Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.
Aranya, 6 kilometres from Indore, will eventually house a total population of 60,000 in 6500 dwellings, on a net planning area of 85 hectares. The master plan, prepared by the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation in 1983, is designed around a central spine comprising the business district. Six sectors, each with populations of 7000-12,000, lie to the east and west of the spine and are diagonally bisected by linear parks. Ten houses, each with a courtyard at the back, form a cluster that opens onto a street. Internal streets and squares are paved. Septic tanks are provided for each group of twenty houses, and electricity and water are available throughout. The site plan accommodates and integrates a variety of income groups. The poorest are located in the middle of each of the six sectors, while the better off obtain plots along the peripheries of each sector and the central spine. Payment schemes, and a series of site and service options, reflect the financial resources of this mixed community. Eighty demonstration houses, designed by architect Balkrishna V. Doshi, display a wide variety of possibilities, ranging from one room shelters to relatively spacious houses. Most of the income groups buy only a house plot. Available to the poorest, in addition to the plot itself, are a concrete plinth, a service core, and a room. The down payment is based on the average income of the family, the loan balance being paid in monthly instalments. Brick, stone, and concrete are available locally, but owners are free to use any material they choose for house construction and decoration. The jury found Aranya to be an innovative sites-and-services project that is particularly noteworthy for its effort to integrate families within a range of poor-to-modest incomes.