Chota Oda: Measured and Drawn

Winter School 2017
Instructors: Smit Vyas, Puneet Mehrotra
7 April 2018

S I T U A T I N G   C H O T A   O D A

Nestled in lower Aravalli range between Dungarpur & Bichhiwara, the village of Chota Oda is characterized by low hills rising to its south-west & surrounding farmlands to the northeast. Though consisting of not more than sixty odd houses, the village features prominently in local folklores which trace it back to antiquity with references to the Mahabharat. In more recent past, it was governed by the erstwhile royal state of Dungarpur. Majority of houses in the village belong to the Patidar farmer community of Rajasthan.

The study attempts to introduce students to both -the overall landscape & topographical relationships of the settlement as well as understanding the house form. For the former, a prominent clearing (village square) & one major street (streetscape) are measure drawn to study the characteristics of open spaces between houses, gradients, ground cover, etc. Two site sections are cut across the village to study the texture of space & overall disposition of the settlement. For the latter, detailed plans, sections & elevations of the houses are drawn with great emphasis on mapping activity & people-animals-paraphernalia relationships.

Apart from these, students were engaged in on-site sketching & discussions to reflect upon the larger ecological factors and modes of creating placeness which render Chota Oda with its own unique flavour.

These drawings are done with technical inking points on the gateway. 

Section AA

Section BB

C H O W K    P R E C I N C T

The predominant house form of the entire region has emerged and can be seen as a direct expression of local agrarian conditions. In a major departure from the generic house within and yard or shed for animals outside the situation, here the interior assumes a microcosmic dimension to support living, cooking, storage as well as accommodation of livestock.

Section AA

Section BB

S T R E E T   S C A P E 

Section AA

B A L A    P A T E L ‘ S   H O U S E   

For the most basic type, a rectangular plan is subdivided by walls into a large animal yard on one side with a mezzanine for storing agricultural produce above. The upper level is usually accessed through a ladder. With the front and back door aligned in a plan as the only source of natural light, it makes for a cool, darkened interior which protects people and livestock from the harsh summer heat in the afternoons and wild animals at night. The animal yard-cum-living space is separated from the kitchen and granary by a shared wall which, by means of a large alcove, houses the main ledge to keep drinking water and other smaller ones for day to day objects.


Section AA

Section BB

Section CC

V E E R J I   B H A I ‘ S   H O U S E   

Walls are made of flat, stacked stone masonry which in many places is finished with mud and cow dung plaster. Wooden beams, joists for the mezzanine and rafters for the roof are built through an assemblage of found pieces finished very roughly to fit the given condition. Vertical posts (Kubi) hold up the main beams (juttaddi) with joists (doda) and woven mats (dhabki) above.

Axonometric of house

Roof shingles, Country or Mangalore tiles are used for roofing. Battens for the roof and mezzanine flooring are mostly made of bamboo strips. Carpentry with sawn wooden members is reserved for doors, windows and fascia boards. Eaves are provided additional support by stone brackets projecting outwards from the walls.

Detail A

Detail B

Detail C

Detail D

Roof details

Door Details

O N   -  S I T E   S K E T C H I N G 

Teaching assistants : Nilosha  and Maitri

Students Names :  Khyati, Priyanka, Abhinav, Anoushka, Vatsal, Hamsika,Tushar, Vipasha, Sandra, Deekshit, Aryan, Tarjanee, Kriti, Shreya, Harsh, Devyani, Parikshit, Aditi, Namrata, Viraj, Ishita, Chanda, Dhruv, Vrushti, Sunny, Kairav, Krishna, Pulak, Charmi, Daksh, Abhishek, Jay, Palak, Riya, Harshil, Reya, Devyani, Varisha, Prachi, Ritvik

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