Tatiba Baraibura lies in a remote and tribal dominated West Singhbhum district of the newly formed state of Jharkhand in India. Lack of social infrastructure and learning opportunities drive many people from the mining dominated countryside into the cities. In spite of its rich mineral base, the region is scarcely populated.
As part of their corporate social responsibility, M/s Nirmal Kumar Pradeep Kumar (NKPK) of Bihar Mines, want to set-up a community center that will serve 14 villages in and around a 10 -20 km radius from their mining site. The location for the community center has been carefully chosen along the road that connects these villages.
The objective of this project is two-fold: the first is to create a center for community development that includes a residential school, vocational training center and primary health center, focusing on enhancing knowledge and skills within the local population so that they can make the best use of their available resources.
The second is to create a replicable model of community participation that can be used for creating other social infrastructure in the region with the aim of strengthening their sense of identity.
The brief has three main programs namely a residential school for 400 students, a small medical center and aspace for vocational training.
Four thick parallel walls, built using locally sourced laterite stone give the space the building form. Aligned along the slope of the terrain, these walls define the structure and shape of the complex. The footprint is limited to 45 x 135 meters, leaving most of the site in natural condition.
The building is oriented along North-South axis and the roof has a substantial overhang in order to reduce the amount of sunlight received by the walls.The laterite walls also serve as the primary structure for defining the movement routes, open courts, and access to the complex.
The linear volumes between the parallel walls house various programmatic requirements like classrooms, student dormitories and general facilities. The light roofs float above the parallel walls, allowing cool air to flow freely between the roof and the ceiling, leaving walls with apertures as a possible facade.Controlled views of the landscape through staggered apertures are a feature of the plan. The interior quality of the complex is shaded, cool and airy, creating a shadowed oasis from the climate outside.
The proposal deploys low-cost construction making the most of local materials and skills, using the potential of the local community while adapting technology from the industrialized world in a simple way.
Laterite stone, which is abundant in this region, is chosen as the main building material along with a restricted palette of compressed earth bricks, structural steel truss, locally sourced wood and corrugated metal roof extrusions. Rough and untreated surfaces impart the character of the landscape into the building form.
The idea is that this center will serve as a standard and sustainable model that can be copied within the community and raise awareness about the merits of local materials and skills.