Auroville is a universal city in south-India dedicated to the ideal of human unity based on the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

It was founded the 28th of February in 1968 and designed by Roger Anger.

In terms of physical development, Auroville aims at becoming a model of the 'city of the future' or 'the city the earth needs'. It wants to show the world that future realisations in all fields of work will allow us to build beautiful cities where people sincerely looking towards a more harmonious future will want to live.

One of the most remarkable concepts of Auroville is its master plan, laid out in form of a galaxy. A galaxy in which several 'arms' seem to unwind from a central region. At the centre stands the Matrimandir, the ‘soul of Auroville’, a place for individual silent concentration. Radiating out beyond the Matrimandir Gardens are four Zones, each focusing on an important aspect of the township’s life: Industrial (north), Cultural (north east), Residential (south/south west) and International (west). Surrounding the city area is a Green Belt consisting of forested areas, farms and sanctuaries with scattered settlements for those involved in green work.

To compensate for the low-rise housing for the green city of Auroville, and still provide the required compactness and density, Roger Anger introduced urban structures that he called Lignes de Force (meaning Lines of Strength), the most distinct elements of the city concept. These extremely long structures rise above the rest of the city at one end, and gradually slope down over the entire length to reach the ground at its other end. In the residential zone, the towering heights are located towards the periphery of the city, their terraces facing the city centre, and in the industrial zone the reverse occurs, allowing a high density of office spaces to be accommodated in the city centre and low-rise production areas towards the periphery. The Lignes de Force structures enhance the dynamic spiralling movement of the town plan, absorb density with a minimum circulation on the ground through vertical development and provide vistas and views of the city itself from various viewpoints that would otherwise not be visible in the flat land. Roger believed that since the land was flat, the intention was to build the artificial levels by means of circular macrostructure, which would give the town its dynamic look, and this in turn would constitute the highest densification zone. Approximately 50% of the population would live and practice their activities in these high-density zones. The multistoreyed buildings would not be a dense, opaque mass; it would offer many transsections, views from the outside to inside and vice versa. This would create a shade of architecture, which would allow for undercover traffic and sudden outbursts of light within patios and elevated gardens.

With exception of these urban structures, Lignes de Force which Roger said, ‘were essential for the silhouette of the city’ and to allow remaining buildings to be really low thus permitting direct contact from anywhere to the city centre, he felt that all the areas of town’s development were planned with a great deal of flexibility. The Lignes de Force concept can be considered a culmination of all of Roger Anger’s previous research in large-scale housing and urbanisation experiments in Paris.

As Auroville was completing 50 years in February 28th 2018, it was time to take a step, an urban one, towards realising the city and involve in an international workshop students from other realities.

Directed by

Dr. Anupama Kundoo
anupama kundoo architects

In collaboration with

Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM)
Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV)

Teaching team

Alba Balmaseda
Luis Basabe
Yashoda Joshi
Sonali Phadnis
Dr. Anupama Kundoo
Dr. Luis Palacios


Aditi Despande
Umang Gupta


Isidoro López-Puget
Irene Landa
Tamar Briones
Juan García-Segovia
Inés Nogue
Paula Rocio López
Marta Chicón
María Campos
Begoña de la Joya
Cristina Chantal de Ponte Paula Alicia Nicolas Roberta Carrara
Anna Saviano
María Jesús Padrón
Andrés Conejero
Greta Indrio
Heidi Susanna Peura
Sirine Ammour
Anna Victoria van der Zwaag
Margaux Guillot Guerrier Giovanna Bordin
Ankit Kokil
Soumi Kundu
Dhari Phate

Image Credits

Javier Callejas


Photo by Philip Mak


Born in La Coruña, Spain, in 1985. Graduated as an architect from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2010. Granted with the Erasmus program in La Sapienza University of Rome in 2007. Diploma Thesis rated as outstanding and winner of a National Prize in 2011. Secured a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architectural Projects at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in September 2011. 

Combines the practice of architecture with academic research and teaching. Collaborated actively with Irisarri+Piñera Architects, Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas (VIC) and Anupama Kundoo Architects. Developed academic research and teaching at Vastu Shilpa Foundation in Amhedabad, University of Nairobi, Tokyo Wonder Site, University IUAV Venice, KAKD Copenhagen or TU Berlin.

Co-founder of the BarrioBalmaseda studio which ran from 2014 to 2020. Since 2020 she has started a new architectural practice focused on design, teaching and research. Currently Guest Assistant Professor at Stuttgart School of Architecture and Planning and PhD candidate at Roma Tre University Department of Architecture. 


hit counter

Made by Belén Alemán with CARGO