and respect for their land and traditions. As a result of their increasing political power gained by these expatriates in Mumbai and elsewhere this region has started to open up and prosper in the recent past. The Konkan Railway, an ambitiou s project was recently completed setting a number of records in terms of speedy completion highest viaducts longest tunnels etc. The Sagari Mahamarga a highway connecting most of the coastal towns is also nearing completion winding across numerous creeks and water inlets and hilly terrain. The Konkan strip south of Mumbai is made up of three districts: Raigad Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg Sindhudurg district is the southern most district which borders with the state of Goa 3 Sind h u du rg F ort R a mp a rt s of h e Si n dh ud urg For t

PAGE 6

Famous for the picturesque beauty of its pristine beaches and blue waters, Malvan is an old town in Sindhudurga district. Just a mile off its coast is the famous 16 th century island fort Sindhudurga (sea fort) built by Chatrapati Shivaji, from which the district gets its name. The site of this fort was personally selected by Shivaji. It was built in 1667. Sprawled over an area of 48 acres once seized by the British and renamed Fort Augustus the fort's strength was its inaccessibility. It is approachable only through a narrow navigable channel between the two smaller islands of Dhontara and Padmagarh. Malvan also has the only manne sanctuary in the region. The 29.22 sq. km. in Malvan Taluka was declared as marine sanctuary in 1987. This area is rich in coral and marine life. The region receives about 330-360 cm. of ram every monsoon season which lasts from July-September. 4 Mon da y w ee kl y ba za a r ( ma rke t ) o n t he M a / va n b e a c h Ma/van b e a c h with Sindhudurg f ort in th e b ac k g round Ma/van harb or

PAGE 7

geology The geology of the surrounding area 1s umque. It is made up of "Sada or laterite capped plateau with fertile valleys cutting through these ranges. The Sada 1s hot mostly barren used mostly for cattle grazing and growing paddy during the rainy season The latter is achieved by putting a thin layer of fertile soil (brought up from the valley below) on the flatter laterite strata. The slopes descending into the valley are planted generally with mango and cashew trees The lower slopes of the valley and flat terrain on either side of the "Vhal" or stream are usually used for dwelling-clusters and thick groves of coconut and betel nut palms pineapple and numerous other exotic fruits, flowers and spices A Ghati derived from Ghat is a descending stepped trail from the Sada to the valley and has been the shared means of movement for man and material before the advent of vehicular roads. The small river or seasonal stream flowing through the valley enriches the soil ever y year during the monsoon floods The plantations on 5 T y p ica l S a da ". S to ny w il h go l de n g ra ss. S a les wom e n cl im bi n g th e Gh at i w ith th e ir goo d s.

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the slopes do not need constant irrigation after the first two years of planting They can live off the rain that lasts for four monsoon months every year. The plantations on the floor of the valley are irrigated by an elaborate network of water channels. The Sada although barren is dotted with small towns along the roads with their small farms and orchards subsisting on locally available water sources These communities usually have road-side shops cafes marketing and storage spaces small scale industries, schools, post offices etc. ; which act as centers for daily activities of the settlers from nearby valleys. The villages in the valleys are usually not accessible by vehicular roads Residents use the "Ghatis" to descend into the valleys. The "Vhals" or streams usually have pedestrian bridges called "Sakavs ", which reverberate with laughter and shouted messages across the stream and also serve as diving platforms for swimming children. 6 Ro a d si d e hou s in g a r ea o n th e 'sada' O l d lat e rit e qu arr y no w c oll ec ts t rash. C o u ld b e p ut to b e tt e r u se W a t er s uppl y to th e s e hou ses Ji-om w e ll s a n d bo r e we ll s.

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a typical house lt!'f ~UflDN typical hous e plan and section A t y pical house plan in this region ha s a three layered transition of spaces from public to private consisting of a Khala or front yard a verandah and the living area on the front and the rear of the house. The Khala, level e d and plastered with cow dung is an important part of the house. It is a multipurpose space for gathering during functions recreation, making sun-dried products etc. From the Khala one enters the verandah usually a couple of feet higher which is also a public space, sometimes separated by a colonnade or a wooden screen. Hence there is a transition from public to semi-public to private spaces. Guests are usually entertained in the verandah space unless they are invited over for dinner in which case they dine in the main central room. Passersby and neighbors use the khala as a place to greet and chat with each other without entering the house Similarly the rear of the house also has a verandah, which is used as a workshop for farm products. 7 A typical hous e with sloping til ed roof. mud walls and khala in th e front. En.tran ce from th e e ast. H ouses on t e rra ced clearings w ith fro nt yards (kha /a ) us ed for drying fruit gatherings pooja and access t o lo we r h ouses. Great m ee tin g places (as peop l e pass by) and to spot strang e r s.

