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A residence hugging nature

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The recently completed residence of Delhi based Tara Pillai and Sreekumar in Mannanthala,Thiruvananthapuram, depicts an atmosphere that is an oxymoron in nature – serene and warm, with minimalistic decors and at the same time, adventurous and wild in design. Architect Vinu Daniel of Wallmakers says that the client brief was to build an eco-friendly abode that also retains peace in this busy city in Kerala.

The site was on a low-lying terrain with issues of waterlogging, which was the primary obstacle we had to tackle. The idea was to ensure that the building wasn’t creating a hindrance in the flow of water. Being in a state like Kerala, where rains are frequent, we had to ensure that the water percolates into the ground and that it could be harvested. We had to come up with an alternative and sustainable solution which could also enhance the spatial quality- a pond in the lowest point of the site so that water is retained in the site as well as adding to the veristic vibe of the residence.

Using bamboo for the façade had a downside to it – it is precarious and cannot support an entire edifice of an enormous size. This is the barrier that was demolished and proved wrong by dint of this project. The bamboo façade is created and conserved in a stable position by reinforcing the bamboo with steel rods. The continuous string of bamboos form the front elevation to the residence instead of the walls, also creating a semi-open place for one’s quite thoughts. On a closer look, the bamboo façade furnishes an impression of flowing water that adds to the aesthetic layout of the structure.

The distinctive form of CSEB bricks (Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks) has been used to create a rotating Jali work which produces varying intricate patterns on the floor when light beams through the concise spaces created by the peculiar arrangement of bricks. The consecutive polar arrangement allows uninterrupted flow of air allowing ample ventilation.

The use of scrap grills instead of fresh factory made ones is an imperative part of the residence. Use of such grills instead of fresh ones propagates the idea of up-cycling as well as serves as a medium of income for labourers who part their blood and sweat to create exquisite pieces of art.

The design team has tried to bring in small changes in the usual routine of wastage by inculcating something regularly seen in junkyards. The use of washing machine motor base plates, welded together not only encourages sustainable living and reuse but also adds to the beauty of the residence. Utilizing scrap material and turn it into something spectacular is made possible.

What set the home apart from usual residences is the simplistic and minimalist interiors of the residence. Uprooted trees and waste wood from saw mills are used as the furniture for the residence. The sleek and rustic furniture takes the vibe of the residence up a notch.

The s t r ucture connec t s closely to nature in terms of terrain, design and materials alike. The residence hugs and stays close to the environment of peace around it and the outgoing and cordial vibe within the four walls of the residence.

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