Saturday, July 9, 2011


This is one interesting space that will appeal to any architect – both for the architecture as well as for the functional concept. The Indus Valley is a restaurant where the food is totally free. It does not charge anything for the food. The customers can give a voluntary contribution as they deem fit after the meal. Conceived, built and run by architects Dharmesh Jadeja & Dhruv, the Indus Valley is a meeting place for most Aurovillians as well as guests. Set in the lush green campus of the Bharat Nivas, the space is conceived as an outdoor cafe with chairs and tables set in the open environment in the cool shade of neem trees, to encourage interaction between the people in a very relaxed natural ambience.

One enters through a circuitous route through the back.  A series of well thought off steps around a couple of neem tree trunks leads one up to the self service counter cum kitchen. The wide concrete treads of varying widths are a good contrast to the exposed brick vertical walls. There are green cloth fabrics hung across the branches of the trees to provide additional shade and also as a protection against falling leaves – an artistic solution for a practical problem.

There are spaces which encourage groups to interact and relax – informal spaces of interaction. Tables finished with colourful glazed tiles and metal chairs are scattered around the place. Flooring in circular patterns of exposed brick have turned a gorgeous velvety green in the rains which form a contrast with the square concrete tiles with pebble infills. Nature acts as the main backdrop with a gentle wind rustling through the leaves. The built spaces are just optimum, creating a harmonious relation with nature.  

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