anupama kundoo discusses full-scale modular home at venice architecture biennale
image © designboom

 

 

 

indian architect anupama kundoo has installed a low-cost modular home and a prefabricated toilet at the 2016 venice architecture biennale. also on display are key projects from kundoo’s 25 years in practice, which she refers to as ‘an inventory of strategies’. the architect relates aravena’s theme of ‘reporting from the front’ to the issue of processing dualities. ‘when the opposites in a duality work in union there is enrichment and knowledge,’ kundoo explains. ‘if the quest for knowledge is ahead of reflection there can be destruction. knowledge informs the act of building, and building widens knowledge.’

 

 

designboom spoke with anupama kundoo about her venice architecture biennale project
video © designboom

 

 

 

the full-scale installation physically places these dualities at either side of the arsenale’s ancient walls. to the left hand side is ‘spirit’: 1:50 models of the practice’s variants on housing solutions and public buildings, showing their relationship to external space. to the right, ‘matter’: physical samples of material research and 1:5 scale tectonic models, showing how the different elements are assembled. the visitor’s journey between these dualities represents the ‘front’ from which kundoo is ‘reporting’.

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inside anupama kundoo’s low-cost modular home
image © designboom

 

 

 

the centrally positioned 1:1 scale pieces suggest the potential for a synthesis of the dualities. the two designs are equally suitable for both urban and rural contexts: a ‘full fill home’ — a ferrocement house that can be assembled in six days, and dismantled in one; and an ‘easy WC’ — six prefabricated elements that can be built in just 24 hours. ‘my work is to find alternative solutions to build using significantly less material, and action them,’ continues kundoo.

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the ‘full fill home’ has been conceived for both urban and rural locations
image © designboom

 

 

 

‘full fill’ homes are built using a stackable modular system of prefabricated hollow ferrocement blocks that ensure rapid construction and minimal environmental impact. the ‘easy WC’ combines a toilet and shower cubicle on either side of a covered platform with a washbasin. the structure can be plugged into a freestanding septic tank, dry toilet pit, or directly connected to the drainage system. ‘by helping communities to fabricate a set of simple building components, we can build knowledge and bring housing back to the people,’ says kundoo.

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the entire house can be assembled in just six days
image © designboom

 

 

 

the 25mm thick ferrocement elements are produced in the backyards of masons’ homes, providing them with additional income. this reduces costs, while helping the local economy. the manufacturing process is easy to learn and takes less than 48 hours to complete. 3-4 weeks soaking time is needed to ‘cure’ the cement, so that it reaches its full potential strength. chicken mesh, welded mesh, and small diameter steel reinforcement are used to give tensile strength to the cement, meaning that it is also lighter and easier to transport. a range of window, doors, roof elements and other necessary building components are also produced in ferrocement, negating the need for any complex hardware.

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the structure is built using a stackable modular system of prefabricated hollow ferrocement blocks
image © designboom

 

 

 

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the structure is built using a stackable modular system of prefabricated hollow ferrocement blocks
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale anupama kundoo
detail of the countertop with inset sink
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale anupama kundoo
steel reinforcement is used to give tensile strength to the cement
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale anupama kundoo
the ‘easy WC’ combines a toilet and shower cubicle either side of a covered platform
image © designboom

ventilation
ventilation – the entire building was developed in india at a total cost of $ 4.000 USD

venice architecture biennale anupama kundoo
galvanized hexagonal meshwork, part of kundoo’s material research
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale anupama kundoo
pigment and color studies
image © designboom

colors
pigment and color studies, see more research samples in the gallery below
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale anupama kundoo
portrait of architect anupama kundoo
image © designboom

 

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