ivar showing kamlesh the participant's drawings

28.03.13 | day five building community iii

Today’s blog has been written by Himanshu Mam, a graduate of the University School of Architecture and planning – and a former employee of our mentor Revathi Kamath .

After spending a busy evening with some fulfilling live music followed by a lantern lit discussion on the roof top, the next morning light , promised a very important day wherein we were informed about the decision of constructing toilets as a part of the workshop phase. Hence, the old groups had new tasks , one dealing with toilet plans, another with toilet elevations, and the third one with the orientation. Soon after the briefing ended, there was a meeting with the labourers  followed by the orientation group visiting the site to finalize the setting.

Taking a short break from our work, we marched towards the house of one of the teachers – Gauri . Her mother in law’s house being the first one we visited was clad in adobe bricks , with some portions of fired ones for the strength. The cross ventilation of this house was a striking one, no wonder we just wanted to lie down on that big bed in the central room after relishing the tasty gujiyas being served to us. An interesting feature that was brought to our notice by Anshu, was the wooden beam running at the lintel level all around the building envelope that protects the structure during any change in the foundational setting… Then we moved towards Gauri’s house and we were welcomed by a sudden downpour that made us sit inside for a bit .

On reaching back home, we were introduced to Pankaj Khanna, an architect from Delhi who has been working for Development Alternatives for a very long time. We served him with lunch in our newly transformed blue courtyard. Well that was the tarpaulin saving us from the rains that started again!!  

Getting back to groups, we occupied the temple verandah, and began our thinking, sketching and refining all over again. The late evening saw a headlight pointed presentation which began with Belu’s group displaying alternatives for toilet plans, following which we witnessed a headstrong discussion on accessing the toilets, whether from the corridor side or from outside separately. Much on the part of awareness, a discussion on importance of having a shaft or a vent for pipes was crucial to our progress with the project as eventually the school will expand and an upper floor shall be built as well. Finally, all the three options were agreed to be workable, and we proceeded with dinner and hitting our sacks for a comfortable sleep after the long rainy day!