Shah Houses

Anupama Kundoo

Architects: Anupama Kundoo.
Location: Brahmanghar, India.
Photography: Javier Callejas.

Sangamam is located on the outskirts of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, in an area affected by environmental and social problems, including water scarcity, saline water intrusion, soil erosion and declining soil fertility, unemployment, and inadequate housing, educational and medical facilities.



Ketan Shah Plans
ks_aaks_abks_acks_adKetan Shah Elevations and Sections

Soil from the site has been laboratory-tested and found to be suitable for the construction of load bearing walls. The age-old rammed earth building technique is introduced in a more sophisticated form with cement stabilisation to achieve a better standard of finish, more strength and water-resistance, and enabling a quicker modular method of building. Five per cent of cement is added in the sieved earth to make the mass water-resistant, thereby significantly adding to the wet compressive strength of the material. A team of four labourers can produce a 23cm monolithic wall of 2.2m in length per day.


Roofs are built using terracotta filler slabs, bricks as jack arches, and conical hollow vault elements designed specifically to achieve an affordable solution with low environmental impact that is beneficial for generating local employment.


The low-cost housing scheme is provided with eco-friendly building infrastructure for rainwater harvesting and waste water treatments systems in a single water tank with 3 separate spaces.


Atul Shah Plans


Atul Shah Sections


Project team: Anupama Kundoo and Yashoda Joshi
Client: Auroville Housing Service.
Structural engineer: Dr. Ambalavanan.
Integrated water management: Harald Kraft and Aurofilio Schiavina, Kraft Associates.
Contractor: Auronirmata.