Taking the project “55 Riguad” by Bonhôte Zapata Architects located in Chêne-Bougeries, Switzerland this project proposes to relocate it to a warmer climate. Moving from Switzerland, a highly industrialized economy, the design moves the housing project to Kochi, a tropical city located in the southern part of India. Being a moderately industrialized economy, India is an ideal choice in terms of innovation, fabrication and industrializing construction techniques. Within the next decade, India is projected to be one of the leading countries in terms of modular design, prefab construction and industrialization. Therefore, this project sets standards for adaptive design and industrializing construction process.
While moving from a cold to hot, tropical climate one of the first design principle introduced was passive cooling, realized in various forms. Porous ventilated façade, open space apartment layouts and communal cooling spots or gathering areas are the main features proposed to help achieve principles of passive design.
Apart from the general architectural design proposal, the task of this specialty was to understand building as entities based on the interplay of structural, building envelope and services realm. By understanding this, the construction process of the building is achieved by assembling modular parts that are locally industrialized. The structural elements are assembled partly in-situ and partly prefabricated, brought directly from local factories.
Focusing on passive strategies, the construction of the project and the materials are chosen. Porous façade is the first layer that allows cross ventilation through the apartment and create cooling spots in the communal areas.
Locally sourced wood is used as the main building material for structure as well as decorative element by using to create the façade. Wood also used in the original project, proving a versatile material for different climates.
Other sustainable practices, such as rain-water and grey-water harvesting systems are also proposed for longer life cycle of the project, with provisions for future adaptations of infrastructure.
Wooden façade panels are designed to fold vertically allowing porous outer fabric. These panels facilitate cross ventilation and air flow through all areas of the building.
Gaps between the horizontal members in façade allow for summer sun to be blocked and winter sun to penetrate the living areas.