In Alwar, about a 4-hour drive south of Delhi, there is a farm whose main building, called the Mud House, was designed by a designer from a small local studio, Sketch Design Studio. Her work was based on historical techniques and local building traditions.
After all, this is already evident at the first glance at the one-story building. Residential building with a usable area of 186 m2 it has two bedrooms and a central room opening on one side to an organic vegetable garden, while on the other side is a lawn.
Above the bedrooms are two roof terraces accessible by outdoor stairs. Their shape and crossing is based on traditional stepped wells and ponds that were built in the country centuries ago. The stone roof brackets further underline the stepped effect.
The designer was also based on history and local traditions when choosing building materials. The walls are built from recycled stone and rammed clay, quarried in the area. Mortar made from waste produced during the processing of limestone in limestone quarries served as a binder for stone masonry. This material has been used in the surrounding villages for many years.
Do you like the trend of returning to old construction technologies?
Yes, I think there is still much to be found in the working practices of our ancestors.
Quite yes, it is a certain peculiarity compared to modern architecture.
I don’t know, I can’t judge that.
Rather not, I don’t really trust it.
No, I think that’s the way back. We have to look for new, modern technologies.
A total of 93 readers voted.
What is interesting, however, is the composition of the clay mixture that the designer used for compaction. About what its ideal composition should be, she consulted with the oldest craftsmen and masons in the area, from whom she gained valuable advice and experience.
So she mixed lime and fenugreek (Greek hay) seeds with the clay. These components served as a natural binder. In addition, she added panel (a sweetener made by drying sugarcane juice, also known as jaggery or radapura) and Indian lilac leaves (azadirachta indica), which is used as medicine in the country, to the clay. In addition, it also has demonstrable pesticidal effects, as it prevents the hatching of the eggs of many types of insects. The house is thus protected against unpleasant pests multiplying in it.
An Egyptian engineer builds houses from rammed earth. They are ecological and insulate well
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Since the farm is located in a zone with demanding climatic conditions, it must offer enough coolness and shade from the hot sun on hot summer days. At the same time, it must let enough of its rays into the interior in winter.
The designer achieved this, for example, with the deep overhangs of the roof, which in summer provide shade from the high standing sun, while in winter, when it is low, it can warm the house nicely.
The walls made of a compacted soil mixture have an interesting mottled color. This is not determined by the color of the clay in the surroundings, they are plastered with a mixture of lime and brick powder.
Just like the design of the entire house, the designer brought the country as close as possible to purely natural materials, with reference to local building traditions, and also placed emphasis on local resources and production during its furnishing. Many pieces of furniture are therefore the work of local craftsmen.
Readers’ Christmas parade – we are looking for a symbol of Christmas
Christmas is symbolized differently in every family. Somewhere, they take out of the closet a nativity scene that has been kept for generations, decorate the windows here, and elsewhere hang a wreath of pine on the door. What is the symbol of Christmas for you? What do you need to prepare to be able to say, “Well, it’s Christmas again?” Share a bit of your holiday spirit in our traditional Christmas parade!
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For a view of the Pacific, the owners could not have asked for a better home
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