One of our favourite projects till date, the brief was to design and build a
guest house that looked a hundred years old around an existing large cashew
nut tree. We knew the only way to achieve this was to build the whole house
with a hundred year old materials. The client’s fascination to both French
Colonial and Chettinad architecture paved our way to intelligently bring in the
best of both worlds.
The plan revolves around the cashew nut tree in the middle of the site, hence an open courtyard forms the core of the house. A corridor around the courtyard and rooms arranged along the corridor gives ample room for natural light and ventilation. A ferrocement thin shell was built hands on to add massing to an otherwise simple elevation.
This project marks our milestone in building with recycled building materials. Reclaimed French Colonial windows and doors, reclaimed Chettinad rose wood columns, rafters and roofing tiles, discarded broken ceramic tiles from factories, Athangudi floor tiles and old beer glass bottles are some of the materials that were given a new lease of life through this project. If this wasn’t already enough, we felt the urge to highlight the importance of making use of the red laterite soil that was abundantly available at the site, hence a rammed earth wall stands tall as the imposing front elevation of the guest house!