Location: Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
Cost: Rs.1.6 Crores ($300,000)
Area: 20,000 Sft.
Client: Hope Foundation
Team: Sreelakshmi Gupta & Ruchi Patel
From 2003 to 2009 we worked with Hope Foundation, a local non profit
agency to build four Centres of Hope and a total of eight buildings. Three
of these centres were built for communities effected by the tsunami that ravaged the east coast of India in 2004. These buildings were all built on very tight budgets, with local contractors, using simple cost effective building techniques.
We worked with Mark Templar, Ian Correa, Samuel Thomas and Gimms Andrews from Hope, a wonderful set of local contractors - M. Manimaran and N. Ramesh and a great engineer, M. Rajendran. These were nice buildings to do with some incredibly committed people.
Given that all these buildings were built within very limited budgets (on
an average around Rs.700 (/sft) we were forced to consider what was truly
indispensable - settling often for a careful articulation of structure and choice of material to establish the aesthetic of these buildings. In hindsight, these early projects have informed our practice in fundamental ways. We continue to approach our work with a certain pragmatism and resist the ever-present temptation to be willful or capricious.
This school is adjcent to a large tsunami relief housing colony and the clients wanted to make this institution a ?marker? within this context. We laid the building out along the edges of the site reserving a large portion as playground and designed a vertical element to physically locate the school from within the housing colony.
Built on a tight budget, we were fortunate to have the services of an exceptional local contractor who delivered high quality finishes (including polished in-situ terrazzo and kota floors). To save costs we used locally available materials and simple construction systems. The buildings are oriented to channel the natural breezes and shield from the glare. Broken china mosaic has been
used on the roofs to help insulate the floors below from the heat.