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Stone Casa

Aparna Dubey, Tejasi Joshi

A home in the city is a place where people return to after a long day’s work. It’s a place where one can find their calm in the otherwise chaotic exteriors. It’s a zone where you feel the most unfiltered, the most real.
The city of Mumbai is home to a vast public. In fact, the amount of people who call Mumbai their home is increasing over time. Being a metropolitan giant, this city has a lot to offer to its residents. It’s chaotic, it’s unpredictable. Yet there is something about it that draws hundreds of people to the city. It provides the people so many opportunities, big and small. It’s the financial capital of the country, having jobs, for both the rich and the poor. It’s the commercial centre of India, it has also been declared as the richest Indian city. The increasing population has also had its side effects- the traffic, the crowd, the noise and the pollution. In spite of all this no one seems to despise the city. It keeps people forever in love with it. Whether it’s about the vibrancy, the space, the good connectivity, entertainment, food, or the concrete jungle that it really is.
Being at Sanjay Gandhi National Park brings in a very close to nature feeling. It is a vast area spread across many kilometres. The Kanheri caves are situated uphill to the park. Sculpted by monks between the 9th and 1st centuries BCE, they are about 2400 years old. Made of Basalt cut rock, most of the caves were Buddhist viharas, meant for living, studying and meditating. The space found around the site is mainly the rock cut spaces in between the hills. Each cave has a stone plinth that acted as a bed. It also consists of a hall with huge stone pillars along with a stupa in the centre. The larger caves, which functioned as chaityas, or halls for congregational worship, are lined with intricately carved Buddhist sculptures.
Our users here is a pair of researches. They are the direct users of the site. They usually work all day, going about visiting different areas of the park. That is why living near their place of work is beneficial for them. Their work is mainly related to with studying and deriving information. People living in the village nearby earn by setting up small stalls of snacks for the people visiting. That is their source of livelihood. We have named our design “stone casa”, as the masonry style that we have used is Rubble stone Masonry. Casa means “home” in Italian. The use of stone in the design brings out the essence of the place where it is built, Kanheri Caves. The silhouette of the house goes hand in hand with the topography of the hills so the house looks like a part of the whole. It is a ground plus one structure, having work space for each researcher on the second floor. The living area has a recreational space where the users can unwind and take some time for themselves. The space is properly ventilated with windows placed after considering the direction of the sun and the wind.

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