In the lush South Indian village of Vengola, architecture firm Wallmakers has just completed a sculptural rammed earth home that looks like a natural extension of the landscape. Commissioned by a client with a large family, the 2,755-square-foot dwelling features a variety of shared common spaces, including an outdoor courtyard with a massive jackfruit tree that inspired the project’s name, the Jack Fruit Garden Residence. As with all their projects, the architects constructed the home with environmentally friendly materials including rammed earth, Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB) and recycled materials.

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person walking toward rammed earth home with sloped roof

When the client, Mr. Riaz, reached out to the architects with the commission, he asked them to save the existing jackfruit tree that anchors the southern side of the property. The effort to preserve the tree largely informed the final design, which frames the tree as a focal point wrapped with a compound wall that twists upward to meet the home’s curving ferro-cement roof. The roof is built from pre-cast, steel-reinforced arched shells engineered to minimize the amount of cement and steel needed without compromising durability. This sheltered outdoor space also features a Japanese-style rock garden and is easily accessible from the kitchen.

Related: Indonesian eco village features rammed earth domes and ocean views

concrete bench and staircase inside rammed earth home
metal and concrete staircase inside rammed earth home

Curved forms continue in the interior with a sculptural staircase that appears to float over a light-filled atrium. Discarded pipes salvaged from a scrapyard were used to create the balustrades as well as the chandeliers found in all of the rooms. “This propagates the idea that using such scrap materials instead of gorging into fresh material is not only in line with the concept of upcycling but also helps to create art pieces that cast veristic shadows patterns on the walls throughout the day,” the architects explained. 

large bed beside window covered with upcycled metal pipes
concrete bench built into rammed earth wall across from a wood desk

The walls are mostly constructed from CSEB made from compressed gravel, sand and cement as well as rammed earth. Openings are strategically located to take advantage of natural ventilation

+ Wallmakers

Photography by Anand Jaju and Syam Sreesylam via Wallmakers

courtyard with a jackfruit tree