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R.I.M.T.

- COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE

STUDY ON

Auroville…

SUBMITTED BY:
SUBMITTED
BY: Chetan Verma
Arshdeep Singh
Ar. Monica
Bansal Shikha Khatter
Satpreet Kaur
Lakhvir Singh
What is Auroville?
Auroville is a universal township in the making for a population of up to 50,000 people from around the world.
How did Auroville begin?
The concept of Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity - came to the Mirra Alfassa as
early as the 1930s. In the mid 1960s the Sri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry proposed to Her that such a township
should be started. She gave her blessings. The concept was then put before the Govt. of India, who gave their backing
and took it to the General Assembly of UNESCO. In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as
a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.
Why Auroville?
The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity– in diversity. Today Auroville is recognized as the first and only
internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness,also concerned
with - and practically researching into - sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual
needs of mankind.

When did Auroville start?


On 28th February 1968 some 5,000 people assembled near the banyan tree at the centre of the future township
for an inauguration ceremony attended by representatives of 124 nations, including all the States of India..
Where is Auroville?
Auroville is located in south India,mostly in the
State of Tamil Nadu (some parts are in the State of
Pondicherry), a few kilometers inland from the
Coromandel Coast, approx 160 kms south of
Chennai (previously Madras) and 10 kms north of
the town of Pondicherry.

Who are the Aurovilians?


They come from some 35 nations, from all age
groups (from infancy to over eighty, averaging
around 30), from all social classes, backgrounds and
cultures, representing humanity as a whole. The
population of the township is constantly growing,
but currently stands at around 1,700 people, of
whom approx one-third are Indian.

History:-
Auroville was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa,
known as The Mother. She was a disciple of Sri
Aurobindo, a yoga guru. She believed that this
experimental community would evolve humans by
bringing a more advanced consciousness called the
supramental. The Indian government endorsed the
township, and in 1966, UNESCO, the United
Nations' cultural organization, passed a resolution
endorsing the project.
In the inauguration ceremony attended by delegates of 124 nations on 28th February 1968, the Mother gave Auroville
its 4-point which are as follows:
1.Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville,
one must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
2.Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
3.Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from
without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
4.Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human
Unity.
The Matrimandir:-
•In the middle of the town is the Matrimandir, an unfinished golf-ball-like giant globe covered with golden discs.
•It was conceived as "a symbol of the Divine's answer to man's inspiration for perfection.“while approaching, "silence is
compulsory”.as this place is for meditation.

•Radiating from this centre are four "zones" as indicated by The Mother: the "Residential Zone", "Industrial Zone",
"Cultural Zone" and "International Zone". Around the city area proper a so-called "Green Belt" has formed through
rigorous and steady rehabilitation of the land, which includes farms and forestries.

MATRIMANDIR
Government, belief system:-
•Auroville is governed by the Auroville Foundation through an act of the Indian Parliament.
•The Foundation, fully controlled by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, currently owns about half of
the total land required for the township.
Society and population:-
•Although originally intended to house 50,000, the actual population today is 1,829 (1,398 adults and 431 minors),
752 of whom are of Indian origin.
•The population has been described as "middle-aged men with ponytails and tie-dyed T-shirts, riding motorbikes.
They are from 38 countries, and have "given up their lives at home to come and live in what is a real-life Utopian
project.
Economy
•Paper and coin currency is not used in Auroville. Instead, residents use electronic cards which connect to their
central account. Visitors, however, are allowed to pay in cash.
•According to Auroville Today, one has to be "able to save the substantial amount required – of the order of Rs 15
lakhs (approximately US $ 35,000) upwards – to start a life in Auroville".
•Residents of Auroville are expected to pay a monthly contribution, and are asked to help the community whenever
possible, by work, money or kind according to the guidelines laid down by The Mother.
•"Guest contribution", or a daily fee payable by the visitors of Auroville, constitutes a part of Auroville's budget. There is
a system of “maintenance” (salaries), whereby some Aurovilians are supported by the community.

Location:-
•Auroville is composed of a cluster of properties some 12km north of Pondicherry.
•It can be easily reached via the East Coast Road (ECR) which connects Chennai and Pondicherry.
• The visitor center and Matrimandir can be reached by traveling eight kilometers westwards from the signposted
turnoff at the ECR.
•Turning east leads directly to Auroville Beach, several hundred meters away.
•A real example of community living, gradually flourishing, Auroville is conceived as a ‘Universal Town'.
•This is a place were people with different nationalities, beliefs and culture live in harmony.
•The main feature of this city is that many countries constructed permanent pavilions, which reflects the customs,
beliefs and culture of their countries.
•Really a Universal town, the populations speaks different kinds of language, nearly 50 languages are spoken here.
• A major draw here is Matrimandir, a modern architectural marvel, with a globe as high as 30 meters and have lotus-
shaped foundation urn.

The dot at the center represents Unity,


the Supreme,

the inner circle represents the creation, the conception


of the city:-

the petals represent the power of expression,


realisation.

AUROVILLE SYMBOL
Evolution of the urban form

1965 Mother's sketch

•In her 1965 sketch of Auroville, the Mother laid down the basic concept for the town. This sketch delineated all the
important activity areas that would fulfill the vision of making it a universal township.
•The concept was as much practical as it was visionary and the way in which it is fitting in with today's international,
national and local way of seeing things is quite striking.
The international zone was relocated towards the west, the residential zone to the south, the cultural zone to the
east and the industrial zone moved to the north.The creation of the Auromodèle and Aspiration communities near the
village of Kuilapalayam was also approved.
Around them other communities came into existence. They not only became residential areas, but also came to house
small handicrafts units.

1966 nebula 1967 emergency galaxy 1968 galaxy

History of farming in Auroville


• Reforestation and farming were practised from the beginning of the Auroville community, in 1969.
•Two of the agricultural communities founded fully grown farms Auro Orchard (60 acres) and Annapurna (135 cares).

Production over the years:-

•The following graph summarises data available for key crops from before the AVFG. Realizing that the Auroville
population was around 400 people in 1980/81 the amount produced per capita was far higher then than it is now. At
this stage, farmers were still pushing production in whatever could be grown, irrespective of the community needs.
Long term trends in food production

60000
COCONUTS
50000 GUAVA
PAPAYA
40000
BEANS (CLUSTER)

Kg
30000 BRINJAL
CUCUMBER
20000
LADY FINGER

10000 SPINACH
CAPSICUM
0 Total
1981 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002

INAUGURATION CEREMONY:-
Forty years ago, on February 28th, 1968, the bare, concise and yet far-reaching words of the Charter of Auroville were
read out in French by Mirra Alfassa in Pondicherry, and broadcast live. Charter was read in 16 languages, in the
following order: Tamil, Sanskrit, English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese,
Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Tibetan.
Five thousand persons gathered around an amphitheatre on a barren, almost treeless plateau in south India.
They were gathered for the foundation ceremony of Auroville.
Nearby, only a lone banyan tree stood in an expanse of dust and sun-baked earth...
The late Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi described Auroville as:

An exciting project for bringing about harmony among different cultures and for understanding the
environmental needs of man's spiritual growth.
• Autryville is situated 150 KM from Chennai and
about 15 KM North of Puducherry

• It can be easily reached via the East Coast Road


(ECR) which connects Chennai and Pond cherry

• There is no public transportation


within Auroville
Secondary
roads
Outer ring
road

crown
road

tertiary
road
Road Network:
• Auroville's road network consists of
access roads, which are tarred but
narrow and not well maintained and
connect the East Coast Road and
Tindivanam-Pondicherry road with
village settlements, internal gravel
roads, footpaths and cycle tracks.

