IHA Residence by Wallmakers is a beautiful contradiction of serenity, restraint and warmth amidst an avant-garde design form. A distinct use of bamboo—stabilised by steel rods—creates a veristic composition for the front elevation and defines a truly unique hanging staircase. CSEB bricks have been utilised to craft louvered jaali work for the walls, facilitating beautiful sciagraphy and natural ventilation. A definitively sustainable home, IHA not only features repurposed base plates from washing machines as grills, but also showcases an ingenious upcycling of uprooted trees and waste wood from sawmills into minimalist furnishings. Scroll down to read the architects insights.
The site was located on low-lying terrain with issues of water-logging, which was the primary obstacle we had to tackle. The principle idea was to ensure that the building wasn’t creating a hindrance in the flow of water. In a state like Kerala, where rain is frequent, we had to ensure that the water percolated into the ground and could be harvested. We had to come up with an alternative and sustainable solution which could also enhance the spatial quality. The solution was to create a pond at the lowest point of the site so that water is retained, while also adding to the veristic vibe of the residence.
Using bamboo for the façade came with a challenge as well—it is precarious and cannot support an entire edifice of this enormous size. This barrier was overcome and the notion was proved wrong. The bamboo façade has been created and conserved in a stable position by reinforcing it with steel rods. A continuous string of bamboo chutes form the front elevation, supporting the staircase that hangs from it, while also creating a semi-open place for quiet thoughts and contemplation.
The distinctive form of CSEB bricks (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks) has been used to create a rotating jaali work that imparts privacy to the bedrooms. Apart from the marvelous ambience the filtered light creates, a consecutive polar arrangement allows an uninterrupted flow of air throughout the space. The use of the base plates from washing machines as scrap grills instead of fresh factory made ones is an imperative part of the residence. The use of such grills instead of fresh ones propagates the idea of up-cycling and also serves as a medium of income for the meticulous labourers.
We have tried to bring small changes to the increasingly routine trend of wastage by inculcating an element regularly found 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. Scrap material has been used to create something spectacular!
Another element that sets the home apart are the simplistic and minimalist interiors. We made use of uprooted trees and waste wood from sawmills to create furniture for the residence. The structure connects closely to nature in terms of terrain, design and materiality. It is a representation of the environment of peace surrounding it.