Makizham Thottam | Second Ground

Save
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground

Information

  • Project Name: Makizham Thottam
  • Practice: Second Ground
  • Products: Ira Furnitures
  • Completion year: 2022
  • Gross Built up Area: 2200 sqft
  • Project Location: Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu
  • Country: India
  • Lead Architects/Designer: Srushti Shah, Tapan Trivedi
  • Design Team: Srushti Shah
  • Clients: Soundra Vanji and Family
  • Structural Consultants: Mrinmayee Consultants, Bangalore
  • Contractors: Synergy Greenfra
  • Photo Credits: Abinaya Varshni
More Info Less Info

Excerpt: Makizham Thottam, a residence by Second Ground, is a harmonious blend of traditional construction techniques and contemporary architecture. The design aims to minimise environmental impact and uses earth as a building material. While the house combines ancient roofing systems, load-bearing walls, and spatial elements like thinnai and courtyards, it still reflects modernity.

Project Description

Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Courtyard with the tree as the nucleus © Abinaya Varshni

[Text as submitted by architect] ‘Makizham’ is the tamil name for the Mimusops elengi tree and ‘thottam’ means a house within a farm. The site is situated in the heart of the agrarian basin of tamilnadu, with an absolute minimum built fabric. A small house amidst the farm, with minimum tampering of the environment and the earth of the land as building material was therefore, an appropriate way forward. The attempt is to use minimum steel and cement, and maximizing the use of earth, in the walls and roofing material.

Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Living room carrying the jack arch roof © Abinaya Varshni

The design, therefore, is a careful marriage of the disciplines of alternate, yet ancient roofing systems, load bearing walls and spatial elements of the past such as thinnai (in-built seats) and courtyards, while reflective of the architecture that we practice today. 

Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
View showing the jack arch roof meeting the wall © Abinaya Varshni
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Ground Floor Plan © Second Ground
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Section © Second Ground
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Morning east light washing through the kitchen and the seating corner © Abinaya Varshni

The Makizham tree is the nucleus of the house which was planted before the design of the house began. Using this as the origin of the project, the plan was weaved around this tree, layering the spaces in the hierarchy of its maximum use to least used. Therefore the living, dining and the kitchen spaces, that form the first layer, are organized in an L shape around the courtyard with the dining acting as the fulcrum. The spatial planning was done keeping in mind the space, not necessarily a room, to allow for them to seamlessly flow from one part of the house to another, without any barriers/walls. The corridor space, the second layer, essentially acts as that conduit that allows for such a flow. The three bedrooms are tucked away on the western belt behind the corridor as the third layer. 

Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Exploded Isometric © Second Ground
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Filler slab culminating into the skylight in the center of the house and Toilet wall finished with china mosaic and earthy oxides © Abinaya Varshni

The load bearing walls made of compressed mud blocks, carry the humble jack arch roofs that were precast (both beams and arches), had been getting parallelly ready on site, as the walls came up, and then got assembled in their positions to form the roof. This was the perfect amalgamation of the roofing system of the past, yet quick and easy to assemble (kit of parts approach) to keep the timelines and the speed of construction of the present. 

Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Dining area with the brick dome as roof © Abinaya Varshni
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Section © Second Ground
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Study area washed with smooth white chettinad plaster and yellow oxide slab washed with evening setting sun and Rays of light passing through the jack arch casting patterns on the mud plastered wall © Abinaya Varshni

The dining space that acts as the fulcrum to the common spaces, carries the mud brick dome above it. The low height filler slab corridor is strategic to allow the jack arch to get lights into its spaces in the most enchanted manner – for a living space that is in the east, is lit in the with the rays of the setting sun rays from the west through the arches. The bedrooms situated in the west get the first sun rays of the dawn, in the same manner. This allows for the sunlight to penetrate into spaces in a controlled manner, yet indicative and thoughtful of the time of the day. 

Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
Living room bay window framing the courtyard and the farm © Abinaya Varshni
Makizham Thottam | Second Ground
West façade of the house © Abinaya Varshni

The selective walls that receive the mud plaster are done so, to receive these rays of light from the arches, on to them, to further celebrate and enhance the rays from the jack arch, apart from its form that naturally allows a vent for the hot air above. The section that receives the arches is doubled up as a rainwater channel to collect and harvest the water from the terrace, and bring them down in a visible manner, to celebrate the beauty of the rains in the courtyard.

Leave a Reply