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Architect:- Balkrishna Doshi

Location:- Ahmedabad, India.

Date:- 1979-81
Building Type:- Architectural + Planning Offices & Research
Construction System:- Vaulted Roofing, Brick column,
Climate:- Hot & Dry
Sangath means moving together through participation.
• The purpose of this complex is to encourage
activities in the fields of fine and technological art.
The complex hopes to provide for occasional
demonstration and exhibitions in the fine arts . Spaces will
be provided to study crafts, architecture and built
Architecturally, it is an attempt to build spaces
suitable to the climate and develop structure and
form which can evoke local ethos.
The Guests will be invited to stay, work and
discuss their views on cultural needs.

"Sangath" is a design laboratory where

professionals from diverse disciplines are invited to
explore new visions, concepts and solutions
integrating arts, crafts, engineering
Sangath to see that each individual in the coming
millennium is benefited from its visions and design
Building Description
The sangath complex is located west of ahemdabad
city on the edge of the countryside.
The building complex called "Sangath" has a total floor
space of 585 square metres
It is located on a flat 2425 square metres site on the
fringe of Ahmedabad in India.
The complex is an ensemble of vaulted and flat roofed
buildings of differing heights juxtaposed(put side by side)
at a number of varying angles and arranged around a
large, terraced entrance court.
The court contains a fountain surrounded by split
level pools
The two units facing the entrance court rise to a triple
height and house an architect's office, conference room,
lounge, and service area on the ground floor.
Building Description
Conference room
Accounts Design Studio

shops Stair UP
Meeting Enginners
Doshi room
Lounge Court Office



Entry area fountain

Recycled glazed mosaic

tile chips; vaulted roofs
divided for extra light
Terraced court leading to
main entrance areas; split
level fountain, vaulted roofs
Building Description
First and second floors house the Vastu-Shilpa
Foundation and guest area.
Pantry Court
Vastu Shilpa

Guest House DN

Vastu - Shilpa Foundation Court




Service Design studio Road
Accounts Court
Entrance Court
Section A-A


Lounge Conference
Section B-B

Building Description

Side entrance, angled walls

Mosaic tiles, shuttered



Building Description
Some of the buildings have been sunk below ground
level so that certain vaulted roofs rise only to eye level.

Main entry area; flat and

vaulted mosaic tiled roofs;
sunken areas with glass block ceiling lights.
The entire complex is contained within a walled
rectangular area.
• The design studios are housed in a double height
volume surmounted by two vaults; between them lies a
flat roofed area that permits light to enter the end-walls of
eacn vault.

It is an office and the vastu-shilpa foundation, which

serve as a centre to encourage research activity in
the fine arts and technology.
Design and Construction
The architect sought to express his ommitments and
values concerning the relationship between culture,
• energy, tradition and architecture in the design and
construction of his office.

The vaulted form used at first minimally was later

developed and extensively to relate to Indian sensibilities.
The vaulted roofs, separated by lower, flat surfaces
,were designed to make the best use of natural light.
The pools were developed as a natural cooling system
Mosaic tiles ,purchased as waste material ,were used as
an inexpensive means to reflect harsh sunlight and thereby
reduce heat absorption.
Design studios with
smooth floors and
• rough textured ,vaulted
ceiling interiors.

Modern interiors
Ferro-concrete cavity vaults with high insulation values
are used on upper floors. Infill is brick masonry and
• facades are either mosaic tile or cement plaster.

Decoration is based on construction materials with the

exposure of shuttering impression on concrete ceiling
contrasted to smooth, red oxide cement floors.
The structural system is post and beam with re-inforced
concrete slabs.
All material and the 60% skilled labour force were of
local origin Re-inforced concrete was cast on –site.

In order to ward off the acute housing

shortage in Indore,The low cost housing
project at Indore, named Aranya (meaning
forest), is an innovative exercise undertaken
by the Indore Development Authority (IDA),
with the assistance of the World Bank & the
Housing & Urban Development Corporation.
The site of Aranya Township is located on
the Bombay- Agra highway, about 6km north of
Indore’s City center.
Conceived as a mixed development primarily
intended for the urban slum dwellers of Indore.
This rectilinear site measuring 86 hectares is
designed on the idea of site & service basis, to
accommodate over 6500 families (dwellings).
The township was planned to accommodate
initially a population of 40,000, which is likely
to rise to 70,000 eventually, thus achieving a
gross density of 461 to 808 persons per
The development scheme provides for 7,271
mixed- income housing plots, ranging in area
from 35 to 475sq mts.
Objectives of the Township Project
Creation of an integrated human habitat-
suited to the lifestyle & cultural background of
the people.

