Balakrishnan graduated from the School of Planning
and Architecture, Delhi in 1990; after which she
completed her training at the Centre for Building
Performance and Diagnostics, Pittsburgh and then
moved to Bangalore. She attempted working with conventional
architects, but was disillusioned. She trained under
the eminent guidance of Prof. K.S. Jagdish on alternative
technologies. This was the turning point in her
life, since she took the decision to keep away from
conventional architecture as long as she could sustain
herself. She took up a job as an architect with
Association for Voluntary Action and Services (AVAS)
with whom she works till date. She has been designing
buildings in her individual capacity. She tries
and restricts herself to a few projects a year.
This gives her the time to concentrate on her work
with the urban poor.
127 families of this slum are located off
the ring road in the South of Bangalore.
Through the efforts of AVAS,
this community was fortunate to avail of
a grant of Rs.20,000 per family from Rotary
Midtown - Bangalore. In addition to this,
AVAS has helped
41 families to procure a loan of Rs. 15,000
Each family has been allotted a site of
size 15'x20'. This slum is located on land
belonging to Bangalore Development Authority,
who is responsible for the infrastructure
facilities. AVAS has taken on the moral
responsibility to monitor and successfully
implement the re-housing project.
are being constantly guided
on proper planning
of their houses and finances for the construction
etc. Each individual family is responsible
for the construction for their own house.
Money is released in instalments only after
ensuring the judicious use of the previous
Sewage lines have
already been laid and the constructed houses
are being serviced by it. Special designs
are being made for the foundations
of the houses on this land. A totally participatory
and in-situ rehousing project.
at a glance:
availed by each family
availed by each family
own contribution towards foundation
cost of each unit
Total grant availed by 127 families Rs. 2540000.00
Total loan availed by 41 families Rs. 615000.00
construction of this approximately 10000
sq ft. The Ashram for
Yoga is in progress on a plot
of land measuring roughly 100' x 200'. This
land is located on the ring road in the
south of Bangalore. The construction is
being carried out in phases according to
the availability of funds. The residential
block is nearing completion after which
the construction of the "Dhyanmandir", i.e.
plan was envisaged with an idea to achieve
an atmosphere as natural
as possible in the available plot of land.
chosen also adhere to this concept and are
and are the kind that avoid long-term maintenance.
The walls are made of
rough granite stone in composite
stone masonry, with the roof being in Mangalore
tiles. Space being a constraint,
vertical expansion up to two floors could
not be avoided. All the rocks existing on
site have been left untouched and the building
has been designed around them and the existing
Most doors / windows are in
Burma Teak Antique columns with
brackets for the entrance porch Rough granite
lintels, sills and jambs.
An outdoor semi-open dining
with a rock garden.