However, by initiating development along the periphery and by creating integrated townships, the problem of thick concentration in city centres can be reduced to a greater extent. Moreover, as the city grows, our senses are abused by noise, dust, concrete, air-conditioned environments, etc. The need for spaces which are green and where the air is relatively fresh and offers sensual relief, becomes an imperative with many and especially with those who are keen on setting up a home. ‘Good Earth Orchard’ is one such discovery in this direction.
“Greater stress is laid on the environment in our community housing projects. It is the nature, the landscape — that dictates the construction of our houses,” he adds.“Architecture shares a direct relationship with one’s lifestyle in every region of the country. We talk to the clients about their lifestyle and respect their tradition, and all of these are reflected in the construction of their houses, customised as per their needs,” underlines Iype. “We have employed a lot of recycled wood, timber, Mysore Mathi, Honne, etc, as they don’t crack in the dry climate that Bangalore has and are varnished with linseed and cashew oil. Also, we have used terracotta, natural stones, ceramics and vitrified tiles in the houses.
Terracotta helps in maintaining the room temperature and is good for those suffering from arthritis,” he added.“Human beings have already wrought the greatest damage to nature by their intervention. Hence, at this juncture it is not just enough if we adorn the role of conservationists. We need to be facilitators as well and bring in more biodiversity. For example, if we intend to have a Butterfly park in our project, we cannot create it by merely purchasing a good number of butterflies from the market! Instead, we need to create a biodiversity that can attract and sustain the butterflies. Similarly, we need to create habitats that are conducive for the birds, bats and bees that are essential for carrying the process of pollination. Thus, restoration of ecology forms an indispensable aspect of creating eco-sustainable environs,” validates Iype.The houses at Orchard are designed in groups of 13 to 18 around landscaped cluster spaces like the glade, the grove, the meadow or along shaded lanes like the boulevard.
The houses in the project are of varied sizes, as the land dictates its construction, elaborates Natasha Iype, an architect at Good Earth.Good Earth is a team of like-minded professionals in varying capacities, who have been experimenting with alternatives in housing and in creating vibrant, eco-sustainable communities, according to Jeeth Iype, an architect at Good Earth.As one turns left from the Bangalore-Mysore Road, (just after Kengeri town and the Outer Ring Road intersection), and walks a kilometre inside, one can find Good Earth Orchard on a farm landscape of coconut and sapota plantation. Orchard is a community of 60 homes on seven acres of land. Twenty-nine houses in the project have almost been completed and will be open for occupation on July 2008. “Communities who live on the outskirts should be conscious of using and managing their own resources. We at Orchard, manage our own water resources and sewage, through a centralised water supply system and eco-friendly sewage treatment plant. Also, as the name of the project indicates, every household will be encouraged to plant more trees and grow their own food, in their kitchen garden. Moreover, with broadband internet connection to every household, the provision of working from home is made viable. One can thereby, travel only when needed and avoid unnecessary travelling, observes Iype.