• Most of the internal roads are of a temporary nature giving access to residential
communities and public facilities.

• The gravel roads are about 10 m. wide.

• The total length of roads within the designated township


area is 23.7 km.

• The existing road pattern is comprised of one circular


road around the centre of the township and another semi-
circular road passing along the periphery (outer circle) of
the designated area of the township.
• The gravel roads are about 10 m. wide.

• The total length of roads within the designated


township area is 23.7 km.

• The existing road pattern is comprised of one circular


road around the centre of the township and another
semi-circular road passing along the periphery
(outer circle) of the designated area of the township.

• The surface of the internal access as well as circular


road has intentionally been kept as gravel to allow
percolation of rainwater for re-charging the aquifers.

• Geometrics of the major linkages to the township both


from the East Coast road and the Tindivanam-Pondicherry
road, as well as of the internal roads, access and
approaches need to be improved.
Auroville town plan basic distances:
Four zones of auroville:
18.3 %= 94 hec

15.9 %= 81 hec

14.1 %= 72 hec

20.0 %= 102 hec

30 %= 153 hec
Residential Zone:
• The residential zone is located to the south

• The largest of the four city zones, comprising of 189


hectares.

• The Residential Zone is bordered by parks on the


north, south and west.

• Main access to the zone will be through the crown


road with further traffic distribution via five radial roads
that divide the zone into sectors of increasing
densities.

• This zone wants to provide a well-adjusted habitat


between individual and collective living.

• 55% of the RESIDETIAL area is green and only


45% built surface

• The Residential Area comprises both village


settlements and Auroville community
settlements.
Housing Characteristics
Construction
Material Area of Unit (sqm) Total

30 - 70 80 - 150 160 and above

Local material 111 59 31 201

Ferro - cement 122 165 69 356

Tiles 56 70 20 146

Concrete 11 27 26 64
300 321 146 767
Cultural Zone

• The cultural zone to the east

• Planned on a 72-hectare area, situated to


the east of the Peace Area,

• The Cultural Zone will be a site for applied research in


education and artistic expression.

• Facilities for cultural, educational, art and sports activities will


be located in this zone.

• Permanent cultural pavilions for each


country and also for each State of India are
an important feature of Auroville activities.

• One will experience in these pavilion, the


aesthetic sense and culture of the country
in a living manner.
Green Belt

•The city area with a radius of 1.25 km. will be surrounded by a


Green Belt of 1.25 km width.

• Includes organic farms, dairies, orchards, forests, and wildlife


areas.

•This belt will act as a barrier against urban encroachment.

•Serve as a source for food, timber, medicines etc. and as a


place for recreation.

•The Green Belt - though incomplete - stands as an example of


successful transformation of wasteland into a vibrant eco-
system.

•Acts as lungs for the entire township.

Rural landscaping urban landscaping


INTERNATIONAL ZONE AND CULTURAL ZONE

• The international zone was relocated towards the west


The International Zone :

• International Zone perhaps presents


the smoothest road in terms of its
development.

• The existing buildings in the


International Zone are :-
Bharat Nivas (soon to be
restored to its rightful role as the
Indian Pavilion),
Savitri Bhavan,
The Tibetan Pavilion,
The Guest House of the
American Pavilion
The Unity Pavilion.
This last will be "very important"
says Sergei

• Oroville will also have an International


University, perhaps the first in the world,
established specifically for world unity.
The Industrial Zone :
• The industrial zone Is located to the north .

• The concept of Auroville's Industrial Zone is changing into an Economic Zone, one of three economic zones
in Auroville

• It has the most canyons; it has low-lying waterlogged lands; it has excellent farm-lands.

• The rich soil in its environs has been under cultivation for generations, giving rise to the neighbouring villages of
Bharatipuram and Alankuppam.

• The Zone provide employment to Aurovilians than to employees coming from outside, and hopefully,
it also have industries there that exclusively cater to the needs of Aurovilians.
Site section of auroville :
The crown area :
• Interconnected flow of urban spaces - 4.4 kms length

• Provides an harmonious binding element for all four zones of the city.

• defines and guides the new way of mobility in an urban area.

• Back bone for infrastructure –mobility ,water , energy ,telecommunication etc.

• Community / public buildings.


Guide lines forgrowth of crown area

• The ground floor of the building to


be 3.50 m and the total building
height not exceed 10.0m.

• The ground floor could also be


only visually connected at 3.50 m
Path can be linear and buildings on either side and not necessarily have 3.50 m
as floor height of the building .

• In order to be able to maintain


curvature of the crown , the
uninterrupted running length of the
building to be restricted to a
maximum of 20 m or alterntively
to design the building form in
The entire building can be in the extension area accordance to the inner curvatrue
Leaving all the other area to organise the
covered pathways • .Building material should be
selected with a view to project a
consistent language to the crown
building .

• The ground floor of the buiding


should have much open space for
circulation which can be in the form
of colonade , poaticos etc.
The path can wind around the building or cut
Through the buildings in any which way keeping
the continuity of the path and not leaving any
space .
Water Supply • The entire water
supply both for
drinking and irrigation
is dependent on
underground
sources.

• A number of deep wells


have been commissioned
over the last 30 years and
today there are over 130
wells, of which 60 wells
give a significant output.

• They can together provide


an average water supply of
3800 cu.m. per day,
amounting to 1.4 million
cu.m. annually.

• Auroville is however located


in a district where the ground
water situation can be
described as 'critical' since
nearly 90% of the recharge
potential is utilised. It therefore
becomes important not only to
increase the recharge rate but
also conserve and recycle
water.
• The drinking water usage of about 4.5 million litres/day for domestic, industrial and gardening
purposes is considered excessive and measures are being taken to bring it down to reasonable urban
standards.

• The distribution system consists of decentralised pumping units and storage reservoirs, numbering about 60. Of the
latter, one large overhead reservoir has a capacity of 1.5 lakh litres and 8 medium-size low-level tanks range in capacity
from 10,000 litres to 40,000 litres.

