A Kerala Architect Has Built A Sustainable Home With Virtually No Eco-Footprint

Flintstone6Syam Sreesylam

If you live in a city and have ever wanted to just pack everything up and move to a remote house on a farm, you're not alone. Abdhishek Ubale and Sunaina from Bengaluru felt the same after the uncertainty of urban life during the pandemic. So they bought themselves a piece of land near the Shoolagiri village of Tamil Nadu belonging to a farming community named Sanctity Ferme and built their oasis.

Flintstone6Syam Sreesylam

They reached out to architect Fawaz Thengilan from Studio Mitti to explore the possibility of how they could build a house sensibly in a green, untouched land. The idea was to camouflage the building into its surroundings, so as to not stand out as an eyesore in the scenic landscape. The pandemic also posed a limitation on the availability of raw materials, compelling them to focus on incorporating the available materials like soil and waste into the building using a technique called as 'debris wall construction'.

The hall, The bathroom
The hall, The bathroomSyam Sreesylam

Deriving inspiration from camouflaging techniques of animals, the Kerala-based architect conceived this residential design that seamlessly blends into its landscape in material and form. Rooted in a Mango grove, the single-story 2-bedroom cottage camouflages into the surroundings with poured earth walls alongside raw grey concrete counterparts to create a modern juxtaposition. The multi-functional hall with an open kitchen is filled with natural geometric light from the Casuarina-glazed roof.

Granite boulders used ofr making the basin as well as the walls.
Granite boulders used ofr making the basin as well as the walls.Syam Sreesylam

Rightfully called Flintstone6, the cottage has an earthy palette in both material and colour. The rock bed in the master bedroom is a reclaimed quarry waste piece from the nearby abandoned quarry. Basins have been carved out from granite boulders picked from landfills. Some of the furniture also has been made from reclaimed wood. The rocky terrain of Shoolagiri reflects indoors with boulders projecting from the walls, stone and wood furnishings and an outdoor ensuite bathroom.

This carbon-neutral, sustainable home is a union of minimalist modern design with natural elements that mimics its surroundings, disappearing into the aesthetics of the landscape while leaving virtually no footprint behind.

Follow the architect, Fawaz here.