Excerpt: Alarine Earth Home by Zarine Jamshedji Architects is a home that blends into the land and landscape without being intrusive to the context. Unlike a conventional home, there is no main door to this house. One enters below an array of solar panels into a seamless communal living, dining, and kitchen space and further into a column-free sit-out that merges ahead, uninterrupted with the landscape and the paddy.
[Text as submitted by architect] Alarine Earth Home embodies the coming together of the professional and personal lives of architect Zarine Jamshedji and construction veteran Cornelis Alan Beuke. Jamshedji is the founder and principal architect of Zarine Jamshedji Architects, and Beuke has had many years of experience in construction.
They looked for a site that resonated with their desires for how and where they wanted to live. A vision of how they wanted to build emerged instantaneously from it. There was a desire to have a home that ‘blends in’ the true sense of the word into the land and landscape, not be intrusive, or block the expansive paddy field for their neighbours in the rear.
‘Architecture Design can be both sensitive and considerate.’
The designers chose Stereogram’s Innovative Building Technology (Schnell 3D Panel Construction System) for its unmatched properties: structural strength, high insulation, construction speed, and the perfect combination of prefab and in-situ. The total time for construction, interiors, and landscape was 6 months, from site start to finish.
The designers visited a laterite cutting workshop for a large cement-less retaining wall for the project. They requested the collection of the waste laterite paste from the workshop floors and adapted it as the wall plaster render. Bringing together a high-tech material for its efficiency and a low-tech material for its earthiness.
Unlike a conventional home, there is no main door. One enters below an array of solar panels into a seamless communal living, dining and kitchen space and further a column-free sit-out that merges ahead; uninterrupted with the landscape and the paddy.
Several pieces of furniture & light fittings are made from waste Schnell panels. An old tree root found on site was cleaned and repurposed. The plinth of an old pumping shed was converted into an outdoor landscape seating space. An old trench was enlarged to form a pond to hold water from the paddy for irrigation and be refilled from the roof water. Bio Septic tank to ensure proper digestion of sewage and the same recycled for landscape use.
The roof is planted with Vetiver (Khus, Miracle grass), for both its properties and its aesthetics to merge seamlessly with the paddy ahead. A lone dying teak tree on the property brought back to life. Principles of Permaculture are brought into the landscape.
Sustainable Landscapes are not only about what they look like but what they do.
The architect believes that a good designer can create timeless beauty with any material without being obsessed with a single design language or style. Different situations call for new architecture and designers must keep trying to come closer to more effective sustainable solutions.