|DOWN TO EARTH|
|2 years ago 0|
This house of the Bhatia family at Vrindavan Farms is earthy in its character and elegant in its appeal. Be it the material, construction method or embodied energy, he wanted everything to be as green as possible. So we de-mechanised the processes and adopted ecological solutions, says Ranjeet Mukherjee, the architect.
Earth, local timber, local workforce and recycled joinery has been used, not only cutting down on the cost but on the carbon footprint as well. Natural lighting and ventilation has brought down energy needs substantially.
The striking gazebo is self supporting and is a reinvention of the traditional sloping, Mangalore tiled roofs of the region. The gazebo is a four point star in plan; it is pyramid like in appearance and is a core space complete with comfortable seating that is just apt for relaxing at any time of day.
The rows of locally available inverted terracotta pots inserted as fillers in slabs have produced a waffle like appearance which in fact adds visual appeal.
A water channel runs along the external face of the plinth beam. It provides cooling and serves as a moat keeping out small creatures. Chains running down from the corners of the building channel rain water into the moats. The water then flows by gravity to the plantations below, besides recharging the natural aquifers.
Concrete columns have been avoided and load-bearing walls have been opted instead. The shuttering technology used in the rammed earth construction has produced walls with a good finish, thus eliminating the need for plastering.