Biju Mathew Residence, Pathanamthitta
Architect: Wallmakers Architectural Consultancy
There is a lot of potential in dealing with small urban and suburban homes for clients who approach architects with limited budgets and elaborate programs. Houses are aspirational investments for many in the developing suburban landscape of India sometimes demanding a lifetime of savings from the clients. Very different from weekend homes, these houses become prototypes in themselves and act as pivots for the life of the inhabitants.
This house employs recycled and eco-sensitive materials in its making with much care all the while ensuring that the material limitations are overcome and an expressive architecture is allowed to emerge from the constraints. The debris wall is built over a discovered foundation and with materials that are recycled from the site. The coconut-shell filler slab enables the architect to reduce concrete in the same. While the house uses numerous alternative technologies, there is a certain whimsy and playfulness in its design.
The small court ensures ventilation and the windows are made from scrap but with a certain careful detailing. The levels of the site are explored for connections within and the house maintains a scale with sensitivity towards the neighbourhood.
As urban influence spreads in smaller towns, many aspire for homes that often mimic the city with use of glass, concrete, steel and other urban materials that dominate the imagery. By resisting this omnipresent phenomenon and generating an architecture that is modern and yet, responsive to the specific conditions of its context will perhaps enable the towns to find their unique language.
The Biju Mathew Residence rises up to the challenge of contemporary architecture in re-imagining a common architectural program for the clients, the site, the materials and the process of making responsibly creating intriguing spaces in its wake and therefore, this residence by Wallmakers Architectural Consultancy is a Citation project in The Merit List.