Mumbai based architecture and design firm, unTAG has just unveiled a stunning home built for a retired teacher looking to spend retirement in his home village of Dakivali, India. Working within the man’s limited budget, the architects employed several low-cost, passive strategies such as building the home in the middle of a lush bamboo field to use the vegetation as natural insulation.
Spanning two levels, the 1,400 square feet home was constructed using low-cost, locally-sourced materials, with the main material being concrete. The resulting aesthetic is a monolithic exterior, which contrasts nicely with the surrounding vegetation.
In addition to the concrete’s innate sustainable aspects, the home boasts several passive strategies to achieve optimum thermal comfort. Strategically located westward, the home was built in the middle of an existing bamboo grove. Abundant greenery envelopes the home, adding an extra layer of insulation that protects from the harsh summer sun. According to the architects, the large trees also help create a comforting microclimate for the interior, lowering the temperature by up to 5°C.
The house’s entrance is through a landscaped courtyard with a large concrete jaali screen. A common feature in Indian architecture, the screen helps keep interior spaces private, while allowing pleasant breezes to flow through the interior. Additionally, the home was built with several seating areas, both covered and open-air, which let natural light filter into the living space.
Adding to the home’s thermal mass, the various terraces are painted white to reduce heat gain. For the interior, large walls were built with locally-manufactured bricks and covered with natural plaster, while the floors were made out of natural stone. The home also features several rain collection drains that channel runoff into tanks where it is used as irrigation for landscaping.
According to the architects, the main objective of the home was to provide a comfortable family home for a retired man to spend his years reconnecting with nature. The home’s simple but effective passive strategies will also let him live with low operating costs, adding to his quality of life. The architects explained, “Inhabiting this meek abode, our dear client is a proud owner of a village home, exemplary of an affordable luxury, which he enjoys residing, nurturing and aging gracefully with it. This humble home of a farmer exemplifies that sustainability need not always come at huge costs, but can be practiced at grass root level too, through simple DIY solutions.”
Images via unTAG Architecture & Interiors