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Andre Hababou

Auroville, India
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Andre Hababou for Fred Cebron's documentation, The Mother 02: Andre Hababou.

Andre Hababou, born in Tunisia in 1942, moved to France at the age of fourteen and attended the "Ecole des Beaux-Arts" in Aix en Provence. In this renowned school, he studied Arts and Architecture, but in 1964, discontent with the rigid education and the materialistic French lifestyle, he withdrew from school.

He came to India in 1968 at the age of 26. Andre worked under the guidance of Roger Anger, Chief Architect of the city of Auroville, the town envisioned by the Mother, in Tamil Nadu, India, and for the past 40 years, he has practiced architecture in and around Auroville creating numerous private residences, apartment buildings and commercial facilities. He is cited and published, most recently, in the journal Architecture + Design.

Andre on Auroville

"I studied architecture, but innerly felt more drawn to the more anarchistic artists with whom I studied painting; people who needed more freedom."Beaux Arts"gave me the basics of architecture, but the fulfilment of designing came with working under the Mother's guidance; with Roger Anger, the freedom to create Auroville.

"I came here when I was 26 and the Mother asked me to work with Roger. She foresaw an Auroville recreation port and an Olympic stadium. I was very surprised to hear about these things, in the name of what was to be a spiritual community. The notion of a spiritual path that was removed from asceticism drastically changed my perception of what Auroville could be.

I learned that architects can serve humanity through love and respect for life; seeing the deeper values of buildings and their environments. We came with old Western spiritual values, holding that money is evil; but Mother gave her spiritual guidance and each found him- or herself at the right place. I became mature under Her guidance and in working with Roger, who had the power to make people work together. India was a paradise for western architects, with very few codes and restrictions. But then, our materials in the seventies were limited to cement in bags, bricks, terracotta tiles and wood. We used ferro-cement to express volume. There were many climate aspects that were new to me and encouraged me to think at least twice about my designs."

Below is a link to a small documentation of Andre Hababou's impression of the Mother by Fred Cebron.

Auroville, India