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LIVING ON THE EDGE-AGARIYA COMMUNITY | Arrchtiectural Sheets

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Archi Display Festival 2020 Entry 155
PROJECT BY: RAVI SHAPARIYA
 (@ravi_shapariya)
COLLEGE: Faculty of Architecture,SCET.
YEAR OF STUDYING : Practicing Architect
CATEGORY : Institutional
PROJECT TYPE: Studio Design Sheets
PUBLISHED BY: Archipedia

ABSTRACT (ARCHITECTURAL CONCERN) Salt is linked to loyalty in our culture and there is a famous adage that one has to prove his or her loyalty to the person whose salt is consumed. For a consumer its just a small amout of money where the real struggle lies with the producers of it, to the AGARIAS – Our salt makers. We are only able to consume this salt as the salt farmers give up their days and nights after farming of salt. Some of them are believed to be in the profession of making salt since pre-independence era.  During the process of making salt, their feet get extraordinarily thin and harsh causing adverse impact on their health. These workers are forced to live in extremely painful conditions. More importantly, after their death, the whole body is cremated but one has to bury their feet as it does not get burned.Covered in an abrasive coating of salt at work place, their life expectancy is reduced drastically.
The most influential people contributing to our society are relegated to the fringe of society that is the Marginalized community. Living far away from their homes, they work hard in pain till death. Very likely to be subjected to multiple layers of discrimination, these communities are deprived of all their rights. The pinch of crystal without which we cannot outlive is their whole divinity. The Agariyas’-Spending more than half of the year in the extreme weather conditions, they thrive to get basic necessity. Agaria community is one of the India’s poorest communities whose children hardly go to schools. The community also remains unemployed for about four months due to the land being submerged in water and salt making process is stopped. The entire family undergoes equal amount of struggle, being their women away from all the happiness, their children away from education. Moreover, subjected to the climatic conditions, health issues are the most common thing raised here. Despite of all the stumbling blockages, they will be back every year working with these same salt pans. My journey started with these observations, feelings for these people that there is such a community which is living in these harsh conditions.
The connection between architecture and society is obvious as it is something for the people other than ourselves. These buildings as a social and cultural product are influenced by the ideas, value, belief, activities, relationships and forms of the social organizations that they sustain. Developing an education center, health care and a community center influence the society and its organization as well as human behaviour. They are resulted from social needs and accommodate a variety of functions- social, economical, political, educational, religious and cultural. These developments will often promote social inclusion and offer a secure environment for children. It is intended to stand in with the traditional and local architecture of this area.
The spaces maximizes natural light and passive ventilation which allows to respond to its unique site conditions. They have an evolving and lasting effect on the community around them. This project will demonstrate solution to the problems faced by the community. The human condition is made as much of satisfying basic needs desiring a better life. The analysis and studies have been considered in such a way the structure will be created with greatest impact. The people will have an opportunity to take a stone to signify their willingness to actively fight against all the odds. The process of making architecture itself will be an act of justice as it evolves on the basis of local conditions. This project is an attempt for uplifting the Agariya community by an education center, community center and a health care center in Kharaghoda Village of Gujarat. The contribution for the community is all about belongingness, its all about the people.
These spaces being a ‘place’ to assemble will be the nucleus of the village. Celebrating all their festivals, day to day activities, they will start looking this as their ‘happy’ place- as a place where they will feel empowered. As an Architect, of course there are some limitations in terms of economy, but as a building maker they can be helped by Transforming their apathy into happiness and empower them. This is like an OASIS in a dessert which quenches the thirst of the people. Many simple and effective techniques can be carried forward by them even in their houses, so over a period of time the entire area will have an effect of the design.
This is the effort of sensibility which can be done for them. This is the intervention, which should be taken into consideration.
