ThinLars Residence

Project Name: ThinLars Residence
Authors: Field Architects


In an ecologically sensitive terrain, architecture can play a pivotal role in aiding assimilation of life and the land. In Ladakh, the extremities of climate dictate the form and ambition of the built space often drawing from the knowledge systems embedded in the context. However, the engagement of contemporary architecture with this knowledge is often superficial, extractive and occasionally, a mimicry of the past. 

This house, built in rammed earth and timber, draws from the construction culture of the place without making overt gestures towards the language of the buildings in the context. With simple, clear and eloquently proportioned forms, the house subscribes to the terraced house forms of Ladakh however, the architecture finds a contemporary language to locate the rammed earth, timber and solar passive strategies within. The intuitive grasp of the material and the effort of detail pushes the boundaries of the possible. 

Predictable yet unconventional, the house is also formally poised against the backdrop of the stark terrain with an ambition of rendering a comfortable space in a harsh environment. The architects refrain from fetishising the materials and instead, strive to engage with a system that employs timber and earth within its inherent logic. From within, the spaces are elaborately crafted and open up to the spectacular views inherited. Within its immediate context, the building resists a both, complete surrender and imposition. 

The cold hardness unique to the landscape of Ladakh elicits a visceral connection that the people of the land have with their buildings. This knowledge, embedded in the construction culture of the place characterises the spatial, material and tectonic ambition of this project exemplifying ecological and contextual commitment of contemporary architecture and therefore, ThinLars Residence by Field Architects is a Citation Project in The Merit List. 

Images & Drawings: courtesy Field Architects; Photographs: © Karamjeet Singh, Lars Lidstrom and Suril Patel

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