• At present the rainwater runoff from roads and paved areas is diverted to the canyons, where a system of check dams
helps in storage and recharge of ground water.
WASTE WATER TREATMENT

• The first waste water recycling solution


developed were simple inexpensive
combinations of septic tank and soakpit.

• Later European funds enabled the CSR to


research and develop planted filters also
called constructed wetland or root zone
treatment systems .

• Currently Auroville has over 40 water


treatment system of small to moderate size
many using horizontal or vertical planted
filter beds and also using baffled tank
reactors , biogas plants and at least one
living machine.

• Recently Auroville has been researching


effective micro-organism technology to
improve system performance .

Waste water treatment plant


Solid waste disposal
•Solid waste disposal is managed by the Eco Service, which was started in 1995.

• It is estimated that about 3500 kg of wastes are generated per week.

•About 2000 kg. of this quantity is organic and generally composted at the site itself.

• About 1000 kg. is recycled and the balance of 500 kg is incinerated in the Health Centre at 800 °C.

•The non-recyclable wastes of 400 to 500 kg, like rubber items, thermocole, fibreglass and PET, and storage
batteries are stored in a temporary storage facility until an acceptable disposal solution is found.

•This waste disposal management has been made possible by the introduction of segregation of wastes at the
source.

Sewerage and Sanitation:

• All residential units have their own system for sewage


disposal.

•There are about 20 community-level treatment facilities (for residential as well as


industrial and commercial units) consisting of septic tanks, Imhoff tanks, baffle
reactors, and root zone and lagooning systems.

• The latter, numbering 22, are of experimental nature, and a study has been taken
up to test their efficacy in delivering waste water that will not pollute the ground water.
Power:

•Auroville consumes about 1.75 million kilowatts of power/year from two


TNEB feeder stations, one in Kalapet and the other one at
Thiruchitrambalam.

•The total connected load is 3.17 megawatts, of which 1.5 megawatts


are domestic and the rest is for industrial and commercial purposes.

• About 150 houses use solar PV electricity and heaters for their
energy requirements.

• In addition, there are about 140 solar water-pumping systems and 30


wind-driven pumps.

• The power distribution of around 600 consumer connections is carried


through a system of 28 distribution transformers and 30 km of
underground cables.

Biogas

• CSR developed India's first prefabricated biogas plants in


ferrocement and subsequently improved on its design.

• It now installs biogas plants inside and outside Auroville.


COMMUNITY SOLAR KITCHEN:

•The Plaza complex houses the community kitchen and


other facilities required for the inhabitants, particularly
those of the Residential Zone, and includes a department
store, library, restaurant, communication centre and
multipurpose public space.

• This complex is located in the Residential Crown.

Solar Kitchen Bowl

• Here it forms the main link between the four zones,


connecting the public services in each zone.

• On the inner side of the Crown Road there will be a


complex of buildings not more than 10 meter high and 20
meter wide, while on the periphery there will be a
continuous boulevard.
•The complex will integrate several eco-friendly practices-
water harvesting, waste treatment and use of alternative
energy.

• The solar bowl on top of


the Solar Kitchen, which is
already installed and
functioning, is one of the
largest in the world and it
provides energy required
for cooking meals for 1000
persons at a time in the
community

kitchen 1 - SOLAR KITCHEN 7 - PEDESTRIAN BOULEVARD


2 - CROWN ROAD 8- SEMI PAVED AREA
3 – PARKING 9 - PLAZA COVERED
4 - POUR TOUS - FINANCIAL SERVICE 10 - PLANNED GREEN AREA
5 - MEDIA CENTRE AND LIBRARY 11 - MAHALAKSHMI PARK6 – EXPANSION
6 – EXPANSION
AUROVILLE & SURROUNDING VILLAGES :-

•Auroville's relationship with the neighboring Tamil


villages has always been recognized as an important
aspect of the city's growth and development.
•One of the very first institutions established in Auroville
was the Health Center in Aspiration.
•The center has a small maternity wing and provides
allopathic and homeopathic treatment, dental surgery,
acupuncture, and massage. Services are freely
available to local villagers.
•Two branches have been set up in other locations, and
trained village workers are employed to visit the villages
and provide aid and advice.
•In 1984 the Village Action Group was formed to
further develop communication and integration with the
villages.
•Aurovilians working with the local population have
developed programs for family planning, health,
sanitation, day and evening schools, and training and
apprenticeship in crafts.
AUROVILLE & SURROUNDING VILLAGES :-

•There are six centers in Auroville working with the villages.


•Isai Ambalam is a cooperative employing 300 villagers with a primary school for 100 village children.
•It is also the headquarters for the Village Action Group.
•New Creation is a training and production unit for pottery, weaving, carpentry, stone craft, and construction
trades with a primary school for 125 children.
•Ilaignarkal is an after-work school for Auroville workers and a boarding facility for integrating village youth
into Auroville.
•Arul Vari is an evening program in physical and general education for about 50 children.
•Vanakam is a small hostel for children.
•Arul Anandam is a primary school for 25 village children.
AUROVILLE & SURROUNDING VILLAGES :-

•Auroville's relationship with the neighboring Tamil


villages has always been recogn ized as an important
aspect of the city's growth and development.
•One of the very first institutions established in Auroville
was the Health Center in Aspiration.
•The center has a small maternity wing and provides
allopathic and homeopathic treatment, dental surgery,
acupuncture, and massage. Services are freely
available to local villagers.
•Two branches have been set up in other locations, and
trained village workers are employed to visit the villages
and provide aid and advice.
•In 1984 the Village Action Group was formed to
further develop communication and integration with the
villages.
•Aurovilians working with the local population have
developed programs for family planning, health,
sanitation, day and evening schools, and training and
apprenticeship in crafts.
AUROVILLE & SURROUNDING VILLAGES :-

•There are six centers in Auroville working with the


villages.
•Isai Ambalam is a cooperative employing 300 villagers
with a primary school for 100 village children.
•It is also the headquarters for the Village Action Group.
•New Creation is a training and production unit for
pottery, weaving, carpentry, stone craft, and
construction trades with a primary school for 125
children.
•Ilaignarkal is an after-work school for Auroville workers
and a boarding facility for integrating village youth into
Auroville.
•Arul Vari is an evening program in physical and general
education for about 50 children.
•Vanakam is a small hostel for children.
•Arul Anandam is a primary school for 25 village
children.
LANGUAGES SPOKEN :-
•Official languages of Pondicherry are French, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
•Status of each languages varies differently with respect to each district.
•When communicating between districts of different languages, generally English is used for convenience

1.Tamil: Language used by the Pondicherry Government, especially used when communicating within and
between the Tamil majority districts of (Pondicherry and Karikal) along with issuing official decrees.
Also the official Language in Tamil Nadu state.
2.French: It is also the official language of Pondicherry Union territory.
It was the official language of French India (1673-1954) and its official language status was preserved by
Traité de Cession (Treaty of Cession) signed by India and France on 28 May 1956

