Farmers training center

The project is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, in Tiruchirappalli, which experiences high temperature and low humidity and is one of the hottest in the state. Surrounded by agricultural fields, Tiruchirapalli is an important educational centre which houses nationally recognized institutions such as IIMT, NIT etc along with the krishi vigyan kendra.

A Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is an agricultural extension center in India. These centers serve as the link between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and farmers, and aim to apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting.

The Saraswati KVK is used for training courses, research and development of environment friendly farming techniques.

Keeping in view that the land usage surrounding the built environment would mainly be farming, dairy & vermiculture, low lying built forms that merge with the adjacent areas have been proposed for all the three – administrative, hostel & staff quarter buildings. The built form makes only a minimal visual impact and the effort is made to have the work within and around these buildings dominate & not the buildings themselves.

The buildings are conceptualized as modules or blocks that are interconnected with open courtyards and corridors. The open courts & corridors create a cool envelope around the rooms with their play of breeze. Ventilation in the rooms will be at its peak, the walls cooled by being shaded from the deep overhangs, the hot air outlets at the roof level evacuating heat that would rise up. Corridors and open spaces built in the context of a training institute are integral for the centre to become a space of exchange and interaction throughout the entire campus.

The structure is a complementary combination of conventional and alternative construction techniques – with an RCC column and beam structure supporting the floating floor and roof slabs of the corridors and load bearing mud plastered walls supporting the clay tiled sloped roof of the rooms. Locally available materials and skills were used to construct these buildings. Foundations were made with granite blocks from a nearby granite factory for the random rubble foundations. For heat insulation and water proofing of the RCC slabs over the corridors, a mix of broken fired bricks, soap nut powder, jiggery and lime were used as fillers over which a layer of reflective ceramic tiles were fixed. Easily available Palmyra wood was used by local crafts men to make the rafters for the sloped roofs.