AI7_25_2017_2_46_56_AM_Vrindavan_main.jpg

When architects Gauri Satam and Tejesh Patil, founders of unTAG Studio first made their way to the 2.5-acre farm in 2015, they walked over a mango and chickoo plantation. Walking through the site, they found a dead mango tree on a well-defined 20-feet grid of the plantation and knew just then that the house they were to build would fit perfectly there.

The only brief received from their clients and future occupants of the house, a retired couple in their 60s, was for them to build a humble abode close to nature. The 2.5-acre farm had been the couple’s treasure for over 15-years where they would constantly plant jackfruit, cashew, mango, chickoo and palms. While their brief had been sealed, the only constraint was the exacting budget of Rs. 10 lakhs.

Gauri and Tejesh thought that the 1000 sq.ft house should sit over the mango and chickoo plantation, within a dense grove, opening up to a distant hillock view. This way the house would look over the lush green canopies, establishing an indoor-outdoor connect and yet would retain privacy in parts.

Vrindavan was designed as a series of 12-feet-wide descending spaces. These spaces were spread across from a bath space and a private bedroom to a cross-ventilated living room to a verandah that overlooks the hillock through an open deck, trailing from the verandah.

The bedroom and the living have been designed to merge into one, giving it a sense of a bigger living space. A thin see-through vestibule that connects the main house to the kitchen marks the entrance to the house. The kitchen on the other hand employs a desi chullah (a rural hearth) and a stone jali (stone grid) that shades the court and transforms the space through the day.

What’s even more beautiful about the Verandah is that the house steps down in accordance with the topography of the site, to a 14-feet-height and in doing so, offers the most beautiful sunset.

With a downpour of unending heat in the region of Maharashtra, it was only natural for the architect duo to come up with a smart plan. For this, large overhangs from locally available terracotta roof tiles, supported on a metal sloping roof structure were employed to layer sufficient shade all through the house.

Gauri says, “The door-windows were crafted from salvaged local teak and jackfruit wood, bought at a nominal price, by reusing the rafters of a dismantled old Hindu temple from a nearby village.”

Most of the client’s unused furniture were reused and altered. The project in itself was put together through the reuse of most existing assets along with the use of local materials making the house functional, affordable and sustainable.

The Vrindavan project not only paved the way to an affordable house but a rather functional and sustainable home for the retired couple, asserting the fact that given the right client and the right brief, one could exploit the qualities of local materials and still construct a beautiful house.

AI7_25_2017_2_46_56_AM_Vrindavan_main.jpg
Workspace 26 Jul 2017

Vrindavan by unTAG Studio – the making of an affordable, functional and sustainable house

Looking to design a humble abode, the unTAG Studio designs an affordable and sustainable house for an elderly retired couple. Nestled in the Ozram village of Maharashtra, the team designs Vrindavan by bringing together local materials and existing assets of the house.

When we come to think about the times we live in, housing is probably no longer a pretty affair. It’s either the house loans we’re dodging each month or the rent. Amidst the gloom we peeped through a tiny ray of hope through an affordable house we stumbled upon.

Snuggled in the Kankavali Taluka of the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra rests a beautiful farmhouse in the village of Ozram. But it wasn’t a farmhouse until the December of 2016. When architects Gauri Satam and Tejesh Patil, founders of unTAG Studio first made their way to the 2.5-acre farm in 2015, they walked over a mango and chickoo plantation. Walking through the site, they found a dead mango tree on a well-defined 20-feet grid of the plantation and knew just then that the house they were to build would fit perfectly there.

When architects Gauri Satam and Tejesh Patil, founders of unTAG Studio first made their way to the 2.5-acre farm in 2015, they walked over a mango and chickoo plantation. Walking through the site, they found a dead mango tree on a well-defined 20-feet grid of the plantation and knew just then that the house they were to build would fit perfectly there.

The Brief

The only brief received from their clients and future occupants of the house, a retired couple in their 60s, was for them to build a humble abode close to nature. The 2.5-acre farm had been the couple’s treasure for over 15-years where they would constantly plant jackfruit, cashew, mango, chickoo and palms. While their brief had been sealed, the only constraint was the exacting budget of Rs.10 lakhs.

The only brief received from their clients and future occupants of the house, a retired couple in their 60s, was for them to build a humble abode close to nature. The 2.5-acre farm had been the couple’s treasure for over 15-years where they would constantly plant jackfruit, cashew, mango, chickoo and palms. While their brief had been sealed, the only constraint was the exacting budget of Rs. 10 lakhs.

