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Wood House Auroville

Auroville, India
Fabian Ostner House, Auroville.
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Fabian Ostner House, Auroville.
Fabien Charuau Photography

The wood House is a private residence of Auroville architect Fabian Ostner. The house was completed in 2013 and won the NDTV Design & Architecture Award for Climate Zone (Warm and Humid) in 2015. To go with the context the house is designed to have the least impact on the environment: it floats above the ground not blocking any water movement and at the same time protecting itself from all kinds of animals; the structure for the foundations is prefabricated and can – if ever needed – along with the house be almost entirely removed. The structure above is made of recycled wood bringing the beautiful old beams of tropical hardwood to a new use. The roof is built of Galvalum – a mix of Mild Steel with an Aluminium coating – and thereby easy to install, with low maintenance and a long live. No thermal mass to radiate the heat into the living spaces, large overhangs to protect from the intensive sunlight and the tropical showers.

All walls will be made of Wattle & Daub, a technique using just pieces of split bamboo, coir rope and a mix of earth and sand. We hope these will not only be immensely beautiful but also help generate a more balanced interior climate… Where there are no walls we will have french louvers with local wood and mosquito mesh adding to the simplicity of the house and allowing for a constant ventilation. The toilet waste will be collected and composted, all other grey water along with the rain water collected from the 250 sqm large roof percolates directly into the ground (all detergents used in the household are completely bio-degradable). The energy supply will come from – in the final stage – a 2KW solar system … And if we ever move then nature can completely reclaim the previously occupied space … a temporary presence on this ever-changing place.