Author: Nagesh Battula
As part of our endeavour to build eco habitats, Studio Organo often talks to people of particular social and economic strata to find out if something is amiss in today's real estate.
During such discussions with CEOs and CXOs - people who've travelled a lot and to large family-run businesses, we came across a few observations which sounded right to us:
"My village home was beautiful and huge, and there was greenery. I longed to get such a home right here."
"I want large homes for our entire joint family. Like we had back in our town amidst lush farms and forests."
"I want a home which is sensitive to the needs of every member of our large family with specific places for their work, entertainment, and relaxation."
"I want a home and a community which is private yet conducive for socializing when I want."
When we looked at some of these observations, we realized that within these unmet needs is an opportunity to create for these steady strivers a beautiful mix of the rural and urban of truly empathic homes.
The gated communities built by the real estate industry answer only part of this need, and most have a cookie-cutter approach with little or no personalization.
Thus, there is a need to create truly bespoke homes crafted for these people whom we call as steady strivers. Because they always question the status quo.
In our effort to design and manifest eco-habitats, we come across this question, often from clients and sometimes from collaborators - why are you developing a community so far away from the city?
We are sharing the behind-the-scenes story of how we arrived at Organo Kandawada, designed for `Steady Strivers' comprising CEOs, CXOs, Business Owners and Head Honchos.
We met several people who are `Steady Strivers' and observed that their lives are multi-layered. They have different groups of friends, clients, and employees, and their socializing patterns vary according to whom they choose to entertain. Most of their social interactions happen at their home at some point. And these groups cannot be mixed or assembled in one place.
At another level, they have their family – spouse, children, and parents, who also have their own social life, all independent of each other. At the same time, they have family activities in a shared space. There is also a space where they socialize and entertain their extended families, friends, and relatives.
We deep-dived into another category of `Steady Strivers', with different socializing and entertainment patterns. In essence, we understood that their homes need other spaces like different settings in the living room, entertainment room, lounge areas, gaming zones, health & fitness areas, etc. These spaces become essential for their lives because they handle multiple things and perform various roles in their work and personal lives.
The Studio Organo Process
Armed with this data, we started with product design at Studio Organo. We looked at the communities built in a city where the CEO and CXO communities will live. When we looked at developing typology and evaluated various factors that emerged during our research, we understood these people would want to live in a house of around 6000 square feet, with ample open space with a home defined by responsible luxury.
When we considered the community of 100 - 125 homes with those specifications, we figured we would need around 40 to 50 acres, ideally, located away from the noise and other types of pollution.
The Pursuit of Perfect Fit
Considering the lives of Steady Strivers, we figured that they might prefer to live in and around Financial District or Kokapet. However, the land prices in these areas would allow us to build a maximum of 4 or 5 houses. When we deep-dived further and spoke to more people, we realized that the traffic in these areas was ever-increasing, and the commute to the office, school, or hospital would take a minimum of 30 minutes, if not more. Regardless of these observations, even if we did go ahead and build a gated community in these areas, the end product would be a tightly packed gated community with limited car parking spaces, which would once again contribute to the congestion with cars getting parked on the roads. The houses will overlook each other, and the kind of private personalized homes we were envisaging wouldn't materialize.
After carefully deliberating for long periods, Studio Organo concluded that if we must manifest eco-habitats that facilitate Rurban living with all the space needs for this typology, with 60% of the land reserved for farming, afforestation, restricted parking zones, socializing and fitness zones and slow down spaces, the hub of the city was not an option.
We started scouting for apt locations and finally decided on Kandawada village. The reasons were the proximity to the city (30 minutes drive from Gachibowli), the four-lane National Highway, and accessibility to essential services and educational institutions. The infrastructure is fast developing, and above all, the amenities and features can be designed and customized to be persona specific.
The quest to elate
The way we build eco-habitats is very different. A team of architects and designers spend time with each family understanding their needs, deep desires and expectations. Once the architects map these needs, they see which of our existing three projects is the right fit for the families.
We call this process - "the quest to elate" as we delve deeper, asking questions aimed at creating bespoke homes designed to elate customers.
If the fit is not there, we tell the families that we still need a product typology suited to their needs. This typology is then transferred to our Design research team, the Studio Organo.
But if we see a fit, our team of Architects and Product Guides will present a personalized presentation to the family on how their eco-habitat will look, feel and behave.
The result: Organo Kandawada – personalized eco-habitats for the Steady Strivers.
Frugality to deliver true luxury.
And when they discover that these eco-habitats truly impact the rural villages positively. Or when they get to consume responsible, safe, witnessed food. Or realize that these eco-habitats are making a small contribution towards climate change and know that their money is becoming happier. By being part of a more significant cause, Hap Money will fulfil their souls too.
With our cities being choked due to high population density, we are consuming polluted water, breathing polluted air, and eating food from unknown sources. Counter-urbanization is one possible solution to reduce stress in our cities and improve our health and well-being.
At Organo Rurban Communities, farming happens in your backyard. You can see how your food is produced, and you can see it being harvested and delivered to your house immediately. The supply chain is very short.
Having lands dedicated to agriculture is not possible within the city due to the cost of land and polluted air, water, and soil resources.
It is a known fact that the best source of water is rainwater. And our city can only depend partially on rainfall due to high population density compared to the falling precipitation. We are not only diverting water from lakes and rivers for city consumption but are also cutting off pathways for the rain to flow back into these resources by building roads, destroying soils and rocks, and cutting down trees.
In Organo Rurban Communities, the density is at most three units per acre. This means there is ample rainfall for communities to sustain.
There is so much information nowadays about the importance of air quality that it is evident why it is terrible in the city. It will not improve unless a pandemic type of scenario arises.
Or, Rurban Communities can offer fresh air as they are far away from the city with low vehicular movement, which is impossible in the city.
In Organo Rurban communities, we don't treat land like typical real estate, where the value is mainly derived from the speculative nature of land prices and developments around the project.
Here, there is minimal speculation on land price, and most of the construction cost goes into building infrastructure and installing technologies for sustaining the community. In Organo eco-habitats, the land price is just 10% to 15% of the overall cost. In addition to the spaces within the homes, there are many other contributors to the cost, such as work-from-home spaces, Goshala, solar, water security, training and skill development cost, farming, MEP infrastructure spread over a larger area, etc.
An evolving process
The journey of Kandawada is one of evolution. As we look at personalization, we welcome you to a meeting with our architects. And together, we will dream with you. For you.