KOCHI: Taking a break from the conventional construction materials used for residences, architect Ashams Ravi’s contemporary and budget-friendly house made using eco-friendly and recycled materials is a class apart.
The house christened ‘ The Canaan’ is located at Powdikonam, near Kazhakoottam. Ashams designed the house and supervised its construction as well. Inspired by the Laurie Baker school of architecture, locally available materials such as bricks and mud have been used in this house, which connects with nature.
Ashams, who is a site architect at Centre of Science and Technology for Rural development (COSTFORD), used his expertise to finish the construction of the house in four- and-a-half months. Most of the materials were procured from demolished houses in and around the city.
The two-storey house situated on an inclined land was constructed by retaining all the trees present there, including a grand mahagony. “ There is a public and private zone in the house. These areas are interconnected, to make an integrated cohesive space,”says Ashams.
The foundation of the house has been made using dry rubble (broken stone of irregular sizes). The walls have been left unplastered. Designed to ensure cool interiors, the brick walls have been laid in the rat trap bond model.
The entrance to the house is through a spacious sit-out. The living room connects to a prayer area with a gothic arching roof. A cross in the prayer room has been made using discarded beer bottles. An extensive dining space with an open kitchen and work-area is a continuation of the living room. The work-area doubles as a verandah. The ground floor also has two bedrooms with attached bathrooms.
The first floor has two bedrooms with attached bathrooms, an open terrace, a library and courtyard. Roofing has been done using wood and terracotta tiles. Bamboo and mud have been used in certain portions of the roof.
As you take the stairs to reach the first floor, there is a window made using a horse wheel. Windows and doors too have been procured from demolished buildings. Even the handrails have been made using bike chains. There are also lampshades made using broken glass bottles.These features add to the character and beauty of the house.
“The construction industry contributes to 40 per cent of the carbon emission. Therefore, I decided to use local materials such as wood, mud, brick, bamboo and other recycled materials to build this house ,”adds Ashams.