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products. The plan is usually based on a square grid oriented in the east-west direction with the entrance facing east. The layers (public, semi public private) are in the north-south direction with the middle private layer being the widest and the others in descending order. The cattle sheds in some cases are placed such that they can be seen while entering the house ( a sign of prosperity of the owner). The wash areas are at t he rear of the house although there is usually a water container or more recently a water tap at the entrance to wash one s feet before entering the house. 8 A typical kitchen with sitting clay stove fi 1el ed by wood or cow dung cakes.

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construction materials and methods fou ndation Laterite stone quarried in the area (Sada) is the main material used in most buildings Continuous laterite masonry foundations are made with mud or lime mortar. The use of cement mortar significantly increased in the recent years. Though lime mortar is cheaper and stronger than cement mortar the preparation is laborious and time consuming and its setting time is four times longer than that of cement mortar. Concrete foundations are also being used in recent constructions due to the development of roads and the availability of expertise in the region Laterite stone blocks have always been labor intensive due to hand cutting, but machine cut blocks are now available in the area. Freshly cut laterite blocks are usually exposed to weather for a year to "season" them to make their surface harder and water resistant. 9 A building si t e on th e sada with material and part plin th. A laterite quarry Rectangles cut into laterite and pried loo se in block s of 6 thick. building material.

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s tructure Wood structure : Older houses were built with Teak or Shisham wood Due to scarcit y of teakwood coconut or jackfruit wood is used for columns and beams. Laterite masom y columns with wooden beams are also common. Laterite being a hard but porous stone is not good for tensile stress. Hence it is only used for lintels with short spans. Most houses are single story structure s with load-bearing walls and sloping wood framed roofs Therefore the use of columns and beams is not a problem Reinforced concret e 1s limited for the structure in larger institutional buildings. 10 Co m p r esse d a nd s u n dr ied m u d br icks u s ed fo r build i ng a r c h es a n d l oad bearing wa ll s

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walls Reed and mud walls: Mud walls with Karvi (a local reed) or bamboo reinforcement are common Sometimes the karvi or bamboo is stitched close together with twine and simply plastered with mud or cow dung These walls are typically used as interior partitions Exterior walls are thick mud walls or laterite stone masonry Load bearing walls are either laterite masonry or sun -dri ed / burnt brick/ compressed mud blocks with cement and concrete blocks have been used in some structures. 11 M ud bri cks m a d e a t a n o n-s it e w o r ks h o p Mu d w a ll s with b a mb oo g rill s fo r v e ntil atio n with th a t c h e d r oof

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roof Sloped roofs are a necessity due to the heavy rains. Konkan receives about 300 cm of rainfall each year. Rafters and joists are made of hard wood. Battens are made up of betel nut palm split in four. Mangalore til es ( country tiles) or N ali tiles ( Roman tiles c y linders cut in two). The roof tiles and battens are usually changed every 5 to 6 years. However scarcity of skilled carpenters in the area has led people to want permanent roofing materials. Better wages and permanent jobs have led carpenters to seek work in industries and factories poppmg up around towns and on the Sada. Concrete slabs are being widely used in the new constructions. But flat slabs invariably l eak after a few years. Sloping slabs require skilled labor not readily available in rural areas Concrete slabs a l so get extreme l y hot in the summer makin g the interior very uncomfortable. Placing hay blocks on top of slabs is sometimes used for insulation. Mangalore tiles over s l oping concrete roofs also works and are aesthetically pleasing. 12 That ched roof us in g palm fro n ds for vent ilati on and c oo l n e ss ,.. _. -:i, l That c h ed roof with bamboo framing over v e r an dah. S t ee p roof w ith Mangalore til es.

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finishes Rammed earth with cow dung plaster is typically used as flooring for the ground floor and a new layer of cow dung slurry is applied once a month. The floor gets a texture / pattern when the brush applies the dung and water paste. The cow dung also acts as a natural pesticide. The attic floor is typically wooden. Quarry tiles placed on wooden joists are also used. Mosaic tiles or cement tiles for flooring are gammg popularity due to their permanent nature. People do not have the need to own cattle any more for milk or farming due to the availability of tractors for farming and dairies for milk Hence availability of cow dung is a problem. Tiles though are not as insulating and obviously more expensive 13 Cow -dun g plast ered floor fi ni s h. Mud plastered walls

