micro Home Solutions

Exhibition: Cities | October 11, 2011 by

Urban-housing strategies in India have addressed home-ownership models, but have often not accounted for the diverse needs of low-income groups. In response, a firm called micro Home Solutions is developing a housing portfolio based on access to design services, affordable microfinance products, and community engagement. One project is Design Home Solutions, piloted in the government’s slum-resettlement colony of Mangolpuri, northwest of Delhi, where residents are moved far from the city and allotted 23-square-meter (250-sq.-ft.) plots on which to build.

Design Home Solutions was initiated to improve self-construction practices and accommodate rental models. In Mangolpuri alone, 60% of residents are renters, and housing demand, coupled with increasing density, is leading to vertical expansion. Plot “owners” self-construct up to three floors to earn supplemental income, but the buildings are often unsafe and inefficient, with poor ventilation and light. Design Home Solutions offers financial products that provide households with access to small, affordable home-improvement loans. Architects work with clients to develop effective, culturally acceptable solutions, and help monitor self-construction to ensure safe building practices. Upgraded houses are safer and healthier, and help meet demand in the rental market while providing additional income for households.

Another project in the mHS portfolio, the Modular Homeless Shelter, built in Yamuna Pushta in New Delhi, serves one of the most concentrated populations of homeless migrants in Delhi. The shelter consists of a bamboo structure, brick floor, and waterproof canvas walls and roof, designed to be easily assembled and disassembled using local labor. A gap between the shelter’s double-layer walls can be filled to provide additional insulation during winter months. Additional modules can be added to the base design, including a kitchen, medical facilities, and toilets.

Marco Ferrario and Rakhi Mehra, with John Backman, Ellen Chen, Henri Fanthome, Aden Van Noppen, and Vyasdev Yenghom; engineers: Studio Jurina, Studio Albertini; graphic design: Alberto Mazza. Collaborators: BSFL, BASIX, DR AV Baliga Trust. Mangolpuri and Sultanpuri slum resettlement colonies, Delhi, India, 2010–present. Baked clay bricks, concrete-reinforced cement, cementation finishes, steel net, steel bars. Modular Homeless Shelter Architects: Marco Ferrario, with Henri Fanthome and Vyasdev Yenghom. Yamuna Pushta, New Delhi, India, 2009–present. Bamboo, baked clay bricks, carpet, canvas


1 response to micro Home Solutions

  1. This is a thoughtful solution!

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