Unpretentiously Palatial

Pertinent to its submissive context, the ‘International House’ in Auroville is a sustainable eco-dormitory built using waste items or locally available materials. Synonymous to the ideology of the residents, the house is built with a view to have a comfortable and peaceful lifestyle by causing no harm to the environment, thus making it a perfect dwelling space for people looking forward to live a hassle-free, nature-friendly life.

To further contribute to the society, the self-sufficient dormitories also feature solar power rainwater collection tanks and compost toilets. Blending in with the pastoral aesthetic of the surroundings, a lofty yet willowy brick tower used as a water tank supplies water throughout the house. Protecting it from potent insects and reptiles, a moat burrows around the dorms.

Built in two phases, the house consists of two dormitories, one with a vernacular design approach built using locally available materials, and the other with an approach to reuse waste products.

A large vault provides a double roof for dorm 1 and gives it heat protection and rain water catchment. The walls are rammed earth and compressed earth blocks. Solar power is used and the grey water biological treatment system feeds the garden.

Dorm 2 involves a variety of recycled items, some of which are taken from what would go into landfill as part of the advocacy for zero waste in Auroville. The recycled objects include Tetra-packs as roofing and walls, paper mache flooring, chairs made of tires, a creeper frame of used petrol hoses, among other initiatives. The floor is built using concrete and styrofoam mixture, which makes the concrete a little lighter and ensures proper disposal of the styrofoam.

A spiral staircase leads us to the verandahs on the upper floors which becomes an interactive area where the residents can gather for evening discussions. The airy top floor of the dormitory which gives a magnificent view of the sunrise as well as the sunset, is used by the residents as a yoga deck or a communal space.

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