Site & Services approach- to serve,

primarily, the economically weaker sections
(EWS) of the society within a balanced matrix
of other income groups.

Blending within the urban fabric of Indore-

retaining a unique & distinct identity of its own
within which various social & economic activities
can flourish.
Objectives of the Township Project
Proposal in terms of income distribution ,
plot sizes, requirements for various facilities
& amenities- to enhance the land use, market-
ability & project surplus & to establish the
framework for qualitative improvement of the
built environment in a manner which takes into
account the corresponding physical, functional,
technological, & financial constraints.
Vitality- Development to support socio-
physical aspirations of the community.
Imageability- Built form to impart identity &
inculculate a sense of belonging among the
Objectives of the Township Project
Equity- To create equitable balanced
community with satisfactory levels of
environmental qualities & opportunities for all.

Efficiency- To realize development that

optimizes nature, material as well as human
resources to the advantage of the user group.

Flexibility- To evolve framework that absorbs

with the ease the progressive change & growth
as a part of natural development process.

Feasibility- To ensure development within

given legal, fiscal & organizational milieu.
Planned in the tradition of an Indian

Clarity in various hierarchies- related to

levels of accessibility, to achieve human
scale & imageability- essential for the
vitality of the settlement.

Grouping of various non-residential

activities- to create a focus.

Incremental expansion of houses for

EWS by themselves- to stimulate the self-
help principle within the community.
Deep plots with maximum possible
foundations & partition walls- to economise
on the resources & to reduce the road
lengths & service lines.

Clustering pattern of Plots- reduces high

density while encouraging social interaction.

Avoiding Segregation- to achieve a

balanced mix of various income groups.
Planning Checklist
Based on the evolved hierarchies a
comprehensive checklist of desirable design
considerations was compiled as follows:
(i) Planning at the Township Level
Focus to the Township.
Overall cohesion of different areas &
Formation of an environmental area by
discouraging through traffic.
Incorporation of all basic community &
institutional facilities.
Placement of community & central
facilities within easy reach.
Planning Checklist
Provision of well ordered hierarchy
Provision of well ordered hierarchy of
open spaces.
Provision of well ordered hierarchy of
commercial spaces.
Provision of design population densities
to accommodate future growth.
Ensuring that overall land use &
marketable areas reflect economic
planning in the Indian context.
Planning Checklist
(ii) Planning at the Sector Level
Maintaining context with the land.
Using natural features & landmarks
construand efficiently.
Reflecting the local, historical
characteristics in the built form.
Encouraging interaction & integration
amongst income/ social groups.
Fostering a viable community at each
Promoting multiple & overlapping land uses.
Planning Checklist
Segregation of Pedestrian & vehicular
Optimizing land use, roads & other
Provision of a sense of boundary to each
Provision of local facilities within easy
Provision of well distributed open spaces
for various activities.
Provision of defined entry points &
discouraging through vehicular traffic.
Planning Checklist
(iii) Planning at the Community or the
Street Level
Promoting person to person contact
through cluster of human scale.
Providing individual character to each
Creating a functionally sympathetic & a
aesthetically pleasing street environment.
Provision of spaces for social & religious
Promoting income generation at cluster
Planning Checklist
Providing all essential amenities & utilities
to every street.
Defining clearly each cluster’s territory &
the sense of entry.
Having regards for pedestrians.
Optimizing cluster patterns for economic
infrastructure provision & easy access.
Aranya Low-Cost Township
Indore, MP (1981-1990)

B.V.Doshi, Vastu-Shilpa Foundation, Ahemedabad.

