When we arrived in Kodaikanal last year, there were 3 cows and a new born calf at the farm. They had been living in an old shed put together using iron sheets. As new calves were born and the cowshed was no longer sufficient to house all the cows and even keep the rain and cold out, a new cow shed was proposed just above the vegetable garden.
A human house is natural to imagine. Creating a home for cows was a challenge and unusual opportunity. During the process which took us 10 months from design to construction, we realised how basic the need for shelter is for all animals. We were also able to observe the consistency in patterns in spaces and flows of energy, light and air in a shelter, for humans and cows alike.
The cow shed had to be a safe house for the cows giving them a dry and clean place to sleep at night, keep them warm and protect them from rain. At the same time, it had to be easier to take care of and maintain for the milkmen.
- Space for 8 cows at the moment with a provision for extension for two extra cows.
- Each cow has a stall of 1.20 metres x 2.00 metres for itself.
- Storage space within the shed for grass/hay/fodder
- Flooring with slope to collect cow urine and dung separately.
- Working area just outside the shed for boiling water, cooking food for dogs etc.
- Rocket stoves in the working area for smokeless burning.
- Rainwater harvesting from the iron roof of the shed.
- Garden spaces around the shed for flowers/vegetables.