Bengaluru architect George Ramapuram of the agency Earthitects was looking out for a property to construct a home for a shopper, when he noticed a fantastic hillside at Wayanad, Kerala.
George immediately fell in love with it. It was just some kilometres away from Wayanad city, and the land regarded like a hidden secret, ready to be found.
“I simply knew this place needed to be saved from being transformed right into a concrete jungle. Additionally, my shopper needed to be distant from metropolis visitors, air pollution and a fast-paced life. It was the right alternative for me to retain the gorgeous panorama and bushes on the property,” he remembers.
And that was how the thought of the vacation residence – Property Plavu – was born. Time stands nonetheless right here with the birdsongs dulling all different noises. When the morning solar sweeps by the thick foliage, the whole place takes on a golden glow.
However probably the most fantastic side of Property Plavu (which implies Jackfruit Tree in Malayalam) is that it’s constructed ‘round nature’, and never on it.
No bushes had been minimize within the technique of changing the land right into a sustainable residence, with a love for nature at its core, George tells The Higher India.
‘Constructing round nature and never on it’
Together with his coronary heart set on constructing a snug residence in concord with nature, George and his workforce began to brainstorm concepts. “We realised we would have liked a stable plan. One that may incorporate all of the bushes and rocks that had been already there on the property,” George explains.
“The land was on a slope however we didn’t need to degree it as it could imply uprooting a lot of the bushes. However we would have liked to have sufficient area for a sure variety of rooms and residing areas,” he provides.
Finally, George and his workforce selected a plan to construct the house on completely different ranges as an alternative.
“The home would mix with the hillside itself. The completely different ranges or lodges would all be related in order that the whole home isn’t one large mass. We deliberate the constructions solely in locations the place we weren’t interfering with nature. Each time a tree got here into the image we determined to construct a courtyard round it, at every degree,” he says.
The architect mentioned there have been many cases after they needed to change the plan to avoid wasting a specific tree on the property.
“And simply as we obtained the altering performed, one other tree could be present in another nook. So there have been plenty of revisions within the plan,” he remembers with a chuckle.
Stones partitions, clay tiles and eucalyptus poles
After weeks of planning, the development of Property Plavu started in 2017. It took the workforce round two and a half years to finish the venture.
“We needed to make use of pure supplies which are domestically out there, nothing that consumes an excessive amount of power to provide. We now have used stones from Kalpetta (a city within the mountainous Wayanad area) and random rubble to make the construction. We additionally needed to utilize the native ability set. Stone masonry is dying as cement blocks are most popular over stone immediately,” he says.
Different pure supplies utilized in Property Plavu are wooden for the ground, clay tiles for the roof, eucalyptus poles within the ceiling, customised-finish granite for counters, cobblestone for pathways, logs for rafters and stone for the deck flooring.
Discovering the best materials for the roof was a job, George says, contemplating the wet climate of the state.
“Concrete is extensively used for the roof in Kerala however we seen that the concrete begins leaking after a degree in heavy rains. To keep away from this, many have began to construct a tin sheet cowl over the roof. However in the course of the rains, it seems like a drum efficiency is happening above you, and in the course of the summers, it heats up,” George explains.
After rounds of debate, they zeroed in on clay tiles. “Firstly, they aren’t conductors of warmth like tin sheets. Additionally, the tiles have areas between them that entice air and assist settle down the rooms. Though clay tile roofing requires plenty of expert labour, time and endurance compared to tin sheets, it’s extra sustainable in the long term,” he says.
Portray an image of the property, George says, “As you enter the property, the primary degree has a residing area on one facet with a bed room, kitchen and eating space on the opposite. You go down a flight of stairs which is able to take you to different ranges which have a washroom and a helper’s room. Go additional down and you’ve got one other residing space with two extra bedrooms. In the event you go additional down the hillside you will discover a pool and a gazebo. You’ll additionally discover varied bushes hugging the whole property.”
‘Nature is the best architect’
The property is now a vacation residence to the Bengaluru techie who has been having fun with the silence and fantastic thing about the property since 2020.
The proprietor, who doesn’t want to be named, says, “There are two explanation why I like this property. Firstly I’ve immense love for nature, and the property is surrounded by bushes. Visiting this house is a singular expertise, like visiting a temple. It’s serene, quiet and humbling to be round a lot of nature. Additionally, it’s only a 15-minute drive from the city. While you enter the home it seems like you might be coming into a forest. It’s rejuvenating and refreshing to remain on the property.”
In the meantime, George has at all times been eager on discovering methods to make houses in concord with nature, as an architect.
“When it comes to sustainability and the instances we live in, I might say our forefathers are our greatest fashions. The homes they constructed are good examples of how one can dwell in concord with nature. I imagine we will get all our solutions from nature,” he says.
He continues, “If we proceed to destroy nature as we do now, we gained’t be leaving something for future generations. My son ought to have the ability to see nature in its glory within the years forward. When it comes to well being too, what is best than residing in tune with nature? Why dwell in a concrete jungle once we can flip issues round? We, at Earthitects, deal with residing with nature with out harming it.”
“I imagine nature is the best architect, and we now have to be in tune with it whereas constructing houses,” he indicators off.
Edited by Asha Prakash