• FRENCH

LANGUAGES • TAMIL
SPOKEN
• TELUGU

• MALAYALAM
COMMUNITIES:-

•The present `community' of Auroville consists of


nearly 80 settlement of varying sizes, separated
by village and temple lands.
•The activities of the inhabitants are multifarious,
and include affrestation, organic agriculture,
educational research, health care, village
development, appropriate technology and
construction, small and medium scale
businesses, town planning, cultural activities and
community services.
•Today Auroville is a community of just under
1,500 people, drawn from nearly 30 countries.
•There are 13 villages in the immediate Auroville
area, comprising about 20,000 people.
•The approximate total for the larger area
around Auroville is 35-40,000.
•Of this total, some 4-5,000 are employed by
Auroville
•The communities are spread around the area and concentrate on certain activities (listed by their names):

1. Aspiration (education, health and activities of the village)


2. Aurelec (computer science)
3. Fertile (reforestation and agriculture
4. Forecomers (agriculture)
5. Fraternity (art community working together with the local
Tamil communities)
1. Meadows (reforestation and agriculture)
2. Nine Palms (reforestation and agriculture)

General information
Total population : 83,580 (G.O.I. Census figures as per 2001)

Description of population: Mostly "gounder, vanniar" caste (a most backward caste) and harijans.
Small farmers, skilled and unskilled labourers, fishermen. The entire area has been certified "backward
and in need of development" by the Collector of South Arcot District in 1984, but is rapidly improving.
The impact of the development of Pondicherry and Auroville is noticeable.

Information on some villages

(Lists the G.O.I. census figures as well as the village's relationship to Auroville and projects undertaken by the
Village Action Group)
NAME OF THE POPULATI TYPE DESCRIPTION
VILLAGE ON
VILLAG
E
1. 2,369 Of •Gounder caste, very few harijans. Mostly skilled and unskilled
Edayanchavady Revenue labourers and farmers.
village • Udavi School, youth club strong, new women's club, Auroville
health sub-centre, two night schools and one health worker.
•Toilets and kitchen gardens established.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School,
selected as model village under the scheme of HUDCO.
2. Kottakarai 669 Of •Farmers, skilled and unskilled labourers.
Revenue •Co-op society, night school, library, Trickle-up programme
village (TUP).
• Many children attend Isaiambalam crèche and school.
•There is an Auroville health sub-centre, community health
workers, toilets, kitchen gardens and afforestation projects,
active youth and women’s club.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
3. Ambethkar 533 Of •The Dalit settlement (outcaste) of Kottakarai village, placed
Nagar (Kottakarai scheduled directly opposite.
colony caste •Little cooperation between the two.
colony •Landless labourers used to work for large landlord.
•Many young men have joined Auroville.
•DANIDA well project, TUP, women's club, youth club and night
school.
•Toilets have been constructed and the village has local health
practitioners.
•Installation of hand pumps.
NAME OF THE POPULATI TYPE DESCRIPTION
VILLAGE ON
VILLAG
E
4. Alankuppam 1,240 Of •Pondicherry State village.
Revenue •Facilities include veterinary service, library, street drainage,
village ample water, health sub-centre with trained staff nurse and a
High school.
•Contact through youth club, sports club, day school, and night
school.
•Kitchen gardens and local health practitioners.
•Installation of hand pumps.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
5. Annainagar 470 Of •. Dalit settlement at some distance from Alankuppam; also with
(Alankuppam scheduled many benefits from Pondicherry State: loans, harijan housing,
colony) caste etc.
colony • Night school,Youth club, kitchen garden and local health
practitioner and a very active women’s club with the help of
whom an overhead tank was constructed by AVAG and AV
Health centre.
6. Sanjeevinagar 1,369 Of •Prosperous village, with Pondicherry state advantages.
Revenue •Big toddy liquor shop of the area here.
village •Encouragement to local dramatists (best in area).
• Night school and women's club.
•Organic farming trial plots, kitchen gardens and local health
practitioners.
•Mohanam cultural centre, youth club.
•Installation of hand pumps.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
NAME OF THE POPULATI TYPE DESCRIPTION
VILLAGE ON
VILLAG
E
7. Rayapettai 617 Of •Agricultural village with many working for Auroville.
Revenue •Half population is Muslim, half Hindu.
village •The Hindu section is socially conscious and active, Muslims
have a separate sangam, but their children come to the Hindu
night school.
•Long lived youth club and night school.
•Toilets and kitchen gardens.
•Women’s group. Installation of hand pumps.
8. 770 Of •Distant from Auroville, primarily agricultural.
Rayapudhupakkam Panchayat •Rayapettai is actually a hamlet of this village.
village •Contact through development works, night school teacher,
woman health worker and farmers of ecological agriculture.
•Auroville health sub-centre, kitchen garden and local health
practitioner.
•Women’s group and youth club.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
•Installation of hand pump.
9. 957 Of •Dalit settlement of Rayapudupakkam.
Aravindhapuram Schedule •Noted in the area for its many members who have taken
caste advantage of assistance for harijans and become professional.
colony •Good contact with youth club, women's club, community health
worker and night school.
•Toilets, kitchen gardens, afforestation projects and local health
practitioners.
•Income Generation Programme for Women.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
NAME OF THE POPULATI TYPE DESCRIPTION
VILLAGE ON
VILLAG
E
10. Thuruvai 810 Of •Elders participate with youth in "sangam" along with panchayat
Village & Dalit Schedule members and president; village helps colony.
Settlement caste •Pilot tree planting project successfully carried out here.
colony •Contact with sangam, library, youth club, community health
worker, night school, sport.
•Organic farming trial plots, kitchen gardens, afforestation
projects and local health practitioners.
•Active women’s club in Dalit settlement.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
11. Irumbai Village 570 Of •A quiet village. Site of an ancient temple.
& Dalit settlement Schedule •DANIDA well project, youth attend Village Action Group
caste seminars.
colony •Women's club, community health worker, small night school.
•Local health practitioners and kitchen gardens.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.

12. Morattandi 1,016 Of •. On Madras road near Auroville community of Promesse.


Village & colony Schedule •Govt. re-housing for harijans.
caste • All Aurovilians living in Promesse participate in the Arul Vazhi
colony project with village children, conducting kindergarten and
evening programmes.
•Night school and eco-club, youth and women's club, village
reading room, health sub-centre, community health worker,
toilets, kitchen gardens, afforestation projects and local health
practitioners.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
NAME OF THE POPULATI TYPE DESCRIPTION
VILLAGE ON
VILLAG
E
13. Kuilapalayam 2,256 Of •Closest to Auroville settlements.
Revenue •Handicraft & production units, Bank, Post Office, Auroville
village Health Centre, New Creation school for village children, training
centre.
•Crèche, night school, day school, workers education
programme.
•Women's club, toilets and kitchen gardens.
• Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
14. Lakshmipuram 350 Of •Hamlet of Kuilapalayam.
Schedule •Population included in Kuilapalayam above.
caste •Includes many carpenters living around the carpentry co-op;
colony depends on Fraternity for water.
•Drama group.
•Good contact with Village Action Group.

