The role of the International Zone is to illustrate in a living, concrete manner, how the principle of unity in diversity is to be applied on the world-scale, at the level of the various nations and cultures which comprise today's humanity.
The Role of the Pavilions
The pavilions will offer a space for the expression of each nation's search for its soul and its true place in the world. They will be multi-functional, with their foundation in educational programmes, research and cultural activities.
"The international section: we have already approached a certain number of ambassadors and countries for each one to have its pavilion -a pavilion from every country. It was an old idea. Some have already accepted, so it is on the way. Each pavilion has its own garden with, as far as possible, a representation of plants and products of the country which it represents. If they have enough money and enough space, they can also have a sort of small museum or permanent exhibition of the country's achievements. The buildings should be constructed according to the architecture of each country-it should be like a document of information. Then, depending on the money they wish to spend, they could also have accommodation for students, conference rooms, etc., a cuisine of the country, a restaurant of the country - they could have all kinds of developments."
For the 170-acre International Zone, primary development will be limited to national and international cultural pavilions, conference and exhibition halls, communication centres, visitor information centres, parks and green areas, playgrounds, hostels, guest houses, restaurants, kiosks and convenience stores, with the further possibility of medical centres, public transport facilities and some staff quarters.
The adjacent Crown Road area will be used for shopping arcades, restaurants, guesthouses, hostels, dwellings and staff quarters, indoor recreation facilities, banking and financial services, parks and green areas.
Of the four zones defined by the Galaxy's Lines of Force, the International Zone is far, the least developed. Understandably the nature of the other zones the industrial Zone with its small scale industries, the Residential Zone with its housing for the residents; and the Cultural Zone with its schools, sports and arts complexes were of a more basic and urgent priority in the early stages of the township.
The International Zone has been planned in a circular model of four continental areas with the Pavilion of India, Bharat Nivas at its centre. Around Bharat Nivas one finds the Americas, Europe (including Russia), Asia with Oceania and Australia, Africa and the Middle East pavilion areas, allowing room for the expression of the fundamental nation identity and culture of the various countries of the world.
Currently, the main buildings at the heart of this zone are:
- Bharat Nivas (which includes Kalakendra Art Exhibition Hall, and the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium)
- Savitri Bhavan (with its collection of the original Savitri artwork created by disciple Huta for The Mother)
- The Unity Pavilion – a catalyst for the future national pavilions. It also houses one of the world’s three Peace tables created by disciple and expert woodcrafter, George Nakashima.
- The Pavilion of the Tibetan Culture
- Auroville Visitors’ Centre
Both Savitri Bhavan and Unity Pavilion are the site for numerous talks, conferences and training courses. The Unity Pavilion also hosts the annual “Art for Land” exhibition and events cycle, a platform for artistic excellence and a sub-action of the “Acres for Auroville” campaign.
"Just as each individual has a psychic being which is his true self and which governs his destiny more or less overtly, so too each nation has a psychic being which is its true being and moulds its destiny from behind the veil: it is the soul of the country, the national genius, the spirit of the people, the centre of national aspiration, the fountainhead of all that is beautiful, noble, great and generous in the life of the country."
- The Mother
Auroville wishes to offer itself as a field of ongoing experience and training for the youth of the world, in the inner attitudes and outer methods which are most conducive to the establishment of a culture of peace on earth. In this connection, one of the functions of the International Zone will be to organise and support educational opportunities for and research by visiting students.
Identifying the soul of each nation is at the core of the work of the pavilions. Researchers can take advantage of Auroville as a field of experimentation, discovering in the lively interaction of the International Zone support for "material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity" according to Auroville's Charter.
Residential ZoneHousing the CommunityFor the 412-acre Residential Zone, the development will be primarily limited to residential community buildings, community meeting spaces, crèches and young age group educational needs, work studios, first aid centres, parks, playgrounds, landscaping elements, eco-friendly parking areas, kiosks and convenience stores, with the additional possibility of small handicraft ateliers.The adjacent Crown Road area is planned for dwellings and city-level retail stores, display areas, communication and recreation centres, restaurants, libraries and reading rooms, health centres, essential utility needs, city management sub-offices for services such as fire, water, sanitation and post/telecom, parks and green areas and eco-friendly parking. There could also be guest houses, department stores, some small professional offices, utility maintenance centres and essential transport-related infrastructure and conference facilities.Additional apartment blocks in the zone are needed to serve the housing needs of the community.
Industrial ZoneA New Model For IndustriesThe 363-acre Industrial Zone, located in the north east of the township, though the smallest of the four zones of Auroville, has the maximum amount of land features. It has the most canyons, has low lying waterlogged lands. and has excellent farm land. The rich soil in its environs has given rise to the neighbouring villages of Bharatipuram and Alankuppam.
Cultural ZoneA Space for Manifesting Research and Practice of New Expressions in Auroville Arts, Education and SportsThe 103-hectare (240 acres) spanning Cultural Zone will have its own specific vibration emanating from the various cultural institutions and research centres related to education, arts and sport that are planned there. City-level cultural uses will find their place there, such as auditoriums and exhibition halls, parks and playgrounds, green areas, kiosks and convenience stores, a stadium and large spaces with sports facilities.Auroville’s Cultural Zone includes educational undertakings such as Future School, Transition school, Sports Ground, Youth Center, Language Lab, Kalabhumi.