Saltscraper in India

By:  | April - 16 - 2018

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Kartik Misra, Krishan Sharma, Dewesh Agrawal, Kritika Kharbanda


This is a skyscraper that aims to rejuvenate the indigenous salt farming community of the great Rann in Gujarat, India, namely, the Agariyas. The project seeks to become an architectural epitome that caters to the future and ambitions of the region by utilizing the abundant salt as the building block of the community’s macrocosm.An ecological and social renaissance for the people of the cursed land has been sought for by providing them a structure which endeavours to achieve better opportunities for the people.

The vast expanse of the salt marsh is characterized by myriad salt pans disseminated with makeshift shacks. Inter societal islands arise due to isolated pattern of settlement. An absolute absence of social and physical infrastructure is observed which renders the community incapable of mutual learning. Deteriorating health because of long exposure to immense salt and solar concentration further intensifies it. The salt marsh betrays the community every monsoon, because the fields become completely submerged in water, making annual migration necessary.

The project induces community interaction and interdependence, coupled with efficient service delivery. Standard, systematic and non-intermittent salt production throughout the year due to juxtaposed functions which provide ease in the output cycle. Integration of vacuum evaporation plant with the building gives rise to an effortless method of production. Forging a resilient, permanent and sustainable setup with increased dependence of solar power creates a heterogeneous yet admissible ecosystem for the community. An increment in the efficiency of salt production from solar evaporation through introduction of novel methodology, machinery and community training boosts the comprehensive output.

Reincarnation of the decaying existence is achieved through the project which resolves the matter of contention by targeting the five anaemic nodes.

1.     Re-Mediating the Lifestyle

2.     Re-knitting the Social Fabric

3.     Re-Directing the Future

4.     Re-Equipping the Industry

5.     Re-energizing the Economy

As the primary element available in incalculable amount, salt has been used as the building block of the community’s macrocosm. The fundamental components include:

3D Printed Salt Shelters -Salt, stabilized with a binding agent is structurally stable under compression.

A modular approach for flexibility of spatial arrangements.

Salt crystallization abstracted and epitomized as the structure.

Cubic volumes of 3m x 3m x 3m are generated over the building envelope, which erode and permutate into three types, in response to the spatial programme stack.

CLOSED/ SEMI-CLOSED CRYSTALS or HABITABLE CRYSTALS include the living volumes in the building. These are further divisible into combinations of 2, 3, 4, and even 5 cubes based on family sizes and changing requirements.

FRAMED OPEN CRYSTALS act as luminous voids. They make up the volumes of ingress of light and natural ventilation. They have been interspersed throughout the levels for allowing diffused and indirect light into the structure.

COVERED CRYSTALS are the green pockets in the structure. They make up the volumes for kitchen gardens and planters. They provide contemporary identity to the habitat, while improving the microclimate.

An introvert planning approach to protect from vagaries of the harsh climate and create a sense of seclusion midst the expansive white landscape. Abundance of community interaction space intends to consolidate the interdependence and support network.

The sky scraper is divided into Sub-stacks comprising 5 module layers, with the lifts arriving at the bottom level of each sub-stack. Lifts open into a sub-community space. Modules are composed of salt.

(Salt is stabilized with a binding agent resulting in structural stability under compression forces. Its strength being comparable to rammed earth)



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