URBAN DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE
Size: 29 Acre Hillside Site - Mixed Use Residential Development
Environmental Technology: Soil Erosion Control, Passive Light/Ventilation/Cooling, Passive Solar Heating/Water Heating, Grey Water Separation, Solar Photovoltaic Electricity System, Farm to Fork Organic Landscape, Hydroponic System, Advanced drip irrigation controls
Apostrophe Team: Shivjit Sidhu (Principal Architect), Mohammed Wadkar (Project Architect), Supriya Patil, Nivedita Meher
The site is located on a sloping parcel of land extending from the lower reaches that are part of one of India's most respected Vineyard. The site experiences the typical 'Mediterranean' climate suitable for growing wine. The parcel is 30 acres located close to Nashik, the grape capital of India.
PROCESS / CONCEPT:
The clients wanted to extend hospitality and residential facilities to the existing vineyard. The functional program would remain intact. The design mandate was to create 'Modern Barn' that would achieve the highest level of sustainability.
Apostrophe A+uD created a design strategy that emerged from the site;
With large parts of the site located on steep slopes, placement of site elements became paramount to the design strategy. Relatively flat land was primarily used for landscape (organic vegetable farms, gardens, terraces) and architecture was assigned the purpose of acting as slope retaining devices.
This allowed the buildings to be located at the edge of 'cliffs' ensuring great views over the valley. Further, the buildings could house service elements in the void space under projecting terraces for sewage treatment and water harvesting.
Project elements were sequenced with hospitality on the lower slopes and the villas on the upper slopes to allow greater privacy for the large gatherings of people expected at public events.
This included the design of a large forecourt that could act as a function area / farmer market / art event space.
Parking is arranged on several terraces separated by 6' level difference. The edge between parking lots is constructed into long hydroponic greenhouses that grow organic vegetables. These greenhouses span across the approach road and act as ceremonial gates as visitors enter the site.
Landscape strategy also emerges from the site topography. The primary forecourt is a large plaza with waterbodies - these act as part of the biological grey water recycling system. All landscape follows 'Xeriscape' principals of native plant species that are part of the natural ecosystem and are drought resistant.
Gardens vary from large collective landscapes to hiking trails and small terrace outcroppings suitable for intimate contemplation.
Ultimately, the overall sustainable aspects and the constructed aspects of the project had to reconcile. We took the approach of creating the buildings in CNC shaped metal frame structures with cladding of multiple insulated layers and wood veneer finish.
This allowed the site work (foundations / infrastructure) to be 'handbuilt' on site while the super-structure could be shipped in and assembled without causing greater damage to the site.
Villas were designed with an upper floor that could cantilever and 'pivot' from the lower floor. This allowed the building to be sited with respect to the site topography for minimal impact but be oriented to views and climatic conditions at the upper level.
Beyond standard building management / security / communication systems, Apostrophe A+uD created an integrated tool for sustainable agriculture that controlled hydroponic and farm applications that were climatically programmed and responsible to farm operations.
The project created multiple levels of un-programmed space for the scale of the individual and family to large cultural / community events.