AHW2015 – Video 3 – The prototype

Video on an imaginary occupancy of the house

<p><a href="http://vimeo.com/118452557">AHW2015 - Video 3</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user36290536">affordablehabitat2015</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Day 15 – Concentration

The Matrimandir has notthing to do with religion, or meditation: it is a space that comes from a vision of the Mother, a Space of Concentration! – Fred , one of the original founders of Auroville

day16d  day16b.jpgDCIM109GOPROG0459521.day16a

day16bDCIM109GOPROG0489529.6:00 am : V. Rangarao explained to us how to perform a stress test, but we didn’t actually do it because of lack of electricity!!So he helped us to finally dimension the roof beam: an amazing ferrocement vierendeel-like beam with H profile.

After we finally went to visit the Matrimandir: this is the symbol of the unity of Auroville, designed by Roger Anger: an absolute space that though the use of the solar light provokes really deep sensations in the visitor.

In the afternoon Anupama Kundoo invited us to have a tea in her house: an experimental project, her bachelor house, where she experimented many of the technics she keep using in the nowadays practice.

While the work continues, at night, finishing the drawings with the right position for the stiffeners and to design the beam and the roof channels, we realized, talking to each other, that the last question of V. Rangarao was: do you believe in God?

Day 14 – Stress contours

to understand the stress contour of a force applied on a surface, imagine to press with a pen on your skin: the “pain contour” you will feel is the equivalent of the “stress contour”. It’s the same thing – V. Rangarao, Structural Engineer

day14aday14dday14eday14zday stress_bday stress_a

The fist test: piling up 3 modules in the formation that will define one corner – it was very successful. The flexion of and the bending are very little, you can sit on it and nothing happens…but tomorrow seems we will meet our structural engineer, Prof. Rangarao, and we will try a “stress-test” to check the resistance of the object…really old style!

In the while today the door was casted: a complete ferrocement door with 3,5 cm thickness that goes decreasing to 1cm to reduce the weight: we are really bringing to the limit the thickness!

In the afternoon we paid a visit to a structure our engineer did here in auroville: a ferrocement Dome for the Auroville RSC,  the Scientific Research Center. The ribbed dome, that recalls the ferrocement structures by Nervi in Italy, was really impressive, even more for the “unfinished” status, that gives somehow the impression that it could be an endless monument….

After the visit we have finally met our structural engineer: Venkata Rangarao, an expert in ferrocement. With the attitude of a consumed showman, this amazing master explained us several principles to increase the structural performances of the concrete elements we have been designing. From the shear moment to the superficial slide of the material, in the end everyone was delighted by the simplicity but effectiveness of the explanation. In the end we all went home with some homeworks to do….

Day 13 – Back to the…roof!

We are running out of time…but we don’t give up!


DCIM109GOPROG0379507.Today was intense: once arrived back in Auroville we discovered that our model was destroyed by the spirits…or by the Pongal…we don’t know. Anyway we are going to do it in wood now, thanks to the help of Riccardo, and Argentinian man with an incredible story that runs the Auroville wood workshop, and kindly offered us his support and help.

The discussion about the roof becomes definitive today: the ferrocement  need the curing time of a week, and we are running out of time. That’s why today we got to the definitive decision for the roof design (thanks to a lot of models!) and we agreed to  a plan of construction. Once the pieces are finished we will transport everything to the Midas Campus, where our prototype will be exhibit in front of the main conference hall of the NASA Convention 2015, one of the major architecture annual events in India – that this year got to the 57th edition-  with a forecasted participation of 7000 people.

The idea is that the construction will be a on going process, involving the volunteers from the Midas University, with build up od the roof main beam and of the roof channels as final live-performance event….We are looking forward to it!!!

Day 5_ Polychromie

The color is a way to transform a modest house into a rich home – Anupama Kundoo, Architect



Ploychromie in Architecture has always been one of the most controversial theme in the academic discussion. But in India, and likewise in many developing countries, there is nothing academic about it. Between discussions and color tests, today was the day of colors….

Day 3_ Ferrocement

An affordable technic to develop a cost-effective construction system






Sand, cement bags, iron bars and steal mesh. Eleven specialized workers and seven designers. The first group are the ingredients to create ferrocement. The latter are developing together the project – from the process of design to the process of construction and vice-versa.


Day 0_ Workshop preparation

An affordable habitat for the human life,

 an essential dwelling-unit prototype built in ferrocement

Start: 7th January

image1a– wooden cast, in progress

Since several days, before the arrival of the workshop participants,

the local team of support lead by Anupama Kundoo

has been working on the technical aspect for the project realization….

-2 days to go,

stay tuned!!!