Residence | Bangalore “Where is Mud in my City?” series
The Ochre House is an attempt to answer the perennial need for compact private housing in urban neighbourhoods, through an elemental & ecological approach to design and construction.It is a typical illustration of making natural building materials accessible for all. The primary challenge was to address cost-effectiveness of urban housing in the city while keeping in mind the environment sensitivity of an entire building process. It is a result of innovation and experimentation with alternative building materials and techniques to make them desirable and competitive, both culturally and economically for today’s housing needs.
On a compact site in West Bangalore, this is a three floor load bearing Rammed earth structure with various natural finishes.
Urban residential layouts in Bangalore and other metropolitan cities are typically a fabric of continuous plots tightly sewn together. The dense layout allows for little natural light and ventilation to percolate the houses. The challenges this project brought are faced everywhere across the country in the scenario of affordable urban housing.
Our focus was to address the key challenges of making prudent use of space demanded by the tight plot-size, making the house as naturally lit and airy as possible, while creating a reference for an ecologically responsible and sustainable building, through the medium of earth.
Primarily composed of clay and lime, the materials were sourced close to the vicinity of the site, reducing the carbon footprint of the building in the construction phase and during its lifespan.
The nature of the materials and the local skilled labour who have worked on-site also ensured that the project is cost-effective and serves as a prototype for other residential projects. The Ochre House has led us to break down the essentials and create a reproducible model that is sustainable, cost-effective and of healthy spatial quality.