Inspired by the concept of co-housing, Creativity was planned as a prototype for low-density urban collective living with the focus on affordability and a positive environmental impact. The central idea was based on promoting community and sharing, using one of five housing clusters, each accommodating around 50-60 deliberately diverse residents. Different apartment types for singles, couples, families and youth groups are arranged around a central courtyard. Residents share common facilities such as kitchen, laundry and guest facilities at the cluster level, and a multipurpose hall and gallery at the neighbourhood level.
The aim was to find a balance between each resident’s need for individual space as well as for contact with the collectivity. Streets are created on the upper levels to facilitate communication, and these are constructed as detached walkways not touching the facade, so as to give the homes the necessary privacy. The voids thus created between the building and the bridge-like streets on the two upper levels also promote natural ventilation through the increase in the air stack as per the Venturi effect. This strategy, alongside insulated roofs and cross ventilation, allows maximum climatic comfort.
The excavated onsite soil was used to build rammed earth walls in a technique using an especially large body of formwork, adding five per cent cement for water resistance, and lending a contemporary character to a material associated with the vernacular. Specially designed trapezoidal terracotta roofing units laid on part-prefab beams were designed to achieve rapid modular construction of roofing slabs with high insulation properties. Terracotta pots as lost shuttering in filler slab technology were used to span the multipurpose and dining halls to economise on structural steel and eliminate the need for plastering or painting. A rootzone treatment plant recycles treated sewage water for irrigation.