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Do-gooders

There’s usually a lot to see at the VINCON store in Barcelona.

vincon-11Its window displays are renowned for their inventiveness.

VINÇON SILVESTRE WINDOW DISPLAY BARCELONA ANTONIO IGLESIAS

There’s lots of stuff inside for you to decide whether you really need it or not.

vincon_pxl_b9b1e0f278ac3e9012028ef70ba14bff

Upstairs, at the back, you’ll see a very characterful fireplace.

fireplaceAnd just outside is a rear terrace with a view of Casa Mila’s back side.

rear elevation

Until four days ago, VINCON also hosted an exhibition.

exhib

It was put together by architect Ricard Morató. I hadn’t heard of him.

ricard morató

For the past four years he’s been head architect for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation at their office in Anantapur, India. In that time, he’s designed and built a hospital, a school and residential buildings as well as other buildings for the Foundation.

This is founder Vicente Ferrer and his wife Anna. I hadn’t heard of them either.

vincente and anna

Vincente created the Vicente Ferrer Foundation in 1969 with the aim of finding solutions to the multiple problems of the rural community of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.

mapa-anantapur

A team of more than 2,200 people, of which 99% are natives of Anantapur, implements the organisation’s programme that covers 2,604 villages and benefits more than TWO AND A HALF MILLION people.

Most of the foundation’s work focuses on improving the lot of the Dalit people who, in less-PC times, were known as the India’s “untouchable” caste. Many are without basic human rights such as education, healthcare and housing. The Foundation began its program of housing construction in order to give every Dalit family a decent home.

There are 166 million Dalit. That’s two and a half times the population of the UK, eight times that of Australia, 50% of the USA, 40% of western Europe.

Cumulative results up to 2009
General housing built
32,873
Housing adapted for people with disabilities
1,892

The current total is closer to 50,000 families. Assuming 6 persons per family and 6 persons per house, 1% OF THEIR MISSION IS ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED! HTML FAILS ME. I CAN’T SHOUT THIS LOUD ENOUGH – THEY’RE DOING IT, THEY’RE GETTING THERE!

The houses built by the Foundation are simple houses with two rooms. The first room is the kitchen, with space to store food and the utensils for cooking and handling food. The other room is the bedroom and living room. All houses have an elevated porch protected by a roof. It does the shelter thing well. 

C:UsersUsuarioFEINA-ACTUALEXPOExpoPANELL VIVENDA G01 GENER

model© Nagappa 074

The houses are self-build because that’s how it has to be. They seem to be built by children, women and the elderly – I’m sure there’s a good reason why. 

305_BLOG008_Viv_Albert UriachThese buildings aren’t the Heydar Aliyev Culture Centre but, if we go by the old definition of venustas where beauty required an element of ethical virtue, then we’re looking at something truly beautiful happening here in Anantapur.

These buildings gladden my heart. It’s been a long time since any building by anyone anywhere has done that. Me, I like that feeling, but it’s not about me and what I feel.

La-Casas-en-India (1)community

sunset

2 thoughts on “Do-gooders

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