God lies in details

This is a tale of an expedition we took in to the great Rann of Kutchh. Unlike our previous tours, we started this one with not so clear idea of what we would experience. In our architectural interest, we only knew that we want to visit Hunnarshala Foundation. So let me start this series of articles with Hunnarshala itself.

Hunnarshala foundation is a collaborative that works in building technology. It is a beautiful confluence of regional traditional knowledge and modern building science. The office campus itself is a laboratory of various materials and techniques. One finds use of beautifully detailed wood that is reclaimed from ships, thatch roofs laid over space frames, walls made of rammed earth, stones and bamboo and so much more. Here are some pictures to describe the God that we met here.

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Walls constructed out of rammed earth. Earth is set in to moulds that achieve 4″ wall height at a time. This renders a beautiful sedimentary texture to the wall. The vertical bright bands of tiles hide the electrical conduits and plumbing.

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Paving tiles made of earth as well.

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Staircase made of reclaimed wood. Wooden strips are held together through bolts. Second image shows the detail of superlative craftsmanship of the rafter.

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Thatch over space frame roofs the library of the office. The thatch made of rice husk is beautifully woven in to the space frame. The colourful wooden parapet wall acts as a backrest.

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Pause in the work space.

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Interiors of the office painted by the artisans from villages. Exteriors draped with traditional lippan work.

Hunnarshala extends its inspirational work through an educational program. But more about it in the next post. For further information on the foundation follow the link: Hunnarshala Foundation

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