Ashiana Vrinda Gardens, a 15-acre gated housing community, is a green oasis in the midst of the desert environs of Jaipur. Through interconnected open spaces, verdant mature tree canopies, playful use of water and land, the landscape design balances the needs of functionality, maintenance and circulation with those of aesthetics, tranquility and landscape engagement with a sensitive integrated landscape approach.
Intensive programming requirements of community gardens, badminton courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, play areas, amphitheatre, public art installations and public plazas were met within the constraints of an affordable housing project budget. Use of durable and long-lasting materials and patterning exhibit a commitment to quality.
The peripheral arrangement of clusters provide a central landscaped area which provides the residents with spaces for recreation, sports, contemplation and interaction. These spaces are linked by pedestrian walkways creating a walking trail. The experience of greenery, sunlight, fragrance and water along the walkways keeps changing the experience and engagement of the user with distinct views and interesting vistas.
At the core of the site is a club with a swimming pool and attached lawns for formal gatherings and celebrations. The club forms the central congregational space for the resident community- particularly women, children and senior citizens. It has sports facilities and lawns attached.
Unlike most contemporary projects with basement, Vrinda Gardens has only surface and stilt parking. The elimination of basement was a critical decision that helped keep the project affordable, yet it did have implications on the landscape programme.
All landscaped areas on virgin ground are at a level slightly lower than the adjacent walkways. As a result rain and storm water percolates into the ground, in the larger open spaces. This sensitive landscape engineering ensures that disposal of the surface runoff and structured solutions are kept to a minimal.
The planting strategy was largely focused on selection of a plant palette which is drought resistant and can do well with desert conditions of sandy soil and dry environment. The challenge to compensate the heavy built mass on the site was overcome by using by close spacing of trees with umbrella shaped foliage that cuts the views of the towers, that also results in a low carbon footprint. Closely spaced tall columnar trees were used as buffer. The simplified plant palette avoids the clutter of multispecies compositions providing a sense of calm and serenity.