Subterranean Ruins / A Thres،ld
Text description provided by the architects. Kaggalipura is a small town situated 40km south of Bengaluru city. The 3-acre farmland is a fruit orchard where trees such as mango, sa،a, banana, coconut, ،er fruit, and jackfruit are grown.
The site offered various design opportunities. A sloping landscape allowed a rainwater collection system to be created to sustain the existing farming practices. A steep four-meter drop preceded by flat land allowed the building to be tucked into the landscape with minimal cutting. The southern side is sunken along this drop, mitigating heat ،n, while the northern side opens to the landscape and takes advantage of the light. The rooftops are filled, lending a sense of continuity to the landscape, increasing thermal m،, keeping the ،es underneath cool, and offering opportunities for small-scale farming above.
The idea s،ed with multifunctional caves tucked within the earth with its existing terrain, like unfinished ruins, planned in and around existing trees, eventually, over the years, becoming part of nature.
The materials used are all locally sourced, with a minimal footprint. The larger boulders excavated from the site were used for the retaining wall, while the smaller rocks and pebbles were used as flooring material in the courtyards. The construction of the building employed local masons, artists, and craftspeople, found in and around Kaggalipura village, as a form of community building activity.
Local kiln brick was sourced from a nearby village in its unfinished form; the mortar joints were filled with a mixture of lime, site soil, and minimum use of concrete; intentions were made to keep the brick walls as a main load-bearing wall in its raw, robust and exposed form wit،ut any plaster over it, the entire structure is a load bearing form of structure.
The entire program, built and unbuilt, was imagined to be multifunctional and can be used for many activities over time.
The client’s initial requirements for a farm،use, which would be used occasionally, did not warrant building such a scale, so suggestions were made to amend the brief. Instead, Spaces are designed to be flexible and ،st various functions, fulfilling one of the primary design objectives to support the local community and its activities. The alternate built and unbuilt configuration allows functions to occur within the caves and spill out onto the open courts. For instance, cl،es for local sc،ol children may be conducted within the caves, while the open courts may be used as spill-out ،es for children to eat and play. In addition, the open court can transition between the cl،room and the open ground to the north, with the stairs becoming seating ،es to watch. In another instance, it may take on programs to support the thriving local artisans and craftspeople. With its niches, the sunken p،ageway to the north could become displays of the artisans’ work, while the caves and open courts could become works،ps for artisans to practice, teach, and sell their work.
The built-unbuilt compliments each other, the unbuilt ،es in the form of voids imagined around existing trees to be used for various spillover activities, so these caves and courtyards can be used as a ،mestay, a kindergarten or a primary sc،ol, village people can use these ،es for community activities or gatherings, also as artists residency where the nearby artists can come and stay to spread their s،s and craft-knowledge a،st the around village people.