The international panel of judges, chaired by German architect Thomas Herzog awarded the gold medal to the project by RMA Architects for completed projects by professionals, for the 10th International Prize for Sustainable Architecture organised by Fassa Bortolo in association with the University of Ferrara.
The project by architect Rahul Mehrotra from RMA architects is a residential village for 100 elephants and their mahouts ( caretakers). The project?s fundamental element is water ? a precious resource due to the desert climate and essential for the bathing ritual that facilitates the emotional bond between elephants and their mahouts. So, the first design strategy of the architects was to structure the whole area ? a former sand quarry ? and create a series of watercourses and reservoirs to harvest and store rainwater. The landscape restructuring followed this and the site was seeded to propagate local plant species; the project then defined the low cost housing units, thans, which are arranged in clusters around common courtyards to create a sense of community amongst the mahouts.
Project: RMA Architects
Location: Ambra, Rajasthan, India
Images courtesy of Fassa Bortolo, © RMA Architects ph. Carlos Chen, Charles Garcia, Rajesh Vora,