The relevance of existing natural foliage in architecture has been a very pertinent issue. However, we recently had a close encounter with a similar situation in the court building we designed in Agarmalwa. Initially, it was proposed by the client to sweep the area for construction which meant cutting down of around 25 trees, but as architects, we had to think of the environment before anything else, which encouraged us to come up with an efficient and unique design without a single tree being cut. And we achieved this in the time period of a few weeks. The strategy was indeed simple- respect the site and frames the design around the existing components of the land allotted to us. The existing trees vary from Imli, Jamun, and Neem to Peepal and Banyan. Trees play an irreplaceable role in the smooth transition of space between the built and open, by accentuating positive emotions.
The retaining of these trees has contributed to the design in enormous number of ways. For example, this automatically evolved a series of courtyards in the design which acted at punctures and provided public space at regular gaps. These shaded courtyards can be used as seating or spill outs for the visitors in days of heavy uses. Another benefit is easy finding. It is easier for people to locate spaces around these trees- thus making the building user-friendly in many ways. More importantly, the natural microclimate created by the building blending with the landscape is incomparable. The temperature and pollution levels around the building would be noticeably low resulting in good air quality.
Beside this, the quality of air would be remarkably improved. Natural cooling and Ventilation can be easily facilitated in the design without worrying about cost. The parking lot and entrance parch were also designed in a way that most of the area was shaded in the daytime to prevent maximum heat absorption by the ground. Therefore, the environment-sensitive is always more efficient and conducive in numerous for the design. Additionally, the aspect of cost is economized in design, as cutting tress means extra cost. A large amount of energy consumed in cooling down the building in summers can also be curtailed. Lastly, such emphasized approach towards design of buildings- particularly a public building, generates a sense of awareness among the people- about the importance of nature in our built environment.