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Aranya Housing by BV Doshi

Indore, India in the early 1980’s was facing a shortage of Housing. To counter this problem a rectilinear site of 86 hectares was designed to accommodate over 6500 dwellings, largely for the Weaker Economic Section. The Aranya Township was designed as a site and services project spread laid out in six sectors converging on a central spine.

One of the key elements of Doshi’s design was a hierarchy of open spaces that included small courtyards to be shared by three to four families, larger green spaces for each of the settlement’s six sectors, and a central playing field to serve the entire development.

The Project site had black cotton soil prone to shrinking and swelling with moisture. Small diameter shallow piles with poured concrete were used, which made for very inexpensive foundation.The Piles were cross connected at plinth level through concrete beams on which regular load bearing masonry walls rested.

Most of the plots were small in size and the houses were clustered in low rise blocks. The longer side of facade is north- south oriented to reduce the solar radiations on buildings during summers.The two openings provided on north and south facade permit natural light and cross ventilation.

Courtyards within houses, cul-de-sacs, public squares and small activity areas are sufficiently shaded by the adjacent buildings. Landscaping and green areas include flowering and shade giving trees with thick green ground cover.

We hope this article has been both informative and entertaining!

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