ARCHITECTURAL & CONCEPTUAL STRATEGIES
The socio-economical need, health issues and cultural practices of the Agariya`s drive the program for the village. The study and analysis suggest incubating Intuitions purposed with uplifting the community in the realm of social infrastructure as a need of an hour. With the same concerns, Educational center comprising school till higher secondary education with research laboratories for Salt production testing; Community center comprising skill development center with workshops, open courts for ancilary activities and shops where in Health care centers for preliminary health care facilities and emergency response wards are proposed.
I strongly believe that the hope of creative community lies in the environment they belong to. A stable mind can do anything being the master of body. It is necessary to stimulate the pshyce of community in deteriorating environment to make them productive and creativity. The tool of architects are spaces in this context. The approch carried out for the project is to strategise spaces in response to the intengible aspirations of community and creating opportunities to nurter. The sites locations for proposed inserts are identified with a concern of cerating a spacial center for the village, an extended “padar” or “Chowk”, which can represent cultural practices of community. Approach in locating sites are creating anchors for the village.
The sites also respond to the current activity patterns of villagers, their daily habits. The edges of the all three sites are kept partialy permiable to encourage activities on streets and chowks connected to sites. Permiabilty as a master plan strategy not only encorage street activities but also encourages activities in institutes as it creates an visual opportunity both ways. The Architectural strategies are formulated considering the Climate and the culture. Both these aspects are reflected in the space planning and architectural language in all three projects. Multiple courtyards of different scales are used in space planning responding to the harsh climatic conditions and considering cultural aspect as activities accomodaters. These courtayards are formed by building units and trees, provides necessary shading in harsh sunlight. The unit design reflect climatic consideration by using passive solar techniques such as sloping roof creating escape route for hot Air and jali at plinthlevel for cool air.
Apart from that use of loveres as a protection from dust in harsh winds, Cacb block made in local mud and bamboo in ceiling are utised as climatic consideration. As a cultural belief of local women that they don’t only do “Shringar” to themselves but also to the buildings. This aspiration are reflected in the colums. Courts and habitable area connected with corridors design such that these can be utilised at otta, creates opportunities of extended activities from habitable area. The village also suffer from shoratge of energy and resources. The village does not have electric supply and also the fresh water source. These constraints are considered as design strategies by designing roof creating opportunities for solar panel installation and also by rain water harvesting by collecting water in open water tank and diverting in percolation well.
These tools are proposed in Education center. Architecture Language –
IDENTITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Design of a space bears responsibility over broad range of effects, which also help us to specify not only the appearance of the building, but also the intentions on space identity. Identity can be defined as self-expression, uniqueness, or a definable individual entity. The differences between the intended and perceived space identity occur leading to degrading of space. A town should be a symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past. The quality of public spaces reflects the quality of life style of a place. The tendency of the people coming and staying in such spaces occurs of ones are filled with other people. People itself are the main factor that engages other people to be a part of the urban fabric. It should be envisage as a ‘space for people’, the proposal should aim to serve the village by providing awareness, knowledge and learning amongst the society.
In the developing country there are many communities which are unknown to many of us but they have been an important part of our lives in one or the other way. Creating identity for the community is addressed by necessity for better living and reflecting cultural significance to deploy belongingness. The project demonstrates a smooth hierarchy of covered, semi covered and open spaces. The two major elements of architecture that are courtyard and Otta has been used. Along with the activities, the courtyard also evokes the micro climate within the building. These spaces are identified and used in multiple functions that is learning, leisure and socializing. Otta being the characteristic element in dessert architecture is used as an extension in courtyards and is related with the local activities of the village. Thus the sensitivity towards the community lays the foundation of the project.
Architectural interventions are done preserving the essence of the village. As women beilief about decorating their buildings, the traditional decorations are reflected on the walls and pillars bringing close to their life realities. These impressions/carvings assure belongingness of individual to the space. The thesis is an attempt on elevating a community eliminating all the negatives. These social changes will uplift their lifestyle ushered by their traditional beliefs. As a builder of the society, Contribution is made understanding the sensitivity and culture and provide right environment with right intervention. This project will demonstrate solution to the problems faced by the community retaining its identity.