SOS Children’s Village Raipur

“It is when the mothers and children start to move in, that the ‘soul of the building starts to resonate.’ With their laughter, children playing, fighting, crying, Architecture becomes alive. SOS Raipur is born….”

Name of project SOS Children’s Village Raipur
Location Raipur, Madhya Pradesh
Project Type socially relevant
client SOS children’s village
Year of completion 2007
Built up area 39000 sq.ft
Plot area NA
Contractor Vijay developers
Photography Anand.R
“it is when the mothers and children start to move in, that the ‘soul of the building starts to resonate.’ with their laughter, children playing, fighting, crying, architecture becomes alive. sos raipur is born….”

The story of SOS Raipur starts with the strong character of the site. It is located in the newly formed state of Chhattisgarh, rich in its culture, art, traditions and the new found mineral wealth.We ‘went in empty’ – tried to drop all our architectural baggage.

We listened deeply, with humility, with respect and in silence, as the zen master Thich Nhat Hanh tells us “One aspect of deep listening is allowing what is said to come from emptiness and return to emptiness”.

The existing trees lent a strong character to the site and preserving all of them and meandering our structures around them lent a continuum to this story. Respect for their existence became an intrinsic part of our design philosophy. To us, their lives and the lives of our mothers and children are completely interwoven.

The moment we became alive to our immediate surroundings, the source which we believe is ever present, began to inspire us.

The dilapidated empty structures of the manna camp, the material statements it made, the decaying metal water tanks that became the name plate for the village, the old wooden rafters that became pergolas. The inspiration came from multiple sources – the garbage heap at one end of the site to the rainbow behind it. It is how we perceived it that mattered.

The other strong design feature of this village is the integration of craftsmanship of the traditional tribes of the ‘Bastar region’. Their metal work has lent a great flavour to the village. The metal sculptures that adorn all the buildings at SOS Raipur are with the sole intention of introducing this traditional craftsmanship to the children. One hope is to arouse a sense of design amongst the mothers and children of Raipur.