Built in pursuit of the perfect sanctuary, Casa Rana is more than just a structure. It’s a symbol of humanity that fifteen HIV-positive children call home.
After all, home is not a place. It’s a feeling.
And that’s what Casa Rana successfully does for these children, who are either orphaned, abandoned or hail from families who don’t have enough money to take care of them. The little residents now have a sense of belonging – a family and place to call their own. Here, they can grow up in a loving family atmosphere where they are also engaged in vocational trainings and educational activities.
Standing tall and proud, nestled in the midst of rural Tamil Nadu near the village of Tiruvannamalai, Casa Rana is a multi-coloured, and bamboo screened building that exudes positivity and hope. Designed by the Italian non-profit architecture studio, Made in Earth and an Indian charity, Terre des Hommes Core Trust, the foster home is the first of it’s kind. It was built after the architects actively collaborated with the children – who were asked to sketch their aspirations of a future home – to create ‘a place full of joy and colour to live.’
“The idea was to create a dynamic space for children. A place that is itself a toy, to be discovered and explored. A place that views children as participants’ and not as end-users only. That’s why we asked them to sketch their aspirations of a future home. This is what drove us to give them a home full of joy and colour,” says the architect from Made in Earth.
“We also believe that the fundamental goal for every project is to combine ethical and aesthetic values in order to protect people’s dignity, with a real attention to their needs. This way, architecture becomes a chance to pursue bigger goals: this is our idea of sustainability.”
Proving that architecture can affect society, Casa Rana lays a foundation for ‘architecture for change’ in India. It’s a true testament to the power of design to defeat stigma and instil dignity and a sense of community.
Featured image source: Design Boom
Written by Advaitaa Ravi