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Auroville Building Directory (ongoing)

A good data base is very important to building a new city like Auroville. Data allows us to analyse and track growth and trends.  In 2016, as a gift to Auroville being in existence for almost 50 years (2018), Studio Naqshbandi, came up with the idea to document each and every building of Auroville.

A partial grant from the Project Coordination Group, which selects suitable projects  and disburses money from Stichting de Zaaier (SdZ, The Netherlands) allowed us to start the basic research required for setting up the protocols for such a data base in soft and hard format. We came up with colour coding for each zone of Auroville and each typology of building, so that it is easy to analyse data later on. We also designed the presentation of each zone in a box with each data sheet which is laminated and bound with rings so that it can be easily removed or added to later on.

The aim is to create a flash card in A4 size which will have all the basic information : Location of building, Year of starting and completion, Project Initiators, Project designer, Project Builder, Project footprint, Project highlights – including typology, materials, innovations / experimentation, and one photo as well as any other specific information that is relevant to be recorded. We also record the area occupied by each community and overall footprint to study the overall urban pattern emerging.

This information is available in soft format for internal circulation within Auroville official bodies, which can then be linked to various other data sets like GIS, Building applications etc, or can be used to analyse building trends, materials usage, number of architects and contractors working within Auroville etc.

In 2017, we finished mapping and meticulously creating data for approximately 170 buildings of the Industrial zone. Each of this buildings history had to be extracted, sometimes in very time-consuming manner, from those who use the building currently or who remember the common history of each community.

In 2020, we finished the international zone (65 buildings) and the Mahasaraswati park area, which demarcates the area between the industrial and international zone as per Auroville’s master plan document.


AUTHOR: Mona Doctor-Pingel, Ipsita Mallick, Nitya Kalyanaraman, Nancy Agarwal, Trupti, Renuka Gupta, Geetika Tyagi

BENEFACTOR: Partially funded by Stichting De Zailer

YEAR: 2018-present



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