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Tarangambadi - Tranquebar


The Tarangambadi fisherman village was a post-disaster reconstruction project to provide homes for the 2004 tsunami victims on India's east coast of Tamil Nadu. House owners were not disappointed with mass-produced shelters that barely fit their housing requirements thanks to their unprecedented participation in the design and building of their homes. Two layouts were made for the design of the new settlement – one which was based on the gridiron layout and the other cluster layout. The people chose the gridiron layout. Children’s play areas, women’s community centre, pre-school facilities, parks, rainwater harvesting tank, bus shelters, land provision for future housing etc., were provided as common facilities in the new layout.

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Plots were allotted before the commencement of the construction to familiarise the house owner with the home designed for them. Seven model houses were constructed to help the communities evaluate the designs and suggest the modifications that they wanted. The provision of doors, windows, finishes such as painting and flooring, details such as niches, shelves and lofts, etc., were customized according to the owner’s preference. This kind of community participation also enabled the beneficiaries to suggest modifications while constructing. Consequently, though with unavoidable delays the first phase of the 451 houses was handed over to the beneficiaries in May 2007.

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