COORG, INDIA, 2007
The agronomist owner of a coffee plantation in Coorg, India has invited a group of architects to contribute several houses each under a plan to add a residential component that will not interfere with the ongoing agricultural use of the spectacular site. Particular effort has been made with the locations of the twenty lots to be built, as well as with maximizing the self-sufficiency of the project, which is to have its own water supply, treat all its own wastes, and generally follow a range of environmental best practices, including maximum use of local materials and the avoidance of air-conditioning.
This group of houses also uses many shared details for construction efficiency and to heighten the sense of their ensemble. In designing these houses, we confronted the idea of their "Indian-ness." This sense derives, we hope, not only from their careful site relations and intimate relationship to climate and environment but also from a certain license of latitude. Because of the country's astonishing diversity, Indian architecture can never be singular; the very thought is ludicrous and disrespectful. Saturated with difference, this is a place to drive thought and imagination, not to constrict it. We hope that these houses will be very much of their place, yet comfortably singular.
Credits: Michael Sorkin, Mitchell Joachim, Makoto Okazaki, Somnath Ray