by Robert Such
Since the 1960s, architects have been drawn to the intentional community of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India, attracted by policies of self-sufficiency and ideals of spiritual development. Auroville has adopted an experimental attitude toward urban planning and architectural design, unfettered by building regulations. There are 24 architects currently working in Auroville, population around 1700.
Successor to the unrealized Ideal City in Hyderabad and Ompuri in Gujarat, Auroville was founded by Paris-born Mirra Alfassa, known to Aurovilians as the Mother. Although she died in 1973, her teachings and those of spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo continue to attract people to Auroville today.
Alfassa first sketched out Auroville's master plan in the mid-60s. Her plan resembled a simple flower, with each of four petal-like areas denoting a separate zone. She invited French architect Roger Anger to rework the master plan, and he drew up an iconic galaxy-shaped version. It took three decades to get the galaxy plan adopted officially. >>>
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...
Inge's House by Dominic Dube, an example of modern architecture in Auroville, India.
Photo: Robert Such
Galaxy-shaped master plan concept for Auroville, by French architect Roger Anger.
Image: Aurofuture Pictures Archive (Pino Marchese)
Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.