I would continue writing about Hunnarshala Foundation in this post. So let me start where I left. As I mentioned earlier, Hunnarshala works towards building technology that is rooted in regional culture and knowledge yet has a modern scientific approach and eclectic aesthetics. Hunnarshala has successfully proven its principles through numerous projects – of which, we had an opportunity to visit two. However I would write about them a little later. What appeals to me is that their work does not stop at their projects. They are working towards building guild of crafters and artisans who can independently reach out to many more places to execute and spread the philosophy.
The foundation runs a school where they teach students the craft of building. Spanning over two years, this course is designed for school dropouts, children of local craftsmen and artisans. Workshops are set for practical training. In-fact, the students’ residential campus in itself is a live on-going project that is built by the students as part of their training. Here are some photographs that explain the students works.
The hostel campus. On the extreme left are some sample walls constructed by students. The structure displays all the techniques of constructing floors, walls and roofs in bricks, earth, wood as well as cement.
Fence made of bamboo, dung and earth casts interesting shadows. Earth imparts a very soothing warm texture to the fence. Figurines of animals are made that gives curious appeal to the otherwise mundane fence.
Face of an elephant or Ganapati the elephant god in adorns the fence
Impressions of all the tools cast into the floor of the dining area
A dome made of bricks covers the corner junction of two corridors and the eye-shaped opening beautifully lights it up.
Roof made of mud rolls. A wooden baton is rolled into layers of mud and jute to form rolls of optimum length. These are laid over the rafters and are used for ceilings. Roof coverings are made of ceramic tiles or thatch.
Windows made of wooden louvers that offer the best control over wind and light in hot and dry desserts like Kutch. These windows definitely show the supreme level of craftsmanship and finesse achieved by the students.
This is the most intriguing part of the hostel. The staircase.
One flight made of wood and other in brick. Still wondering how to climb??
I could not help taking just one more picture before leaving the campus.
The students those have passed out of the school are practicing independently as well as with Hunnarshala. They have built their own teams and extend their services outside Kutch and Gujarat too.
A very inspiring experience indeed.