An initiative taken by the Architecture studio to work on projects to serve the common denominator of population brought together a group of social organisation (Aide-Et-Action, France & BVLF, Netherlands) and the design team. The issue in hand was to address the needs of seasonal workers and children migrating to brick making kilns in Andhra Pradesh. Laws exist to protect migrant workers’ basic rights to housing and other entitlements, but in practice the invisibility of seasonal migrants leaves them vulnerable to spending half of their lives in testing conditions where basic services, civic amenities, safe environments, entitlements and rights are lacking.
Honorable Mention | RTFA 2014 Awards
Category: Mixed Use Built
Participant Name: Saketh Singh
The project began by understanding a grid of complex issues effecting the outcome of the design solution such as current living conditions, social fabric, Caste discrimination, Climatic conditions, government and local authorities, local material and construction, industrial practices, safety and financial feasibility. The obvious solution was to rework on the planning of the brick making sites, giving consideration to the needs of the workers. The solution was specific to hot dry climates and adaptable by brick kiln owners.
A design programme was written down as a guideline. The physical infrastructure need was broken down into housing, sanitary facilities and a early child care centre. Contradiction the current practices all the facilities were clubbed together to create a cluster acting as a community pods. Each pod would adapt to its own micro conditions defined by the users. A typical configuration of the pod has 11 dwellings, a health/recovery centre, child learning facility, community/recreation space, Nutrition gardens and cooking yards. The project solved issues relating to safety of children in many forms like easy access to education places, protection from harsh weather throughout the day, protection from dust and smoke pollution on site, access to toilets, mid day meals and personal safety.
Construction of the housing was taken up by the user of the community pod, As a strategy to create self learning within the user community. Onsite training in construction technique like cavity walls, mud mortar walls and mud plastering was provided. Local material such as clay, Red earth and un-burnt brick were adapted to keep construction more sustainable and cost effective. As the housing is temporary and adapted seasonally it made sense to have a very low ecological foot print on the site. Each community pod was build at the cost of 220,000 Rs/- and within a construction period of 21 days.