|Karyavattom, Trivandrum, Kerala
|Year of Completion
|Best Ecofriendly/Sustainable Home
Mathrubhumi Marstercraft Awards 2019
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To work for someone who keeps the song of the ages in his heart while welcoming the new age with both hands, has been a rewarding experience. The place where you live is much affected by you much as you are by it, which is exactly why we designed a cozy mud house with its roots in the earth for this man whose memories are filled with the aromas and colors of a bygone age. It was a simple concept, like every other truth in the world: Why choose anything else to shelter you for your life but the very thing, which molds you from nothing and shelters you for eternity? Rammed Earth was the method we chose to construct this mud house. A method which dates back to Neolithic age but long forgotten among the modern techniques. Recent demand for sustainable construction have led to renewed interest in this technique which is more labor intensive and contains less embodied energy. This project was our small contribution in reviving this ancient technique.
Rammed Earth involves compacting a damp mixture of soil that has suitable proportions of sand, gravel, clay, and stabilizer into a formwork to give the required shape.
Source of Soil : Soil from the depth below 60cms was used for construction.
Cleaning of Soil : Soil was cleaned using a mechanised sieve to remove stones & organic matter.
Mixing Stabilizer & Water : Lime and Water was added to required proportion to make the soil damp.
Shuttering : Shuttering with M.S. L-Angle frames with plywood was used as formwork.
Ramming : M.S. hammers with wooden ends were used to ramm the soil manually.
Deshuttering : Shuttering was removed and the walls were left form-finished
The plot is rectangular in shape and the residence is designed in L shape facing South and West direction in the inner side. So a verandah is provided in both the sides which acts as a buffer space between the exterior and the interior to screen the sunlight during daytime. It's overlooking the yard in front and the small garden of native plants grown around. Verandah have informal seating alongwith and with few movable chairs it turns into a common gathering place. It opens into the living room in the middle and the living room is having seating at one side and a raised dias at the other side. This is a multi-purpose arrangement which can be used as a stage to perform art since the owner is a musician and an extra bed if needed and cozy reading/seating space. Then comes the restroom which provides privacy for the dining and open kitchen. The dining and kitchen is separated by a small built in seating to sit and have food once in a while, which is a nostalgic recap for the clients of their childhood. The well is connected to the kitchen in the way it's done in our traditional houses and it's called 'adukkala kinar'. The other side of the living have a small library from where the steps to the first floor is given, and an attached bedroom. The stairway have one side opening to the north direction where it's designed reminiscing the coloured glass windows of the past. The first floor is having a single bedroom and an attached toilet.