A Watch Tower

A Watch Tower, Auroville, India

The Project is located in the proposed international city of Auroville, situated 12 km north of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, India. The heavier north-east monsoon occurs between mid-October and can sometimes continue till mid-January with 50% of the average annual rainfall of 1200mm being delivered within 10 days. The design was highly affected by the characteristics of available local Materials and Climate. For instance the use of Granite pillars (foundation) and Coconut palm leaves (roofing) results from the heavy monsoon to isolate the easily degradable natural material from contact with the wet condition.

Local Architects
Fertile Johnny – He is an Australian origin architect and has been working with round-wood construction since his arrival to Auroville. R. Ravi – He is from the village of
Bommapalayam and manages a team of skilled workers who work with this round-wood technique. Paul Blanchflower – he is a botanist who graduated from the university of
edinburgh and has been involved in the restoration of the tropical dry evergreen forest.

8000×8000mm (Diameter×H)

Round Wood thinnings ‘Casuarina Equisetifolia’(main structure) – 30 poles of about 130mm, 150 poles of 80 to 40mm diameter, lengths varying between 5 meters to 7 meters, Pillars of Rough Granite(foundation) – 12 pillars of granite each approximately 200×200×3000 mm, Tree trunk slats(flooring) – about 30 to 40 mm width, 3000mm to 3500mm length, Matted Coconut Palm leaves(roofing) – 1800 of matted leaf halves, Rope & Coconut Calyx – coconut calyx made from the outer fibre of dry coconut, coconut tree is soaked in water for about 24 hours and then split. This is use for tying the matted coconut leaves to the round-wood thinnings.