15. 2,102 Of •. Large village.


Bommayapalaya Panchayat •Division in leadership makes village organization difficult.
m •Night school, crèche, youth club, women's club, community
health workers, toilets, kitchen gardens, afforestation projects
and local health practitioners.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.

16. Gandhinagar 476 Of


Panchayat •Harijan colony of Bommayapalayam. village.
•Night school building. Toilets and kitchen gardens.
NAME OF THE POPULATI TYPE DESCRIPTION
VILLAGE ON
VILLAG
E
17. Periya 813 Of •Seaside village not far from Pondicherry.
Mudaliar Chavadi Revenue • Many educated youths, night school, reading room,
village community service days etc.
•Good contact with Village Action Group.
• Kitchen gardens and local health practitioners.
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.
18. Chinna Mudaliar 812 Of
Chavadi Revenue •Seaside village. Community health workers.
& •Kitchen gardens started by Village Action Group.
Fishermen •Youth club in fishermen’s community.
village •Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.

19. Pillaichavadi 1,350 Of •. Distant seaside village.


Revenue • Youth club, women's club, micro projects, kitchen gardens and
village local health practitioners

20. Mathur 1,490 Of


•Agricultural village, quite remote.
Village & Schedule
•Night school, community health workers, kitchen gardens,
Colonies caste
afforestation projects and local health practitioners,Women’s club.
colony
•Supplementary education in the Government Primary School.

21. Kalapet 980 Of •Pondicherry seaside village.


Revenue •Site of large scale industrial development:
village •Youth club, women's club and local health practitioners.
SALIENT FEATURES :-

•At present many cultures intervene upon an environment that


is rural, set in southern India.
•English is heard in many accents - French, Italian, German,
Tamil, American, Bengali, Russian, Korean, etc; sometimes
even British.
•One can wake up at 6 am to village music and go for a ballet
class at 9.
•Have sambar for lunch and work on the computer till 5 pm.
•Discover that the motorbike has a puncture and either push it
for two kilometers through the forest till the next workshop or
find a bullock cart to take it in to Pondy.
•In the evening there could be a talk on Future Poetry or the
Vedas.
•Or one could go to a jazz concert, hear a rock band from
Chennai, a Dhrupad recital, Bauls from Bengal, or Bach.
•There could be an all night theatre festival in the village,
Waiting for Godot at the auditorium, or a dance performance in
a temple lit up magically with lamps.
KINDERGARTEN SCHOOL , AUROVILLE :-

•ARCHITECT : Suhasini Ayar


Guigan
•Eco-friendly low-cost construction
tecniques and simlpe passive solar
features of a Kindergarten School
in warm , humid climate
•This school has been designed for
Sri Aurobindo International Institute
of Educational Research for
approx. 60 children between the
age of 3 & 6 years.
RECESSED WINDOWS , EXTENDED ROOF FOR
•Funded by the Ministry of Human SHADING WALLS & WINDOWS , VENTILATED ROOF BY
Resource Development , Govt. of MEANS OF SPECIAL TILES DESIGNED FOR ESCAPE OF
HOT AIR
India , the school has been
designed to create an ideal
learning enviornment through play
space.
PASSIVE SOLAR FEATURES :-

•The classroom have load bearing walls


of earth and left with a natural finish.
•However, the lintels , which is a shading
device cum beam to support the tile roof
, are painted in different colours thus
enabling the children to identify with their
group space.
•The colour of the room is in relation to
their location in terms of movement of
sun.
•The rooms are painted either in cool or
warm colours depending on the cardinal
direction and how much of The reflected
or direct sunlight enters the classroom.
•For example, the kitchen/dining space is
in cold blue as it is not in direct sun when
it is used in mid-day.
PASSIVE SOLAR FEATURES :-

•But as it is also the hottest time of the day and


children would be tired after a whole morning , this
colour is more refreshing to the sense than a warm
colour.
•There are a no. Of multipurpors room for craft,
theatre,and music , besides classrooms,that open
onto the gardens that are roofed to provide shade.
•Creepers and plants provide shade in the
transitional spaces.
•Recessed windows provide sun and rain
protection as well as cosy window seats for the
children.
•The roof is made up of burnt clay tiles on an
understructure of prefabricated reinforced cement
concrete beams.
•Special glass tiles and ventilator tiles in the roof
allow hot air escape and at the same time provide
an interesting play of light.
CONSTRUCTION FEATURES :-

FOUNDATION :
•The bldg. has rammed earth foundation.
•As the soil was not of sufficiently good composition , the earth excavated from the trenches was mixed with
cement (5 %) and with sand.
•The plinth is in CEBs (compressed earth blocks) with a DPC of 1:3 cement mortar.
WALLS :
•All the pillars and walls are in CEB’s , which are cement stabilized with 5% cement content.
•These were manufactured manually using the auram 3000 block maker.
•The soil used was excavated on site .
WALL FINISHES :
•Both the internal and external wall
surfaces are left natural without any paint
and water repellent finishes
CONSTRUCTION FEATURES :-

ROOF :
The pyramidal roof is of mangalore tiles with
an understructure of prefabricated rcc rafters
manufactured on site and assembeled in situ
with grouting of the joints using a combination
of ferrocement and rcc poured in situ.
OPENINGS :
•All the openings of the buildings have an rcc
element that is a combination of three things –
lintels,overhangs,and gutters-for the chanelling
of the rainwater from the pyramidal tile roofs.
INTROVERT PLANNING
AROUND A CENTRAL
HALL , WITH
CLASSROOMS ON THE
PERIPHERY.
THE CENTRAL HALL WITH
VENTILATING TILES IN
ROOF CREATES
NATURAL VENTILATION
DRAFT BY ALLOWING
HOT AIR TO ESCAPE AND
FORCING IN COOLER
AMBIENT AIR THROUGH
THE CLASSROOM
WINDOWS.

