Primary Healthcare Center,Dharmapuri
Designed By -
Flying Elephant Studio,
Ar.Neha Gupta, Ar.Kiran Chandra, Ar.Rajesh Renganathan
This project, 20km west of Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu, lies in the
southernmost part of the Indian peninsula. With a low budget, the project serves
to improve healthcare in this hot and semi-arid rural region. The compact and
small-scale building distinguishes between a hightech medical core and a low-
tech surrounding layer. Construction was completed in September 2011, and is
reported to be functioning well.
• Strong focus is laid on the efficacy of simple and local materials, whose
characteristics are well-considered in their specific application.
• The roof consists of recycled tetrapak containers, base walls are made
of rubble stones,
• shade screens are manufactured using a local variety of vetiver grass
which is moistened to create an evaporative cooling effect during the
severe dry tropical summer.
• Rainwater is collected and used for water efficient irrigation.
• The Green And nature friendly building is the main feature of this project.
• Very low cost construction.
• Weather tight.
• simple and compact.
10. • Roof : the lightweight corrugated galvanized steel used as a shade roof.
The cost of conventional water/weather proofing over the lower
concrete roof is eliminated
• External frame : The unique portal type frames combine slender
65x65mm double steel angle sections that sandwich two structurally
profiled “shera” 12mm thick flyash cement fiberboards.
• Plinth retaining walls : These are clad with small stone boulders cleared
from the soil at the building site. The natural earth texture of these rocks
provides a maintenance-free plinth protection; a perfect visual foil which
absorbs dust / earth splash without looking “unclean”.
11. Use of local
The landscape plan uses vetiver cultivation for soil
stabilization at the terrace edges and also for future use in
making woven thatch mats. The project client, Mahalir
Aran Trust-MAT, operates a garment stitching unit within a
kilometer of the Primary healthcare center, which employs
local women who belong to a rehabilitation halfway home
also run by MAT. These can be manufactured locally by
MAT to replace existing panels after their expected usable
life of 3-5 years
Climatic Protection : This uses the aromatic vetiver grass
thatch mats as infill. A simple drip irrigation pipe is used to
wet the panels in the hot dry summer; lowering
temperatures and humidifying air passing into the interior
by evaporative cooling. The panels can be opened or
closed depending on the degree of climatic protection
required for the interior. The earth toned panels also filter
the abundant ambient dust prevalent in hot dry summers.
13. Objective of
The overall objective was to create an innovative prototype
modern building (inspired by traditional architectural elements
like the protective “verandah”) that would serve as a
benchmark for the construction of buildings in the local region.
By employing a “hybrid” construction team that consisted of a
core group of skilled craftsmen brought from a few 100km
away and local workers, a very high quality of workmanship
was achieved while transferring the expertise to local agencies.