In partnership with the Spiti Projects Charity, the Auroville Earth Institute has designed and built the Kaza Eco- Community Centre with key participation of villagers in Kaza and local earth craftsmen of the Spiti Valley. The centre aims to provide amenities for the community which are valuable for local cultural heritage, while providing access to certain essential facilities for health care. The following will be managed by various local cooperative groups:
An Eye clinic for testing and treatment of severe eye disorders due to high altitude UV exposure.
A Dental clinic with dietary specialists.
A Library for information on traditional culture, craft and medicine.
A Craft Centre and small shop for the traditional skill of hand-knit socks and shawls.
A Community kitchen and meeting hall for the practice of traditional dance and folk music, meetings, celebrations and festivals in winter.
Homestay facilities to make the community centre sustainable in the long term and to cater to the needs of local people from outlying villages who commonly walk >50 km to reach Kaza for the use of health care facilities.
Located in the remote Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India, the building, which consists of a stonemasonry foundation, raw rammed earth walls, and compressed stabilized earthblocks, has been designed especially for the harsh winter climate of Spiti. Trombe walls have been incorporated for passive solar heating of the building during the winter, and for a fully self-sufficient building which does not rely on imported wood as is commonly practiced in the valley. As the region is prone to seismic activity, extensive earthquake-resistant features have been integrated, hybridizing vernacular techniques and certain low-tech modern innovations to improve building performance.
The primary construction technique employed for the Community Centre is the traditional Spiti rammed earth technique (‘Gyang’), an ancient Tibetan building technology which is one of the truly exemplary living traditions of earthen construction still practiced in India. By introducing modest innovations into traditional building practices, the aim of the centre is to reinvigorate acceptance of these centuries old methods, and to demonstrate that the most sustainable, economical and thermally comfortable buildings in this climate… already exist.
In partnership with the Spiti Projects Charity, the Auroville Earth Institute has designed and built the Kaza Eco- Community Centre with key participation of villagers in Kaza and local earth craftsmen of the Spiti Valley. The centre aims to (...)