Planning Checklist
(iv) Planning at the Dwelling Level
Making the dwellings sensitive to the
lifestyle & the daily needs of the people.
Giving each unit, a rich, unique identity.
Integrating the spaces within & outside
the dwelling.
Maintaining privacy within & from outside
the dwelling.
Considering orientation, light, cross-
ventilation, etc for natural climatic control.
Planning Checklist
Allowing for vertical & horizontal
expansion of the dwelling in the future.
Providing rear- access for sub-letting
bicycle, cattle etc.
Study the efficiency of plot sizes, walls,
foundations & internal circulation.
Using appropriate materials &
construction methods.
Make the dwelling simple & economic to
encourage the self-built approach.
Planning Checklist
(v) Planning the Sanitary Services
Ensuring full privacy to the W.C. & wash
Providing safe & adequate sanitation for all
Considering the environmental impact of
the sanitation core.
Integrating the sanitary facilities within
the dwelling.
Making the sewage system adaptable to
alternative treatment/ disposal methods.
Planning Checklist
Considering energy conservation & the
recycling of waste.
Radically streamlining the services to
reduce costs & ensuring easy maintenance.
Proposing economic planning of services,
structure, sub- structure & cores.
Design Evolution
Design Evolution
The settlement is conceived as
agglomeration of 6 self contained
Their size & organization incorporates all
the neighborhood facilities such as schools,
medical centres, shops etc. in appropriate
quantities to sustain community life.
Topography of the site was important
determinant in planning roads & other
service networks to maximize use of gravity
flow & minimize cut & fill of land.
Master Plan Evolution
Master Plan Evolution
Master Plan Evolution
Master Plan Evolution
Master Plan Evolution
Built form of the town centre raised
above that of the other structures- to
accentuate its visual impact as a node.
The linear town-centre, consisting of 4
clusters of shopping, residential & office
complexes, is located such that it is within a
10-min walking distance form the remotest
part of the site.
Each of the four clusters of the mix land
use has large shops on the ground floor,
facing the spine, & smaller shops &
workshops facing the courtyards.
Master Plan Evolution
Hierarchy & Distribution
Hierarchy & Distribution
Hierarchy & Distribution
Hierarchy & Distribution
Open Space Typology
Open spaces are interlined to form a
pedestrian network connecting the whole
The open spaces at the township level
consist of a formal playground & public
spaces along the bazaar.
At the sector level the open areas are
organized in the middle of each
neighborhood as a continuous space,
providing easy pedestrian access from each
sector to the town centre.
Open Space Typology

Sectorial Green or Pathways

Open Space Typology

Sectorial Green or Pathways

Open Space Typology

Public Squares or Nodes

Open Space Typology

Public Squares or Nodes

Open Space Typology

Cul de Sac - Clusters

Open Space Typology

Cul de Sac - Clusters

Open Space Typology

Service Slots
Open Space Typology

Service Slots
Circulation Network
Road network- connects the town centre but
discourages traffic with staggers & twists.

Converging of roads & open spaces at the

central spine-To highlight the spacial

Non rectilinear alignment of streets with

varying widths, bends & widening are provided
to accommodate range of spontaneous human
Circulation Network
Circulation Network
Circulation Network
The formal street network draws the
vehicular traffic outward to the perimeter
road while pedestrian traffic on the informal
pathways & open space network flows in the
opposite direction achieving clear & safe
segregation of slow & fast moving traffic.
Circulation Network
Path & Linkages
Path & Linkages
Path & Linkages
To avoid strict segregation of various
income groups & to foster community feel,
mutual interdependence between various
income groups have been combined &
arranged in concentric rings of plots of
diminishing sizes.

Bigger plots at the periphery of each

sector- to provide vehicular access.

The smaller plots are centrally placed along

with public facilities & have pedestrian

Sector Plan
Each dwelling has its own compound &
territory, which encourage social interaction
& supports a way of life of the user group.
Like mohallas of traditional towns,
dwellings are grouped to create small cluster
spaces in a form of short streets, or cul-de-
sacs or open squares.
Dwellings are oriented north- south &
arranged as row houses so that minimum of
incident solar radiation will be absorbed by the
At Aranya, variations in, entrances,
staircases, verandah, balconies &
fenestration, within the standardized
layout, help each house gain a unique
These variations not only enrich street
façade, but also help user express their
This arouses a sense of belonging in the
user, essential to the healthy development
of any living environment & its subsequent
Commercial Services
Various commercial activities, social
amenities & utilities are located all along the
open spaces at sector level, resulting in an
even distribution of these facilities
throughout the settlement.

For identity, access equity & cohesive

functioning the commercial, community &
recreational amenities, required for all, are
located in a linear spine in the centre of the
settlement while convenient shops & other
neighborhood facilities are dispersed to be
accessible to walking distance.
Commercial Services
The service slot has been integrated as
design element breaking the continuous built
mass & becoming useful play area for
children with platform for neighborly

The hierarchy of commercial activities

coincides with the street hierarchy.

Formal commercial outlets are along major

arterial roads while informal shopping areas
occur along narrow streets & open spaces
throughout the settlement.
Commercial Services

Sector Plan
Commercial Services
Service Infrastructure
Service Infrastructure
Service Infrastructure
Service Infrastructure
Service Infrastructure