S H A R A N A M is a Centre for Rural Transformation, spread across 5 acres on the western outskirts of Pondicherry, South India and is serving as the headquarters of Sri Aurobindo Society’s rural development programme – SARVAM, active in the villages of western Tamil Nadu.
It has been designed to act as a hub for development programmes across India. It is a unique, modern, highly engineered and optimised institutional campus built entirely out of unfired earth from foundation to roof, to a precision of 1mm.
The primary building material is earth which came from the very site on which the buildings stand. It encompasses not only the ecological, climatic, technological and environmental aspects but also the cultural and socio-economic dimensions of development.
The goal of the project was not to build the building but to make the act of building a means of development. Hence S H A R A N A M Phase I – the first project of Aurospace – has been built without a contractor, where both architects, Trupti Doshi from Mumbai and Jateen Lad from London, themselves worked on the building site and trained more than 450 local villagers in high level building skills to build an inspiring campus FOR THEM, WITH THEM. It has been chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme as a model for Sustainable Development in India and has been widely appreciated in India and across Europe.