The International Zone (IZ), one of the four principal zones of the Auroville city area - the other three being the Residential, Cultural and Industrial Zones - is the designated site for National Pavilions from around the world. Representing all the major cultures, these centres of research, study and creative activitiy, will be a concrete and richly expressive manifestation of human unity in diversity.
In the layout for the International Zone, the Pavilions are grouped into continental areas, with a different basic shape inspiring the layout and architectural expression of each one –the circle for Africa, the triangle for Asia, the square for Europe, the hexagon for America, and a mix of hexagon and triangle for Oceania
In addition to the National Pavilions, there are also several overarching institutions in the International Zone, such the Unity Pavilion, The Hall of Peace, Savitri Bhavan, the Auroville International Office (AVI), the Centre for International Research on Human Unity (CIRHU), the University of Human Unity (UHU), SAVI (Auroville Volunteer & Internship Service), and the Auroville Visitors Centre.
National / Cultural Pavilions
The essential aim of the cultural pavilions will be “to help individuals become aware of the fundamental genius of the nation to which they belong, at the same time bringing them into contact with the ways of life and genius of other nations, so that they can learn to know and respect equally the true spirit of all the countries of the world.“
Out of the almost 50 nations to date represented in Auroville, a number of Pavilion groups have emerged over the years. These pavilion groups regularly or occasionally organise cultural activities and events, in addition to working for the realisation of an actual Pavilion, the latter generally in collaboration with the Auroville International group in their countries. Active Pavilion Groups include Africa House, the House of the Americas, Asian Unity, the European Plaza, the Mediterranean Space and the Pavilions of Scandinavia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, The Philippines, Russia, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, USA as well as the Pavilion of Chinese Culture and the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture.
The Indian Pavilion, Bharat Nivas, is in an advanced stage of completion, and the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture was completed and inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in January 2009. The USA Pavilion Group has initiated an International Student Guest House in the International Zone, and the Canadian Pavilion Group has erected an Inuksuk, a large traditional Inuit stone sculpture, as a symbolic metaphor for humanity’s search towards a new consciousness. Foundation stones have been laid for the African, French, Russian, German and Italian Pavilions.
On February 17, 2018, the European House (temporary pavilion) was inaugurated.
26 Pavilion groupings
There are presently about 26 groupings in Auroville:
- Africa House
- House of the Americas
- Bharat Nivas / The Pavilion of India with the Tamil Heritage Centre
- The Pavilion of Britain
- The Pavilion of Canada
- The Pavilion of Chinese Culture
- The European House
- The French Pavilion
- The Pavilion of Germany
- The Pavilion of Hungary
- The Pavilion of Italy
- The Pavilion of Japan
- The Pavilion of Kazakhstan
- The Pavilion of Korea
- Mediterranean space
- The Pavilion of Middle East
- The Pavilion of Oceania
- The Pavilion of the Philippines
- The Pavilion of Russia
- The Pavilion of Scandinavia
- The Pavilion of Spain / Pabellón Español
- The Pavilion of Slovenia
- The Pavilion of Switzerland
- The Pavilion of Tibetan Culture
- The Pavilion of USA
- The Bulgarian Pavilion