JEEVA NIVAS Orphanage for HIV + youth, Chinnakalapet, Pondicherry.


This project was commissioned byArul Ashram, Pondicherry, India.  The Ashram provides a refuge for adults and children with AIDS/ HIV. The Boys’ home is a stepping stone for young HIV + orphans to an independent life; a place where teenagers grow into young men who can manage their health and pursue higher education or a trade. 

The requirement of areas, functions and their relation was quite complex. The building was to host, 15 youth, 1 special educator, 2 volunteers, a cook’s family. Due to the site surface area limitation, the built form had to be extruded vertically to be able to accommodate all these multiple functions. Also the principle wind direction was only on the narrow end of the site. A composition of vertical load-bearing Wall fins was devised as the main structure. These wall fins were staggered to allow cross ventilation even in the rooms on the far side of the wind directionUse of “Stack Effect” using the vertical staircase shaft increases air flow. Large screened openings allow for ample air flow. Mud plaster for external rendering to reduce the use of cement and to lower thermal heat gain. The interiors provide a clean and organized living environment which by design, stays very cool in the summer, without mechanical ventilation.


Construction Time   9 months                                                                                            Total built up area  450                                                                                       Year of Completion 2008