Excerpt: The Ledge, designed by Wallmakers, is a residence based on a dream sequence as an extension of the mountain into the air. Camouflaged within the natural landscape, the roof and the external walls are made out of treated Casuarina poles, a fast-growing tree whose wood is considered waste and used only for scaffolding and fencing.
[Text as submitted by architect] Perched on the edge of a mountain, ‘The Ledge’ is a residence in Peeremedu that is designed based on a dream sequence. The inquisition that leads one to walk till the edge of a ridge or a child-like whim to jump from the top of a cliff can be attributed to a human desire to walk ahead into the clouds even after the mountain is over.
Hence the building has been designed as a shard that seems to be protruding as an extension of the mountain into the air. Camouflaged within the natural landscape the roof and the external walls are made out of treated Casuarina poles which is a fast-growing tree whose wood is considered as waste and used only for scaffolding and fencing. Here the long span Casuarina-ferrocement composite roof is further supported in between with the help of Casuarina trees planted at the onset of construction in the central courtyard of the house.
Finding huge quantities of small loose stones during the excavation process for the foundation led to an improvisation in the SHOBRI wall (Shuttered Debris Wall). These stones were utilised in the walls by inserting them into the Debris mix in the shutters as alternating bands. Being located in a hill station most of the openings have been designed in glass to retain the heat and to take in the splendid views of the valley.
The grills are a collage of scrap cable trays and wasted cut pieces wood has been assembled together to form the flooring of the house. The Casuarina poles on the roof is staggeringly placed at different levels so that they double up as an outdoor party space with tables and benches. But the crux of this home still revolves around creating a living space that gives the best of both worlds, living inside a mountain and on a ledge that is up in the clouds.