KINDERGARTEN – FLOOR PLAN


CONSTRUCTION FEATURES :-

DOORS & WINDOWS:


•All the windows are made with steel grills with glass fixed on them.
•The doors are a combination of teakwood recycled from demolished houses in pondicherry and welded mesh.
•The cupboard doors have transparent glass fixed in window frames.
FLOORING :
•The internal flooring is cement coloured with red oxide laid on a cement screed of 1:10.
•The toilets have ceramic tiles both for flooring and as dado.
LA CUISINE SOLAIRE , AUROVILLE :-

•ARCHITECT : Suhasini Ayar Guigan &


Anita Gaur
•The Solar Kitchen building has been
designed as a major collective kitchen for
the Auroville community and was finalized
in December 1997.
•Since then it has served lunches in its
Dining Hall and in the same time sent
lunches to different outlets like schools or
individuals.
•It derives its name from the big solar
bowl on its roof which provides part of the
steam for cooking on all the sunny days of
the year.
•The other part of the steam needed, is
provided by a diesel fired boiler.
SOLAR KITCHEN
•This project was built to demostrate the
use of solar thermal energy in the steam
generator in cooking meals thrice a day
for about 1000 people.
•The project also demostrate the
appropriateness of compresses earth
blocks and ferro-cement roofing channels
supported by an innovative channel truss
beam.
•The project will thus support organic
farming within auroville and in local
villages by being the main purchaser for
their products used for meals prepared in
the kitchen.
•At the later stage,the steam will also be
used for food processing and laundry
service.
•Steam is generated using a bowl that is
a 60-degree section of a sphere of 18.65-
m diameter.
•Throughout the year approximately 700 lunches
are prepared daily, except Sundays.
•One third of these meals is served inside the
Dining Hall between 12.15 and 1.15 pm or sent
to individuals by tiffin and two thirds is sent to all
the schools already around 11.15am
• Since September 2006 also on Sundays lunch
is served in the Dining Hall between 12.15 and 1
pm.
•Since October 2006 every evening, except
Sundays, dinner is served between 6 and 7.30
pm
•The Solar Kitchen is providing a vegetarian and
kind of cosmopolitan menu, prepared largely of
the vegetables and grains grown organically in
and around Auroville.
•There is a choice between western items like
pasta, mashed potato or fresh salads and
eastern items like idli/dosai, dal or chutneys.
•Daily curd and freshly made juices are available
ROOF :-

•Several roofing systems have been


used.
•The roof,spanning 10 m , over the main
kitchen area is a long – span ferro-cement
channels prefabricated at the site and
installed manually at 4.5 m above the floor
level.
•The dining hall has doubly-curved roofing
where the prefabricated ferro-cement
shells are used as lost shuttering.
•The store rooms and auxiliary areas have
the normal ferrocement channels upto 6.5
m span.
•Solar chimneys have been incorporated
in the kitchen and dining hall to enhance
natural ventilation.
•The vent provided for solar chimney also
provides diffused daylight.
INTRODUCTION :-

•ARCHITECT : ROGER ANGER


•Matri mandri (in sanskrit MATRI means MOTHER &
MANDIR means TEMPLE)
• Matri mandir which means THE TEMPLE FOR
MOTHER
•It is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of
Integral yoga,
•It is called soul of the city and is situated in a large open
space called Peace.
• Matrimandir, does not belong to any particular religion or
sect.
•It itself acts as the landmark of AUROVILLE.
•From matrimandir, the future township will radiate
outwards.

LOCATION :-
•It is situated in the heart i.e. centre of the city.

MATRI MANDIR IN CENTRE


OF THE CITY
MATRI MANDIR IN
CENTRE OF THE CITY
SURROUNDINGS :-
•EAST – GAIA
•WEST – BHARAT NIWAS
•NORTH – TOWN HALL
•SOUTH – INFORMATION CENTRE KEY PLAN

TOWN HALL

GAIA
BHARAT
NIWAS MATRIMANDIR

INFORMATION CENTRE N
•EVOLUTIONARY PRINCIPLE :-

•According to SRI AUROBINDO’S teachings , the


mother concept stands for the great evolutionary
conscious & intelligent principle of life, the universal
mother – which seeks to help humanity move beyond
its present limitation into the next step of its
evolutionary adventure, the great supramental
consciousness.

•MAIN AIM OF MATRIMANDIR :-

•To provide peace & silence,


•The matrimandir is there for those who want to learn
to concentrate.
•It belongs to no religion,because the mother said “
let it not become a religion.”
•The faliur of religion is they divide.
•ABOUT MATRIMANDIR :-
•The Matrimandir is in the form of a huge
spherical structure surrounded by twelve
pedestals.
•The central dome is covered by golden discs
and reflects sunlight.
•This reflectance give Matrimandir its
characteristic radiance.
•Inside the central dome is the central
meditation hall known as the inner chamber.
•From the entrance, two helical ramps serve
as entry and as access to the inner chamber,
in the centre of which is placed a crystal globe,
illuminated by a single ray of (sun) light from
the heliostat mounted on the roof.
•The site immediately around the
Matri Mandir is landscaped in three
ways:
-the first is an existing banyan
tree on the site;
- the second is an urn containing
soil from different countries (as a
symbol to the internationalism of
Auroville); -finally there are the
Matri Mandir gardens and
associated landscaping.
•The symbolism of the structure is in
flux: but at least one powerful
association is that of the primeval egg
(here representing developed human
consciousness) breaking free from
Matter (here represented by the
earth/ground).
•THE BANYAN TREE
HISTORY :-

•The foundation stone of matrimandir was


laid at sunrise on 21 st feb. 1971 – the
mother’s 93 rd birthday.

DIMENSIONS & GEOGRAPHY :-

•The matrimandir is spherical in shape &


has the largest optically perfect glass globe
in the world inside its inner chamber in the
upper hemisphere of the building.

•The matrimandir & its surrounding


gardens in the central peace area can be
visited by visitor’s after collecting free
passes.
SYMBOLISM :-
•The four main pillars that support the structure of Matrimandir, and carry the Inner Chamber, have been set at
the four main directions of the compass.
•These four pillars are symbolic of the four aspects of the mother as enumerated by Sri Aurobindo, and are
named after these four aspects.
•Four great Aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her
guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play

N •MAHAKALI N

•MAHASARASWATI
INNER
W E W CHAMBER E
•MAHALAKSHMI

S •MAHESHWARI
S
Name Symbolism

Maheshwari One is her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and
(south pillar) inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness.

Mahakali Another embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her
(north pillar) overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force.

Mahalakshmi A third is vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine
(east pillar) rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating grace..

Mahasaraswati The fourth is equipped with her close and profound capacity of intimate knowledge and careful
(west pillar) flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things...
INNER CHAMBER
•The spacious Inner Chamber in the upper hemisphere of
the structure is completely white, with white marble walls
and white carpeting.
•In the centre a pure crystal-glass globe suffuses a ray of
electronically guided sunlight which falls on it through an
opening at the apex of the sphere.
"The most important thing is this: the play of the sun on
the centre. Because that becomes the symbol, the symbol
of future realisations."
•There are no images, no organised meditations, no
flowers, no incense, no religion or religious forms.

MEDITATION CHAMBER

RAMP

SPIRAL STAIRCASE

WATER TANK

RAIN WATER STORAGE


THE MATRIMANDIR & THE NUMBER 12 :-

•The 12 is the figure of mahashakti – creative power.


