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Rural health care centre, Bangalore, India by Flying Elephant Studio

Perspective view of clinic.

This health care centre designed by Flying Elephant Studio takes the raft of problems that health facilities in rural communities across India and elsewhere face, and addresses them with a level of sophistication rare in developing countries. Low budget, economy of operation, and sustainability objectives have positively informed the design leaving a building perfectly suited to its environment and function.

The basic layout of the health centre fits a colonial prototype common across much of the former British Empire. But where those buildings were about knocking-out some kind of basic health provision this looks at patient and staff well-being in the rounder, fuller sense.

The linear arrangement keeps the footprint small and the building narrow enough to benefit from good cross ventilation. A verandah wraps around the building so that crowds attending clinics have plenty of shady space in which to mill around.

Controlling the internal climate is often difficult in tropical climates. This is solved by using a double skin or building within a building. The idea is that the external skin shades the inner one from direct sun meaning the inner can be simple and light whilst still providing a controlled internal environment.

The use of local, vernacular material gives the building a place of origin and a sense of identity. In this vein a prominent central gutter catches rainwater to feed a pond. An architectural flourish apparently pertaining to the name of the place; Devara Outhu Pallam, meaning ‘God’s spring – village’.

Close up view.

Verandah and sun shade

Distance views.

Material detail.

Detal of construction

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