Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VERITE, AUROVILLE


There is a sense of extreme calm as one step in through the exposed concrete frame and door of Verite. It is as if the already quiet environs of Auroville get another meaning inside the building space. It is a language of straight lines and planes in white and black, with the occasional red exposed earth wall breaking the monotony. There are 2 linear pools in the centre, acting as 2 main axes – one a pebble pool while the other is a water body. There are plenty of fish here, right from the guppies to carps and one can get a free foot massage. All one has to do is sit on the edge of the pool and lower ones legs into the water. Within a few minutes of sitting still, the fishes surround your leg and start pecking away at your skin. It is slightly tingly, but great for removing all the dead skin from ones legs.


The space is defined with the minimum of walls, creating a very open feel. The roof slab is slightly raised up from the walls, allowing light and ventilation inside. Also, both the pools are open to sky, creating a modern interpretation of the courtyard, letting in diffused light inside the space. The flooring is of rough black stone, which gives off a very cool feeling. Some of the walls are plastered and finished with white paint, while there are walls made of rammed earth, imparting a very earthy texture to the space. The slender circular columns impart a sense of scale and definition to the space. There is a huge wind chime in front of a full height window, creating a soft soothing background melody in the wind which is always moving through the interiors. The sense of scale and proportions are articulated so very well that one feels utmost calmness in the space, you just feel like sitting there forever.



Verite is one of the communities inside Auroville, which has been conceived as a spiritual and learning centre. The architecture of the whole community tries to be as ecologically sensitive as possible, leaving a very small footprint. Electricity is generated through solar panels, there is a windmill which draws up the water and buildings are designed to be ecologically integral, while at the same time functional and beautiful.






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22 comments:

  1. Great pictures and commentary on a place I love. Thank you!

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  2. I totally agree with you Azima..this is one of my favourite places in Auroville...and the beautiful thing is that it is really simple...the architecture serves as a backdrop to nature instead of being overbearing.

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  3. Thank you, Sujith, for your photographic depiction and comments. Yes, this is a very peaceful setting in Verite Hall and the fish pond is a real treat; guests from other locations in Auroville come to Verite for the opportunity to have the fish play with their feet. A delicious feeling! I spent five months at Verite a couple of years ago, made some lasting friendships, grew as a person, and loved it. If I return to India, I will be sure to visit Verite and my friends - and this fabulous building. -JW

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