MATRIMANDIR
•12 is a very important figure ( 24 – 2 times 12 ) , (36 – 3
times 12 ) , ( 48 - 4 times 12 ) ,
•Walls of inner chamber – 12 facets ( carved stones ) { they
represent 12 months of the year according to the mother }
•Ceiling – 12 facets
•Inner chamber – 12 columns
•12 radiating pathways in all directions ( symbolise 12 rays
of sun ,
•12 large and 12 small petals
•12 meditation rooms inside large petals
•12 gardens around matrimandir
•Inner chamber & walls – inscribed in 12 m radius cyllinder
12 RADIATING PATHWAYS
•Matrimandir horizontal diameter 3 x 12 = 36 m
•Lengt h of matrimandir oval = 30 x 12 = 360 m.
THE MOTHER'S SYMBOL AND THE PETALS :-
•The meditation rooms inside the twelve stone-clad 'petals' surrounding the Matrimandir carry the names and
colours of the ‘petals’ in the mothers symbol.
•These are:
Sincerity
SINCERITY PEACE
Humility
Gratitude HUMILITY
EQUALITY
Perseverance
Aspiration
Receptivity GENEROSITY
GRATITUDE
Progress
Courage
PERSERVENCE GOODNESS
Goodness
Generosity
Equality ASPIRATION
COURAGE
Peace
RECEPTIVIT PROGRESS
Y
Meaning of colours

In March 1934, Sri Aurobindo indicated through the (above placed) colour chart of the twelve petals pertaining to
the symbol:
•Center and four powers, white;
•The twelve all different colors in three groups:
top group red, passing to orange towards yellow;
next group, yellow passing through green towards blue;
and third group, blue passing through violet towards red.
If white is not convenient, the center may be gold (powder).

According to Sri Aurobindo the colours mentioned generally have the following significances, though the exact
meaning may vary "with the field, the combinations, the character and shades of the color, the play of forces":
Red physical
Yellow thinking mind
Blue higher mind
Orange supramental in the physical
Violet divine compassion or grace
Gold divine Truth
Green life
White the light of the Mother, or the Divine Consciousness
GARDENS :-

•There are twelve gardens surrounding


the structure, converging around it in the
huge petal crown from which the
Matrimandir arises.

• In 1969, when discussing the gardens,


the Mother indicated that they would have
to be of such quality and beauty that
people visiting them would experience,
physically and concretely, the significance
of each garden
GARDEN NAMES

1. EXISTENCE
2.CONSCIOUSNESS
3.BLISS
4.LIGHT
5.LIFE
6.POWER
7.WEALTH
8.UTILITY
9.PROGRESS
10.YOUTH
11.HARMONY
12.PERFECTION