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the site Kumbharmath is a town on the Sada about 6 km from Malvan. It has a school, a post office and a few shops. Ghumda is a small village in a Ghat about 2km from Kumbharmath. This village with a population of about 150 is spread around the temple of Goddess Ghumdaai on the banks of a small stream about 20 feet wide. A footbridge links the parts of the village on either side of the stream. Most people living in Ghumda either have their own land work on somebody's land work in the few factories coming up recently on the Sada or go to sell their produce in the Malvan markets. A lot of people born and brought up m this village have traditionally migrated to the metropolitan Mumbai 500 km away. Ghumda has been recently linked with Kumbharmath by an asphalt road The village has electricity, telephones and television. There is no government water or drainage system in place. People have their own wells and septic tanks. 14 Kumbharmath sada with !h e "mangar" (s tor e on th e s ada ) in ba c k g round "Mangar" and a cas hew nut tr ee. rare on th e sa da in a ditch or natural d e pression in laterit e Ghumdaai t e mpl e During a major flood in th e 2 000 monsoons. watersflowed up lo the e av e boards of upp e r roof when the Joo /br idge over the stream ( vhal) was d es /ray e d.

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15

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Some parts of the sada which have some layer of topsoil, allow grass to grow. By digging ditches and filling them with soil, trees are planted. But, unless there is a crack below, to drain the ditch, the roots rot. Detail : Entry for animals into the ghati. ~ Steps (coming downji-om asphalt road) to the house. On the left is a stepped retaining wall for the road to the temple. Stone compound walls called "gadaga". Ghatiji-om sada to the Samant house and the temple The government steel concrete bridge was washed away in the floods when floating tree trunks rammed the center support-piers and broke it in pieces. 16 Access to the ghati. To the left is an opening with removable bamboo piece for the animals and a narrow opening for people on the right. Wide access at the ghati was for the and unloading of goods onto carts. The goods were later carried on peoples backs. Now an asphalt road reaches the temple. Samant son and father inji-ont of the house below with its front yard and covered verandah. i- A temporary footbridge has again been installed (appropriate technology?) over the vhal built by villagers as they used to do every year 'after' the floods. It represents a low-cost, low tech environmentally friendly solution.

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the existing house The Sam a nt house 1s a picture s qu e traditional house about 200 yards from the Ghumdaai temple. It sits about a 50 fe et off th e plain and 250 fe e t b e low th e Sad a on the Ghati It belongs to a well-to-do e ducated Samant family who own about 50 acres of the surrounding land. Until recently Mr. Samant ha d been work i ng as the head of the village committee for the past 20 years. The house is about 150 years old made of wood columns and mud walls The foundation and stem walls are laterite stone and lime mortar. The sloping roof is country tiles on wood framing. The floor is compacted mud with cow dung finish It is a single story house with an attic. The attic is mostly used as storage for coconuts, betel nuts and mangoes during season The house is equipped with modem utilities such as a television set refrigerator tel e phone etc An on-site biogas plant produces natural gas for cooking. The plant processes cow dung which when combined with certain bacteria produces gas which is then piped into the cooking range 17 En t rance pa ssa ge to th e ex i s t ing ho u sefi'o m th e ea s t thr oug h th e ca ttl e sh eds. Fr o nt e l e vat io n wit h th e "kh a l a" a n d th e c ov ered v e rand a h wit h w oo d e n g rill s R oof v ie w of th e h o u se with th e b a ck y ar d and de n se p lanta t ion.

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Traditional cooking fuel such as dry wood and cow dung cakes sometimes supp leme nt the biogas. Water from an on-site well is pumped up to the overhead water tank and there is running water in the kitchen and wash areas. The toilets are a separate structure at the back of the house with a septic tank. The plantation is now being irrigated by a Drip irrigation system, replacing the traditional water channel network The channels though are kept in operational condition for irrigating the neighbors' plantations in drier months. There is no artificial HV AC system, but the mud walls and the design of the house help the interior stay cool during s ummer. Electric ceiling fans offer a lot of ventilation on a very hot and humid day Entrance passage to the khala of the existing house from the east lead s through the cattle sheds The cattle shed houses the half a dozen or so cows and buffalo that provide milk and cow dung for the biogas plant. The buffalo are used for rice farming during the monsoon seasons. 18 Cobar gas (bio-gas) plant n ex t to th e so uth s ide of the hous e consisting of thre e cham b e rs Smokey kitchen with a combination of the old and new. Ce ntral main room with wooden sta ir s going to th e attic.

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dozen or so cows and buffalo that provide milk and cow dung for the biogas plant. The buffalo are used for rice farming during the monsoon seasons. The rear verandah is now used as a small-scale factory to make native food products sold commercially The space is tight and the existing house is expected to be needed soon for the growing business 19 The rear verandah has been adapted as a workshop.

