Auroville Visitors Centre

Architecture by: Suhasini Ayer / Satprem Maini
Type of building use: institutional building for visitors to Auroville
Year of completion:
1988 – on going. Built-up area: presently about 5000 m2
but constantly developing due to growing demand
Plot size:
3 acres
Location: Auroville International Zone, Auroville
Climatic Zone:
Hot Humid coastal zone Actual Occupancy: normal days 2000 visitors / day and over 10,000 visitors during holidays and weekends
  • Integrated site planning for effective management of surface and roof run-off to recharge the aquifer
  • Landscaping with indigenous “tropical deciduous evergreen forest” –reduced water needs merged with food production
  • Decentralised recycling of all waste water including black
  • Urban agriculture to grown fruits
  • Solid waste management with segregation / recycling / composting
  • Wind mill for Water pumping
  • Use of appropriate building materials and technology like CSEB / ferrocement / rammed earth / light roofing / natural stone floors / minimum wood use
  • Solar passive design; natural ventilation / lighting / solar chimneys
  • Energy efficient fixtures for lighting and appliances
Beauty and harmony in the built and natural environment is essential for a healthy living
  • Beauty and harmony in the built and natural environment is essential for a healthy living
  • Minimalism in design - simple and elegant forms integrating sustainable and green building practices
  • Seek active and informed participation with clients and make them a part of the design process
  • Be in context; to site conditions, function, climate, building materials and technology, ease of execution and cost effectiveness
Actual Energy Performance Index in Not monitored.
Percentage of A/C and non A/C regularly occupied spaces: No A/C’s in the building since 21 yrs of occupation
Owner / User Testimony: The project is operated by 6 different users – Auroville information service / Matrimandir information service / 3 handicrafts boutiques / Visitors centre Cafeteria / Auroville Guest Services / Green Tech Park since it was opened. They continue to expand as the project is a “visitor’s magnet”............testimony enough when you know that from a maximum of 200 visitors a day in 1995 it is now a minimum of 2000 a day!
Awards / Green Rating / Energy :
  • 1991 “Hassan Fathy architecture for poor” award from the Egyptian Government
  • 1992 Nominated for the “Aga Khan award” Rating:
Architecture by: Suhasini Ayer / Satprem Maini
Structural Design by: C. Ramaradjou, Puducherry.
Services Design by: Auroville Design Consultants
Project management: Auroville Design Consultants
Contractor: We have been using many local petty contractors as the aim is to train along with the development. So each section of the project has been done by different team and when they have acquired the skills in the appropriate building materials they are encouraged to find new contracts. The 5 main contractors have been K. Selvaraj, D. Vijay, M. Murty, L.Alaganathan and Carlos / Ricardo.
Name of the Architectural Practice: Suhasini Ayer Guigan
Auroville Design Consultants
Photo of the Architect/Partners
Address: CSR, Auroshilpam
Auroville Tamil Nadu - 605 101
Tel: + 0091 413 262 2784
External Links
Google “Suhasini Ayer” –do not have too much on the web

Types of services offered.
(Architecture, Structural, Services, Project Management, Contracting, Green Rating Facilitation, Energy Performance Simulation, Energy Audit...)