Stepwells, brilliantly-designed subterranean aqua-structures (Bawari or Vav in the local dialect), were an integral part of Indian communities from the 2nd century A.D. until the end of 19th century. Abandoned in favor of canals and piped water-supplies, these exquisite structures were gradually forgotten. However, after more than a century-long hiatus, ecological and sustainability concerns have taken center stage amidst local and global water crises, AND the ancient wisdom of harnessing and designing for water has become part of a new aqua-architecture and sustainable water network.
Architect A. Mridul will talk about their project, Birkha Bawarii. Fashioned like a stepwell, it was designed and built in the Umaid Heritage Housing Township in Jodhpur, a water-stressed city on the fringe of the Thar Desert of India.