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program The e x isting house will be adapted to serve as a factory to produce local food products and store farm products Parts of the house need to undergo change as new mater i als will be introduced to solve existing probl e ms and provide for the new programmatic needs A new house will be designed next to the old house creating a li v e and work environment. The d e sign program includes a modest house about 1500 sq.ft. to suit the lifestyle of the users. The design will respond to the site conditions and the immediate environs in a contemporary fashion while maintaining a balanced relationship between the a s pirations of the family and the culture, tradition and vernacular architecture of the region. Material s and method of construction design should allow the to respect the customs and traditions of the local land as well as respond to the changing lifestyle and requirem e nts. Use of local materials and cost effective available technology is important. The house needs to be well v entilated and comfortable without the use 21 L ook in g back tow ar ds t he h o m e, young p l a nt s s t ab ili ze t h e s lo pe a n d a n u nused up p er 'pa t ( irri ga ti on c h a nn el) for wate r is on t he r igh t of wa l kway. T h e b l ack ir ri ga ti o n p i pe now subs t i t u t es fo r th e 'pat'.

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of HV AC s ys tem The proposal integrates the two structures into a single scheme with exterior spaces devoted to live and work functions 22 Steps going down from behind th e ba thr oom to the lower 'pat' now unus ed, lead to th e w ell.

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the project site studies t r a n s iti o n sp a ces -:; ~ '" w,. q;GJ ~: ~ rBu_ .,~ ..,. .,. r-""i w i n d and li g ht s tudi es The orientation of the site 1s s uch that the north side fa c e s the valle y while th e slope and trees protect the south side The entrance i s on the e ast as desired The br ee ze from the sea in th e west comes in along the stream and turns due to the shape of the valley to e nter the site from th e north. There are excellent v i ews of the temple a nd the plantation along the stream (vhal) on the north side The pedestrian entr y is from the s outh wh e reas the vehicular entry can be from the south at a higher level or from the east. The site to the e ast of the existing house is perfect due to its orientation as it face s east and the existing khala becomes a courtyard retaining its use The new khala is at a higher level accessible from the road and being on the east of the new house can then be linked to this court y ard creating an interesting interlock of open spaces The circulation between the open spaces and the new house maintain s the access from the courtyard to the templ e and the plantation level. 23 S tud y I Th e d esig n p r op o sa l uses t h e ex is ti n g s it e la n g u age of the "gadaga t o or ga ni ze th e c ir c ul ation be tw een t h e p u b li c a n d p r ivate spaces The des i g n is a tr a n spa r e nt b ox of woo d en lo v e r s th a t can be o pene d a n d cl o se d t o f a c ilit a t e v en til a t ion. T he box i s s a ddled o v e r th e w a ll s t h at a ris e off th e bou n da r y wa lls a n d r un n or t h sou th fro m the sada to t he vh al.

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-4,y6~ .c "'31-t e: Lv "L,+ Iv-,.. t,,PUNIAT I ~p~L-N\,\i 'PL-A-t-JT1!'11PN 24

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An a:xonometric study of the existing levels and retaining walls showing irrigation c anals (th e upper pat and th e lower pat) and the lines of the gadaga" (ston e boundary wall). 1 ... 25 Axonometri c study of the relationship between the existing house and the beginnings of the new house. Study 2: the box is simplified to work as a s c reen ov e r the stru c ture. The boundary walls dictat e the overall circulation in a subtl e way

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roof plan e Due to the changing lifestyle of the family from exposure to television and city life, there have been major changes in the planning of the interior spaces. Although the traditional transition spaces have been maintained the introduction of indoor plumbing reqmres some deviation from the traditional layout. The need for privacy and designated spaces for sleeping and dining, require the layout to change from a common central room layout to a more rooms-connected-by-hallway layout. The recent introduction of television has also had an impact on the activities and space utilization in the house. The design thus responds to the site conditions its immediate environs and the aspirations of the family in a contemporary fashion while maintaining a bond with the culture and traditions that are so ingrained in everyday life as well as with the vernacular architecture of the region. 26 Sit e topo g raphy m o d e l with th e t e mpl e and th e s it e fe atures

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project drawings Nor t h e l evation Nor t h east iso m etric view of the house wi t h all t he screens in closed position Eas t side ent r ance t o the new house 27

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No rth wes t view 28

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Birds eye view of the site including the temple in the foreground View of t he new house A partial section through the north-east corner A A. Site plan. 29

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I -----fylSection E-W Section N-S 30

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S ite S ec ti o n 1-1 + Site Section 2-2 31

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0 0 Floor Plan 32 I I I [ -I -1 I ii \ r I

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project model No rth-East Side wi t h e nt ra n ce No rth E l evation No rth East bird s eye view East View with th e n ew khala 33

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North East view North West eye-level view South West roof view with the courtyard 34