A housing project for a 100 elephants and their Mahouts, the Hathi Gaon (or elephant village) is situated at the foot of the hill of the Amber Palace and Fort near Jaipur. The design involved first structuring the landscape first to create a series of water bodies to harvest the rain runoff, as this is the most crucial resource in the desert climate of Rajasthan. The idea of the site planning was to mould a structure and system that would help regenerate the landscape in a decade to approximate the tropical landscapes that are the natural habitat for elephants. The sewage system is proposed to be fed into a reed bed and native species be planted along the edge of the water bodies to not only stabilize them but also to seed the site with vegetation which can propagates.
The housing units themselves are organized in clusters and situated on portions of the site that are not used for the landscape regeneration. Courtyards and pavilions are used to supplement the other wise small spaces that are allocated in the budget for this essentially low income housing scheme.
Architecture: Rahul Mehrotra, Cyrus Patell, Robert Stephens
Structural: Vijay K. Patil & Associates; Plumbing: Mc Berl; Landscape: Integrated Design; Electrical: D.R.Bellare