A.MATRIMANDIR
B.GARDEN OF UNITY
C.AMPHITHEATRE
G.ROSE GARDEN
THE AMPHITHEATRE :-

•At the time of auroville’s inaugration ceremony, in 1968 , there was no amphitheatre as yet,a shape has been dug
into ground & as it focus a white urn in the shape of lotus bud has been placed on the top of a small mound which
was clad with bricks.
•MATERIAL USED FOR CLADDING :- Red sandstone
Dimensions :-
•Inner diameter -75 m
•Outer diameter - 98 m ( including
outer slope )
•Area - 4.400 sq.m. & 7.500 sq.m.
with slopes.
•It is 2m deep & it steps from a
family of circles.
CONSTRUCTION PHASE (1970-2000)
1970
•It all began with a vision the Mother had in January 1970, which was taken up by Roger Anger, the French
architect she chose for the project.
•After this, Roger presented her with various possible designs, and in 1971 the final, approved globe model for the
structure was presented to the Mother and to the residents of Auroville, and work could start.
•The foundation stone was laid on February 21st 1971, and the practical work of overseeing the engineering
requirements for the construction was given to the Aurovilian architect/engineer Piero Cicionesi who lead the
development up till the completion of the Inner Chamber.
FROM 1971 - 1973
EXCAVATION AND FOUNDATIONS
•Research into the design of the structure went on
simultaneously with the excavation of a ten metre deep
crater at the centre of Auroville for the foundations.
•The foundation stone was laid at sunrise on 21st
February 1971 - the Mother’s 93rd birthday.
•The excavation was started in March by Aurovilians
and Ashramites, but was later taken over by a paid local
work force more equal to the task.
•In February 1972 the excavation was completed, and
measured over ten metres deep and fifty metres in
diameter.
•The next phase of the work was the casting of the four
huge pillars which emerge from the bottom of the crater
up to ground level to support the sphere.
•In June 1972 these footings were cast, and by
November 1972 all the pillars were concreted up to
ground level.
•Construction of the sphere started with the erection of
a steel-pipe scaffolding, anchored on the foundation.
•The scaffolding reached a height of ten metres to
support the 400 ton weight of the first slab of the
sphere.
•Wooden scaffolding and temporary towers for
hoisting had to be erected on the four pillars.
•Steel mountings to hold the discs planned for
covering the outer surface of the finished structure
had also to be fixed in a regular pattern.
•Then came the concreting for the first slab, which
went on without rain interruption for six days during
the peak of the monsoon season.
•It was completed at the Western pillar summit at
7.25 p.m. on the 17th of November 1973, in perfect
weather.
•It was later discovered that this first slab joining all
the four pillars - each named for an aspect of the
Supreme
•Divine Mother - was completed at the very moment
that The Mother left her physical body in Pondicherry.
FROM 1974 - 1979
THE PILLARS
•During January and February of 1974
preparations proceeded for concreting the first
layers of the four pillars which would form the
framework of the sphere.
•Casting of the second level slab was
completed in March 1974.
•During the autumn of 1974 construction
entered a new phase with work on the four
pairs of cantilevered arm-brackets joining
together the four rib pairs in a ring-beam at the
centre; situated more than 14 metres above
ground level, these brackets and this ring-beam
would support the floor of the inner chamber.
•This beam was cast in December 1974.
By the beginning of 1975 work on the ribs at all
four pillars had reached the half-way point after
a steady succession of concretings.
•By September 1975, the ribs had begun to
curve inwards and upwards and preparations
were underway to join the ribs in a ring beam
at the top of the sphere.
•This beam was finally cast in a two day
concreting which began on the 28th of May
1976.
•At 29 metres above ground level a final ring-
beam supports the roof of the interior
chamber.
•In June 1976 the pipe scaffolding was taken
down and for the first time the interior space
of the Matrimandir was visible.
Concreting of the floor of the Inner Chamber
took place in November 1976, and the work
on the walls of the Chamber began.
•These were poured in layers using a
specially fabricated steel shuttering.
FROM 1979 - 1987
THE SPACE FRAME
•The space-frame to support the
skin of Matrimandir is a grid of
triangles of varying sizes which
runs
•the length and breadth of the
sphere.
•It allows for a double skin, and
though many possible materials
could be used to cover the
triangles of the space frame, the
original plan was for cement
inside and outside (subsequently,
ferrocement was chosen as the
most adaptable material for the
outer skin and tinted glass for the
inner skin).
•The outer skin will finally be
covered by golden discs.
FROM 1988 - 1991
THE INNER CHAMBER
•During three years of concentrated work the Inner Chamber took shape.
• After years of research into the best materials for the Chamber - and raising of the funds needed - all the various
elements found their place:
seamlessly welded and galvanised zinc columns of sixty centimetre diameter imported from Italy
the Makrana marble to cover the floor from Rajasthan
pure white marble for the Chamber walls from Italy
a temporary heliostat designed to direct a single ray of sunlight onto the crystal
the seventy centimetres diameter crystal globe manufactured by Zeiss, Germany
•the tools for engravings on marble slabs, made in the workshops.
•Meanwhile initial research into the Chamber’s air-conditioning system was done, plus experimenting on the mirror
of the heliostat to eventually safely direct light onto the crystal globe.
•During 1990 the twelve columns were given a lengthy treatment to give them the perfectly white matte finish
desired.
•The first stages of preparing the symbols - to support the crystal globe - went on simultaneously with laying of the
marble on the floor.
•Over 1,200 of slabs of white marble were mounted, and slowly the colour of the lower reaches of the twelve-sided
Chamber was changed from cement grey to dazzling white.
•Staircases that enter the building through each of the four pillars up to the first level were meanwhile under
construction.
THREE MAJOR WORKS
•In the meantime work on the concrete reservoir for rainwater under the sphere of Matrimandir had been ongoing.
•Fine white marble was being purchased for the mosaic finishing on the first and second levels of the structure and
for the double spiral staircase which connects the two levels.
•A large Auroville construction group took up the three major works of producing the ferrocement elements for the
outer skin, building the twelve outer petals, and tiling the existing Amphitheatre with natural red stone from AGRA.
1992-2000
AIR-CONDITIONING
•Experts started working on drawings for the Inner Chamber’s air conditioning in 1989 and made decisions about
the type of system in May 1992.
• In this year the underground space for the chilling plant (at the Amphitheater) had been cast and the spaces for
the air-handling units inside the north and south ribs of Matrimandir were complete.
•The 80,000-litre tank for chilled water - assembled from fibre-reinforced polyester panels - was well on the way to
completion by February 1993.
•Compressors, condensers and pumps as well as electrical control panels were all in place.
•The water piping duct, running from the Amphitheater to the Matrimandir had been constructed.
•The air-conditioning system is now up and running almost inaudibly in the Chamber.
CARPET
•The carpet - woven in India from imported wool - was ready early in 1994.
•It took six months to weave the twelve sections and two spare pieces, which cover the entire floor area of the
Chamber.
• The process of laying the carpet took nearly six days to finish, beginning on the 19th of February.
CRYSTAL GLOBE
•The seventy centimeter diameter 'crystal' globe, the only one of its kind, is the biggest optically perfect glass globe
ever made in the world.
• On arrival at Madras Airport in April 1991, it was passed through customs in record time and driven straight to
Auroville.
•The next morning it was hoisted in its packing crate up to the Inner Chamber.
THE GOLD DISCS
The outer skin of Matrimandir is to be totally covered by decorative, golden, concave and convex discs.
Mounted onto the structure by a system of metal rods, they will have the practical function of shading the building
from the strong sunlight of south-India.
After several years of trials, a first series of discs was made in polyester.
Resulting from further research and experimentation, modifications of the prototype were made.
The majority of the discs' shells have finally been made of stainless steel, and not of polyester.
In August 1995 the gilding of the discs started under the guidance of a master gilder from Germany.
About 461 big convex discs (2.3 m diam) and 954 small (1.4 m diam) concave discs were to be produced.
Over 100 discs were made using the method of gilding which the master gilder taught the workers at Auroville,
before it was discovered that this method might not be suitable. Birds and bees, attaching themselves to the gold
discs forced a reconsideration of this method of gilding.
THE PETALS
•The twelve stone-clad 'petals' around the
Matrimandir form an intrinsic part of the
complex.
•This is not only so because they add to the
image of the New Consciousness breaking forth
from Matter, but also since they - as the main
structure itself - are to be centres for 'silence
and concentration' with meditation rooms built
inside each of them.
•Once completed, each of these circular spaces
will carry the name and colour of one of the
'petals' of the Mother's symbol, so that users
can choose the appropriate space according to
their need of the moment.
•The petals are fanning from the promenade
around the pond beneath the Matrimandir and
extending for over forty meters, gradually
descending to ground level and the inner
gardens.
•There are twelve pathways between the petals, four of which lead directly into Matrimandir via staircases
between the pillars, and eight of which lead to the pond underneath.
•Each petal will contain an egg-shaped meditation room corresponding in colour and vibration to qualities like
sincerity, aspiration and others.
•Circling the big petals there are twelve smaller, mainly grass covered petals, which lead onto the inner
gardens.
Making the foundations of the petals started in 1992 and today the twelve petals are completed.
•Red Agra stone has by now covered most of them.
•The first meditation room in the first petal, on the left side of the main entrance to Matrimandir,is nearly
completed.
CONSTRUCTION PHASES:
2005
•A large aluminium scaffolding (15 m high) stands in the middle of the chamber to give access to the central hole in
the ceiling which is being modified.
•This work includes the re-painting of the entire ceiling.
TWELVE LARGE & SMALL PETALS
•Two meditation rooms , ‘ Peace ' & ‘ Equality' , are open
for meditation and a 3 rd , ‘ Sincerity ', is almost ready.
•Pierre, Pashi, Shanta, Carlos & team are busy completing
the nine others.
•They are all at a very advanced state of completion and
should be completed before the end of 2005.
•The last of the 12 small petals , ‘ Perfection ', was
completed 3 months ago.
SPACE BELOW MATRIMANDIR, AT GROUND LEVEL
•The white marble Lotus Pond is being completed by
Fabrice, Pascal & team.
•It already looks very beautiful.
•The surrounding area is also almost complete thanks to
Alain, Somu & team.
PATHWAYS ON THE FUTURE ISLAND
•By August end, Somu's team will complete the 1st circular
pathway, and most radials within it.
•They will then carry on with all other pathways on the
future Island except for most of those in the west side,
which won't be paved.
•Peter's team cuts all the stones.
INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE FUTURE OVAL ISLAND (WATER & ELECTRICAL SYSTEM)
Irrigation system of the future Island : 3 quotations for the main components of this system have been received
and the order is about to be placed (Luca, Pashi, Dirk, Michael & Gilles).
This highly sophisticated system will incorporate maximum flexibility and the latest water saving techniques.
Sprinklers and drippers will be placed only when the designs are finalised.