With a scenic view, there located the bowl shaped contour site at Peermade, Kerala, India. The level difference of the site is about 1m to 4 m which continues down to a deep valley. The natural landscape adds beauty to the site which has lots of banana trees and few other kinds around.
The climate of the site is mostly misty and it rains 9 months a year continuously. Also a small drain runs through the site which helps in directing the natural flow of rain water down. The idea of proposing a vault for a cowshed is to make it economically low cost by using locally available materials and sustainable on its own way without using steel or concrete. Recycled rods, casuarinas and bamboo has been used for the supports during construction. Locating the flat land in the site, four anchor points for the vault has been located at different levels of 0m, 0.70m and 2.1m. Four different catenary arches at varying heights creates an eternal experience inside the vault. Three layers of 25mm thick ”Sithu kal” (small bricks) has been used, which is locally available near site around 40kms radius.
The maximum span of the catenary arch is 6.6m and the maximum height of the vault is 3m. This vault the fully compression structure where the footing has been designed according to the transfer of forces from the structure making it stable. Also, for a structure to be build on this particular site is challenging since we have a deep valley on the opposite, we have a very heavy wind flow on the site. Considering this factor to block the wind flow the structure has bend its way accordingly. Also Sunlight is the basic necessary for a space like cow shelter. So the height and width of the catenary arches have been placed accordingly giving the sufficient amount of sunlight inside the space. The shape of the structure follows the natural landform leaving the natural landscape and trees undisturbed where it camouflages with them.
None of the natural landform has been removed and the structure has been built accordingly considering the slope and surroundings. Also considering the heavy rainfall at site, openings in the structure has been designed which helps in directing the rain water flow towards the deep valley. The structure has been derived from the Kangaroo physics engine, considering the site surface and applying loads giving us the maximum elasticity of the surface making it a stable compression structure.