A poetry in Brick and Stone, " NIKUNJ" is a humble residence on a site measuring 40'x50' on Magadi road in Bangalore designed by Archemist Architects.
The objective of this project revolves around the concept of symbiotic relationship between Man and Nature. The homeowners wanted their ideologies of eco consciousness and sustainable living to be reflected in every aspect of the design of their home.
Planning of the house revolves around the maximum use of natural light and ventilation. A part of the ceiling within the stairwell is punctured with glass blocks to let natural light penetrate through during the day and disperse light to all areas. Building materials are a combination of natural materials; wood, brick, stone and local sourced products in order to create the feeling of natural living with the essence of modern architecture.
We catered to very specific demands of the client to create a sustainable home that has least impact on nature. In terms of ‘green’ techniques, in construction, we have used filler slabs in roof, which cut the concrete usage by 30%. Similarly, in order to reduce usage of river sand “Porotherm” hollow clay blocks were used for 70% of the wall area to avoid plastering. Both these materials help regulate temperature and keep the interiors cool in summer and warm in winter. Most of the rainwater is harvested in a separate tank and any excess water recharges the ground through a huge 15ft deep recharge pit. The Client was very keen on building a Reed Bed water filtration, a natural system which treats the ‘grey water’ from sink, bath/shower, washing machine and hand basins. This recycled grey water is then used for flushing and gardening with the help of a dual plumbing system. Apart from using the solar water heaters, a grid connected 3Kwh capacity Solar Photovoltaic panels were installed which caters to 95% of the power requirement.
The wildlife friendly garden is the brainchild of the client. The landscaping around the house are not just a visual delight but carefully planted with specific plants to attract local species of birds and butterflies. A custom designed clay pots are integrated into the external stone façade of the building to attract hole nesting birds like mynas, owls and parakeets. A small flowing water feature oxygenates the fish pond, and there are hollow mud blocks and clay pots placed all around the garden area, which provides shelter to toads and other reptiles. Few species of birds like Red whiskered bulbuls, Scaly Bellied Munias, Tailor Birds have been breeding the garden apart from the permanently resident Common Toads.
Overall, we have tried to achieve of building a home, which harnesses natures precious resources carefully and create a pleasant place to live not just for man, but for local flora and fauna too.