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Senior living planned using low cost construction techniques – Angelica Grace Home, at Tamil Nadu, by Shanmugam Associates

Photography © LINK Studio                  

With a pristine thought of serving the aged, Clarac Charity Trust approached the architects to develop a senior living. Trichy, a tier-2 city located in the central region of Tamil Nadu in India, is well connected, has affordable cost of living, offers good water yield and is a religious hub; therefore making the city ideal for senior living. Angelic Grace Home is a 30,000-sqft Ground +2 structure that was planned comprising 50 fully furnished rooms. Abundant natural lighting and ventilation, constraints on construction cost and community spaces for the elderly were factors that influenced the design approach.

The 2-acre development is located adjacent the busy Trichy- Chennai national highway near Samayapuram, a suburb of Trichy. Development was planned on the northwest corner of the site, creating a large green space upfront that acts as a buffer from the main road.  The northwest corner also abuts an irrigation canal that connects to the River Panguni, a tributary of River Cauvery. This picturesque view along with Trichy’s tropical climate formed the basis for orienting the building and its predominant fenestration in the north-south direction. Cars & two-wheeler guest parking has been planned at the entry to make the property pedestrian friendly.

All amenities were housed within the building primarily for ease of access to the users at any given point of time. The amenities were oriented towards community living and physical fitness. Community living would include farming, meeting spaces in every floor, meditation hall, 60 seat refectory, multipurpose hall and open-air terrace. For physical fitness there is a gym, physiotherapy and natural canopied walkways. An emergency room, doctor’s consultation and a pharmacy take care of the medical needs.

Material exploration, aesthetics, accessibility and cost were critical design parameters. Locally sourced fly ash bricks have been used to wrap continuously around the building emphasizing the sill, lintel and roof slabs. To achieve this the columns and beams were recessed as a part of the structural system. A specific brick bond was developed after multiple iterations at site, in order to avoid cutting of bricks at window jambs.

Care was taken to use material such as anti-slippery large vitrified tiled flooring and UPVC windows with mosquito mesh in washrooms and rooms; wide doors and grab bars in all wet areas and corridors; anti-slippery hardy Kota flooring in common areas and ramps for floor to floor movement. To break the monotony of long corridors, there are light wells planned for light to permeate from the third-floor skylight all the way to ground floor.

Angelica Grace home falls under a unique typology that offers a lot of scope of growth in the Indian context. Use of cost-effective safe material, capitalizing on abundant natural lighting and ventilation, creating spaces that encourage social exchanges and physical strength are some key architectural aspects addressed in this economically challenging yet fulfilling project.

 

Project Facts-

 

Project Name: Angelica Grace Home

Architecture Firm: Shanmugam Associates

Completion Year: 2016

Gross Built Area: 30,000 sqft

Project location: Koothur, Trichy, Tamil Nadu India

Lead Architects: Shanmugam A, Raja Krishnan, Santhosh Shanmugam

Design Team: Balasubramaniam D, Senthil,

Clients: Angelica Clara Charity Trust

Engineering: Hi Tech Constructions

Landscape: Shanmugam Associates

Structural Consultant: Veerapan Consultants

Electrical Consultant: Alfa Associates

Plumbing Consultant: Devaraj Associates

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