A Home Leftover | Ego Design Studio

SAVE A Home Leftover | Ego Design Studio

Project Name: A Home Leftover

Practice: Ego Design Studio

Firm Location: Trivandrum

Completion year: 2021

Gross Built up Area: 1050 sqft

Project Location: Kollam

Lead Architects: Niranjan C Warrier

Structural Consultants: Krishnagadha SJ, Email - [email protected]

Photo Credits: Jishnu Vijay ( Out of Focus)

More Specs

Excerpt: A Home Leftover is a residence project designed by the architectural firm Ego Design Studio. Leftover materials and in-house labour hence created it. The project commenced as a low-income house economically supported by an organization on land the clients owned. The design was planned for a 1200 sqft two-floored residence. Once the foundation was completed, the support group withdrew, and the clients barely had the finances to finish 500sqft. Now the task was to keep the leftover foundation and develop a new design substantiating the need for a three-bedroom house.

Project Description

(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)

THE PREFACE

A home leftover was a home left by an organization that promised to support it economically. Leftover materials and in-house labour hence created it. The project commenced as a low-income house economically supported by an organization on land the clients owned. The design was planned for a 1200 sqft two-floored residence. Once the foundation was completed, the support group withdrew, and the clients barely had the finances to finish 500sqft. Now the task was to keep the leftover foundation and develop a new design substantiating the need for a three-bedroom house.

SHARING ACROSS PROJECTS

Ego Design Studio was working on renovating a high-budget house in kowdiar, Trivandrum, Kerala. When the project commenced, owing to the economic problems, the team approached the client whose house was being demolished to support “a home leftover” by donating the removed wooden windows. The client (Mr Sugathan) was extremely generous and offered the windows free of cost. The project was started on this support, and then mode material donations were tried.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT & MATERIAL DONATIONS

The house was built from leftover construction sites and discarded materials sourced from building material industries by donors who were ready to support a low-income home.

MINIMAL PLAN

The plan was a basic square with almost no interior walls keeping the material quantity to a bare minimum. The first aim was to source the materials at the cheapest possible rates. The walls were done with interlocking mud blocks sourced from building material manufacturers (BUILD UP) nearby, who provided us with their bricks free of cost.

OPENINGS: The windows and doors were sourced from a demolition site free of cost. The only things left were the materials needed for concreting, the steel for roofing, and the labour. The concreting area was limited to half the floor area, and metal sheets covered the remaining.

LABOUR: The client was a carpenter who took care of the needed woodwork. The support of his friends procured the remaining labour at base rates. At times they were free or did not have work. Now that the materials and labour were sorted out, the next question was, “WHY SHOULD ALL LOW-INCOME HOUSES BE SMALL WINDOWLESS DARK CUBES?”

DESIGN DECISIONS

THE SITE CONTEXT AND PRESENT HOME

The simple flat site was located away from the town and had no vehicular access, only a walkable road along its North side. The East face had lush green vegetation and paddy fields beyond it. Unlike all the other houses around, which faced the 4 feet walking track, “the home leftover” was designed facing this greenery (east) rather than the road.

The site also had their old house, a 15 ft x 15 ft shed with concrete block walls and a sheet roof. A dark single-room block without any windows to accommodate a family of four (parents/ two children)—the only light source is the entry door and a TV inside.

THE DESIGN

The design was attempted in stark contrast to the space they already lived in. The dark one-room single-storied space was converted into an all-white double-height volume with ample openings. The front wall facing east was made into an all-window wall (a collage of windows collected from another renovation site), facing the lush green exterior.

MASSING

The building was designed as a single large cuboidal volume with minimum walls, bedroom and toilet as a solid block on the ground floor. The daughters’ room is a concrete block on the upper floor, with interior balconies overlooking the volume and exterior facing the greens. The inner void volume accommodates their need for religious gatherings and caters to their carpentry-related activities in the monsoons.

A HOME THAT EVOLVES

A home leftover was an attempt to create a shelter for a family who belonged to Low Income Group. The building was conceived as a skin that can be modified as and when the user needs and can be expanded as they get financially stable. The architectural framework was given, and the colour and interior details are the client’s decisions. The design was executed when time and resources permitted—the involvement thereby helping them feel ownership of the building.

The project was an experiment on how every big-budget project could fund a small-budget project parallel at the exact cost.

  • It could be done by facilitating wasted materials of one site to be used in another project
  • It could be done by arranging for about 10% more materials while purchasing for one project

So, when one big-budget home is done, another family who cannot afford a house also gets home, so every house becomes two houses. 

Drawings & Sketches

Images

Read More: Architecture | Residential Architecture | Mud blocks | Low-income house | Tropical Climate | Ego Design Studio | Kollam | India
Other links