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Client: June & Jehunde

Year: 1999-2001

Location: Auroville, Tamil Nadu

Built Up Area: 88 m²

Type: Residence & Psychotherapy Office

Team: Mona Doctor-Pingel, Batul Raj

Structure: Mona Doctor-Pingel

Contractor: Ramiah Adiari + Vellapaudi Acchari

Photo Credits: Noble George

‘Andang’ is located within Yantra Community, in the Industrial Area of Auroville. It is designed as a residence with a psychotherapy office. ‘Andang’ means ‘a pleasant place’ in Korean, since the  clients were  a Korean psychoanalyst and a German philosopher. Their brief asked for a dome for the psychotherapy office, as they desired a room that would evoke a womb-like phenomenon. They wished to avoid any arched openings and emphasized that the building should be low-maintenance, insect-proof, practical, and make use of xeriscaping (gardens with zero watering). The existing canyon and indigenous trees were respected and fortified so that the architecture would be in harmony with the landscape.

The brick dome is an experiment of a ‘dome without ring forces’, inspired by architect Gernot Minke who has made prolific use of such dome structures throughout his long career in Germany. The domes form is achieved by a rotating steel guide, made locally and is dismantlable. This particular shape of the dome results in all the ring forces concentrating at the centre of the 21 cm brick section, thereby removing the need for a ring beam or heavy supporting walls or buttress to support the large span.

The flat rooftop terrace is constructed using a system of precast concrete beams with Cuddapah stone slabs laid on top. Brick bat lime concrete and china mosaic forms the final waterproofing layer and heat-reflecting surface.

To read more about the project, see article.


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