A Renaissance of Vernacular Eco-Architecture

DharmalayaBir (HP) — India is playing host to the birth of a renaissance of vernacular eco-architecture. Hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds are awakening to both the urgent socio-ecological crises of our time and the potential for us to find solutions in India’s own rural traditions.

Case in point: To preserve and advance the distinctive and beautiful forms of traditional earthen architecture of the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, the Dharmalaya Institute, in partnership with esteemed vernacular architect Didi Contractor, established a formal, academically-supervised Internship in Vernacular Eco-Architecture in May 2013.

Not quite two years later, the Dharmalaya Institute has grown to become one of the most popular vernacular architecture training centres in India and South Asia. Though it has not yet even completed the construction of its campus, it has already attracted scores of architects and civil engineers from across India, Europe, the Americas, and Australia, most of whom learned of the institute either through the recommendations of their architecture professors or by word of mouth spreading far and wide among the green-minded designers and builders of India and beyond.

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