The development that includes affordable housing under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) is a part of the ongoing renewal of what is popularly known as ‘Gateway to the North-East’, the state of Assam. Starting from its capital city Guwahati, various projects under the affordable housing schemes have been introduced with other infrastructural development projects. Affordable housing scheme has paved its way with Rang Homes. Rang Homes is the first-ever celebrated affordable housing scheme in the North-East Region of India introduced as a housing and development annex serving to the prevailing housing crisis of the cities.
Rang homes occupy a prominent site near Guwahati International Airport, the mighty new terminal building visualized as the economy and infrastructure catalyst in the region. Balancing a mixture of residential and social uses to support the housing shortage and the wider community, the 8 storey building represents a vertical and horizontal city quarter capable of serving a population of 1550 residents with 310 house units spread over an area of 2, 40, 000 square meter. With the FAR being 3, the housing scheme comprises of 1BHK, 2BHK and 2BHK+Study types of units, with dedicated balconies ensuring natural ventilation and delightful day lighting. Whereas the receded profile of the balconies allows residents complete control over their privacy, also making itself a flexible, personalized space between the outdoors and indoors.
The floors are supported over a concrete grid creating a slender profile that reveals the building’s structural system and internal organization. The parking is concentrated at the stilt and surface so that the apartments above can take advantage of views towards the airport, built heritage, and natural landscape around. The parking all over the scheme comprises of 210 equivalent car units.
The parallel and perpendicular arrangement of the blocks articulates as well as breaks the horizontal and vertical monotony. With the building blocks running around the periphery, the central courtyard open to the sky is like a relief flash visually connecting and physically separating the blocks at the same time. This design element aims to make the site as accessible and permeable as possible with a profile to ensure maximum day lighting penetration to the surrounding elements.
Distinct from a regular affordable housing, Rang Homes is a complete package of modern social housing with sound healthy and social aspects prevailing all over the scheme. Resident’s facilities are located on the stilt floor. The small lift cores, serving 8 levels of apartments and 3 building blocks, raises to the lobbies and is planned and placed with a critical sense of zoning and organization.
Rang Homes exploits the sustainable paradigm with a planning that is employed to maximize the environmental benefits. The compact high-rise form with an efficient design reduces the need for mechanical cooling systems and artificial lighting. Oriented east to west, turning away from the city axis to maximize views and reduce solar gain, the building’s core mass absorbs heat and limits its reliance on mechanical ventilation. A system of sunshade jali shelters the interiors on the elevation and is deliberately chosen as an external finish for the building to age well, congregating a patina as the years go by and blending in with the historic fabric of the city.
High-density affordable housing with a robust façade, reciprocating to the natural vegetation nearby, Rang Homes is a complete modern living package. Its geometrical openings and deep shadows, and also takes inspiration from the traditional jali façades of the old city – their balconies and celebration of entrances – reinterpreting them in a subtle and contemporary manner, the Rang Homes building while respecting the scale and proportion of the city is designed with an aim to make a civilized contribution to its urban regeneration.