A Humble Abode

Gauri and Tejesh thought that the 1000 sq.ft house should sit over the mango and chickoo plantation, within a dense grove, opening up to a distant hillock view. This way the house would look over the lush green canopies, establishing an indoor-outdoor connect and yet would retain privacy in parts.

Gauri and Tejesh thought that the 1000 sq.ft house should sit over the mango and chickoo plantation, within a dense grove, opening up to a distant hillock view. This way the house would look over the lush green canopies, establishing an indoor-outdoor connect and yet would retain privacy in parts.

The Design

Vrindavan was designed as a series of 12-feet-wide descending spaces. These spaces were spread across from a bath space and a private bedroom to a cross-ventilated living room to a verandah that overlooks the hillock through an open deck, trailing from the verandah.

Vrindavan was designed as a series of 12-feet-wide descending spaces. These spaces were spread across from a bath space and a private bedroom to a cross-ventilated living room to a verandah that overlooks the hillock through an open deck, trailing from the verandah.

The bedroom and the living have been designed to merge into one, giving it a sense of a bigger living space. A thin see-through vestibule that connects the main house to the kitchen marks the entrance to the house. The kitchen on the other hand employs a desi chullah (a rural hearth) and a stone jali (stone grid) that shades the court and transforms the space through the day. What’s even more beautiful about the Verandah is that the house steps down in accordance with the topography of the site, to a 14-feet-height and in doing so, offers the most beautiful sunset.

The bedroom and the living have been designed to merge into one, giving it a sense of a bigger living space. A thin see-through vestibule that connects the main house to the kitchen marks the entrance to the house. The kitchen on the other hand employs a desi chullah (a rural hearth) and a stone jali (stone grid) that shades the court and transforms the space through the day.

What’s even more beautiful about the Verandah is that the house steps down in accordance with the topography of the site, to a 14-feet-height and in doing so, offers the most beautiful sunset.

Chira (Laterite)

Seen in the construction of several rural homes, Chira is an indigenous stone that is cost-effective. A porous stone, Chira worked as an earthenware and was rested using cement mortar and lime. Why this material? Because it withstands the monsoons as well as lowers the blazing heat through the summers to a good 4-5 degrees than what one would experience outdoors.  For such reasons, Chira was employed as the main body of the house and was used as the main load bearing structural element.  

MATERIALS USED

Terracotta Roof Tiles

With a downpour of unending heat in the region of Maharashtra, it was only natural for the architect duo to come up with a smart plan. For this, large overhangs from locally available terracotta roof tiles, supported on a metal sloping roof structure were employed to layer sufficient shade all through the house.

With a downpour of unending heat in the region of Maharashtra, it was only natural for the architect duo to come up with a smart plan. For this, large overhangs from locally available terracotta roof tiles, supported on a metal sloping roof structure were employed to layer sufficient shade all through the house.

Teak and Jackfruit Wood

Gauri says, “The door-windows were crafted from salvaged local teak and jackfruit wood, bought at a nominal price, by reusing the rafters of a dismantled old Hindu temple from a nearby village.”

Gauri says, “The door-windows were crafted from salvaged local teak and jackfruit wood, bought at a nominal price, by reusing the rafters of a dismantled old Hindu temple from a nearby village.”

Indian Kotah Stone

The internal walls and floor had been lined with an Indian Kotah stone, the familiar warm grey stone that can be seen in many urban cafes as well as institutional buildings. This helped add another layer of heat insulation from the blazing sun as well as coziness to the interiors.

Most of the client’s unused furniture were reused and altered. The project in itself was put together through the reuse of most existing assets along with the use of local materials making the house functional, affordable and sustainable.

Furniture

Most of the client’s unused furniture were reused and altered. The project in itself was put together through the reuse of most existing assets along with the use of local materials making the house functional, affordable and sustainable.

The Vrindavan project not only paved the way to an affordable house but a rather functional and sustainable home for the retired couple, asserting the fact that given the right client and the right brief, one could exploit the qualities of local materials and still construct a beautiful house.

The Vrindavan project not only paved the way to an affordable house but a rather functional and sustainable home for the retired couple, asserting the fact that given the right client and the right brief, one could exploit the qualities of local materials and still construct a beautiful house.

If you’d like to read up on a few more projects curated by the unTAG Studio, gorge on through their Facebook page!

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