Haritam Restaurant

‘Haritam Rest Stop’ on highway 45, Tamil Nadu. The brief was to design a rest stop between Chennai and Thinidivanam that would serve authentic South Indian cuisine with healthy ingredients, in a building that would be designed sustainably. The site is about 99 kms south of Chennai, in a water scarce area with a mixed land use of industries, farming and roadside eateries.

The building had to have long facade to the west to maximise its exposure to the highway but because of a 170 mts high hill to the west, the main facade could be protected from the heat of low angle sun in the late afternoon. However, this would also create a wind shadow during night-time and early mornings, cutting off the land breeze. So the building envelope is designed with cut-outs and voids; maximising the window area to the floor space with deep overhangs. The main building material is rammed earth from foundation to lintel level with bands of masonry recycled stones from the Cuddapah stone cutting factories. The aluminium roof is insulated with recycled foam and is aerodynamically angled to create a visual impact to the traffic on the highway. The waste water from the kitchen and the dining space is recycled with a DEWATS system; to be further used for toilet flushing and watering an ornamental water body.