Laterite forms a nature-friendly environment
Our firm, Inspiration, has 18 years of experience in the field of creating nature-friendly built environments, and it has designed and realized over 100 crafted buildings in South India. Natural materials are used as much as possible in the construction process. Around 50 of Inspiration’s constructions involved crafted stone work, completed thanks to a team combining architects, infrastructure engineers and trained craftsmen.
Primarily catering to the discerning international traveler who seeks to discover one’s “inner vibrations,” SwaSwara, situated on Om Beach, 6 km (3.6 miles) away from Gokarna, Karnataka, accommodates 24 luxurious courtyard villas, the Ayurvedic Spa, a restaurant, library bar, music room, craft center, swimming pool, art gallery, exhibition hall, yoga space and related accommodation facilities for a staff of 60.
The resort is located on approximately 29 acres of land. Entering from the north, the land slopes down to the beach on the southern side. The upper stretch is relatively gently sloping with scrub vegetation. The middle stretch has a patch of dense vegetation, and the lower stretch has a strip of paddy fields and coconut groves, which open out into the pristine Om beach.
The southern boundary of site is a stretch of Arabian Sea. The highest location at the site is approximately 30 meters (100 feet) above sea level.
Almost 65% of the site falls under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), which is a stipulated “No Development Zone.” The design of SwaSwara fully respects these stipulations. Buildings are all held back more than 200 meters (650 feet) from the high tide level.
Laterite can be found in areas with heavy rainfall for two to three months, followed by very dry months. This is true for the western coast of India, where laterite can be found almost everywhere. The color ranges from pale yellow to black, and its properties are similar to that of brick. The pieces used at SwaSwara were 1-inch in thickness, and they were used in cut, rectangular formats as well as random shapes.
In treating the landscape too, attention to detail has been given priority. The buildings rise and fall with the contours of the land, minimizing disturbance of the natural terrain.
In addition to using local stone materials, roofing in most spaces is of timber and renewable local thatch, tied at joints with copper bolts and copper wires. A combination of timber and tile is used where chances of catching fire is higher. In places where a clean interior ceiling is needed, such as in bedrooms, baths and kitchens, there is a thin shell of RCC (reinforced cement concrete) or filler slab.