Hathigaon: A Unique Sustainable Architecture Project

Rajasthan Elephant Village, built upon an 88 acre of environmentally damaged land at the foothills of the popular tourist destination of Amer Palace fort near Jaipur, is a unique example of sustainable architecture. It is one of the ongoing low-income housing project by RMA Architects in Rajasthan.

The Elephant Village, also known as Hathigaon is designed for 100 working elephants and their keepers over the last few years, the wasteland has been slowly transformed with a series of waterpools and an extensive tree plantation programme. In Hathigaon one can sea how RMA Architects innovated the use of local stone to create well insulated walls. The roofs are constructed from corrugated metal sheeting, allowing elephant feed to be stacked on top. A series of water channels harvest the precious rainwater.

Each of the caretakers home each measures only 40 sqm with a shared spaces such as courtyards and pavilions. The housing project is laid out i8n such a way that the animals can still visually connect with their human components.

The notable feature of the project is a man – made pool which encourages bounding between the elephants and their handlers, which allowing the animals to undergo their regular bathing rootine.

The Hathigaon project was recently awarded an international gold medal prize for sustainable architecture by the university of Ferrara in Italy.