Project Name: Kurien Philip Residence
Products: EBCO, Simpolo, Benelave
Firm Location: Kerala
Completion year: 2015
Gross Built up Area: 201 sqm
Project Location: Kerala
Lead Architects: Ar. Vinu Daniel
Design Team: Archana Nambiar, Jincy Rajan, Bibu Behanan, Shobitha Jacob, Melvin Davis
MEP Consultants: Unni Krishnan
Contractors: P.S. Suresh – Shivranjini Constructions, Pondicherry
Others: Fabrication team: Kunjumon James -J.K steels
Photo Credits: Anand JajuMore Specs
Excerpt: Kurien Philip Residence is a residential architecture project designed by Wallmakers in Kerala, India. They were inspired to create a ‘Vault’ which was an umbrella to protect the shelter from the indomitable tropical sun. Thus the long catenary vault blocking the South-West sun made from more than 9000 CSEB bricks.
(“Text as submitted by architect”)
Home is a partnership between the creator and provider. The creator being the architect and provider, the client. Nothing was more important to make a building like Kurien’s residence than this divine and sturdy partnership. Kurien Philip is a pastor residing on the backwater fields of Kerala, a small tropical state in India. Traditional homes were being replaced by modern concrete homes resembling match boxes in an unfitting environment. This prompted the client to ask for something new. Emphasis was laid on climatic response and eco-friendliness and being ‘Earthy’. His only request further was to save his antique furniture and water well which gives ample water throughout the summer.
CONCEPT: Keeping all the above in mind, we were inspired to create a ‘Vault’ which was an umbrella to protect the shelter from the indomitable tropical sun. Thus the long catenary vault blocking the South-West sun made from more than 9000 CSEB bricks.
NUBIAN TECHNIQUE: Age old construction technique involving masonry with earth blocks and mud mortar without shuttering to create a wide range of arches and domes and vaults. The was reintroduced to 20th century by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy.
The technology consists of constructing wave like walls with or without reinforcement. This was pioneered by architect Eladio Dieste in Iglesia de Atlantida, Uruguay. The Wallmakers have tried to emulate the essence of Dieste by using Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks without reinforcing the vault structure. This small technique allowed wind to enter creating beautiful triangular openings (windows) and yet avoiding trespassers viewing into the home.
CHAIN STUDY METHOD:
Chain study method helps to stabilize the right shape of the arch before the execution begins. The structural study was first formulated by Antonio Gaudi in some of his structures. Which engineers posthumously found out. The same technique is employed to achieve stability in the Arches
COMPRESSED STABILISED EARTH BLOCKS:
These are mud blocks used for walls, vaults, composite beams and columns prepared by compressing earth in the form of blocks of different sizes and shapes.
The mix basically contains 80% gravel, 15% sand and 5% cement.
A finished CSEB wall is 15-20% cheaper than country fired brick wall.
INITIAL EMBODIED ENERGY:
CSEB are consuming 4 times less energy than country fired bricks:
CSEB produced on site with 5 % cement = 1,112.36 MJ/m3
Country fired bricks = 4,501.25 MJ/m3