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  • Writer's pictureKishan Thakkar

Aaranya Farmstay Resort | d6thD Design Studio

Project description

Project name: Aaranya Farmstay Resort


Architect: d6thD design Studio

Area: 502 m²

Year: 2019

Photographs: Inclined Studio

© Inclined Studio

Aaranya Farmstay Resort, located in Gujarat's rural settings at the edge of the Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary, is a shining example of sustainable tourism. Himanshu Patel's d6thD design studio created the resort in harmony with the principles of vernacular architecture, which are cost-effective and time-tested while embodying cultural relevance and sustainability.

© Inclined Studio

According to the resort's philosophy, the Earth has enough to meet everyone's needs, but not their greed. In terms of the ecology of this planet, this simple statement still holds the greatest significance.

The architecture of the Aaranya Farmstay Resort reflects the past while keeping the future in mind. In place of spending millions on the latest technology to create green buildings that few Indians can afford, the architect has opted for a simple, established, and honest solution provided by vernacular architecture. A harmonious and natural environment is created by the resort's seamless integration with the surrounding landscape.

© Inclined Studio

Among the resort's most striking features is its terracotta roof. This family home was built from terracotta, a material associated with many generations. It represents the image of nearly half a million Indian villages. Throughout the design, you can see how the terracotta roof plays a significant role in evoking an element of Indian architecture.

As part of the resort's design, the objective was to minimize its visual impact and response to its earthquake-prone location. As the cottages face north-south, the long surface minimizes heat gain and maximizes cross-ventilation and airflow from the adjoining agricultural field. Because of the heavy monsoon rains and summer heat of this region, the scale of the building has been kept grounded.

As this region experiences heavy rainfall in the monsoon and high temperatures in the summer, it is important to have a twin cottage plan with a hip roof. The sloping roof resembles a bridge connecting earth and sky. Externally, the elongated tiled roof creates a distinctive presence, yet it blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.

Internally, it protects the bedroom's visual privacy and the entrance foyer. Eventually, creeping plants will cover the entire roof, arising from the punctured roof and spreading across the tiled roof. One feels an inner transformation when one hears chirping birds in this space and smells flowers as soon as the roof becomes fully vegetated, and the building virtually disappears.

© Inclined Studio

Cottages were designed to look as though they were planted among the existing mango trees. There is a mango tree in the front yard and a bio fence constructed from shrubbery divides the more private cottage bedroom from the open farm. The inbuilt sit-out in the foyer, combined with the twisted sandstone column below the roof, creates a quiet refuge for contemplation.

© Inclined Studio

The resort allows guests an intimate interface with the outdoors where one would not need a book. Upon entering the building, one experiences the psychological assurance of security as well as the exhilaration of nature's proximity and exposure. Cottages are cozy and safe for guests.

A rubble stone-packed foundation, exposed natural sandstone walls, a brick dome with china mosaic on top, and a clay-tiled roof are old-fashioned construction techniques that make the cottages cost-effective and time-tested, as well as creating employment opportunities for locals, contributing to social sustainability and uplifting lives.

Besides its design and construction, the resort's commitment to sustainability extends to its operations as well. Using solar energy for lighting and heating helps reduce the resort's dependence on fossil fuels. A rainwater harvesting system at the resort also collects and reuses rainwater for irrigation and other non-potable uses. Resort guests are encouraged to conserve water and energy during their stay, and all waste generated at the resort is carefully managed and disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.

The resort provides guests with opportunities to engage with the local community and learn about its culture and traditions. There are pottery-making classes, cooking classes, and visits to nearby villages where guests can learn about local crafts and customs. Besides providing guests with a unique and authentic experience, these activities also promote cultural sustainability and contribute to the local economy.

In addition to its proximity to the Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary, the resort also offers guests the chance to experience the area's natural beauty and biodiversity. In addition to the endangered Asiatic lion, the sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. As part of its conservation efforts, the resort offers guests guided tours of the sanctuary, allowing them to observe wildlife in its natural habitat and learn about the importance of protecting the environment.

Aaranya Farmstay Resort is an excellent example of how vernacular architecture can be used to achieve sustainable tourism. In addition to providing guests with a comfortable and memorable stay, the resort also promotes social and cultural sustainability. The resort's design, inspired by local architecture and constructed using traditional techniques, seamlessly connects the built environment to nature. By using local materials, employing local labor, and utilizing sustainable practices, the resort is truly a responsible and sustainable destination.


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