Architects: Zarine Jamshedji Architects
Gross Built Area: 380 m²
Site Area: 1620 m²
Location: Cochin, Kerala, India
Design: Zarine Hoshang Jamshedji, Abhishek Suthan
Structural Concept: Cornelis Alan Beuke
Supervision: Zarine Hoshang Jamshedji, Cornelis Alan Beuke, Navin Limbani
Draft Management Coordination: Surya Narayanan, Sarah Janet Augustin
Photography: Syam Sreesylam
Alarine Earth Home embodies the coming together of the professional and personal lives of architect Zarine Jamshedji and Construction vetran Cornelis Alan Beuke. Jamshedji is the founder and principal architect of Zarine Jamshedji Architects, and Beuke has had many years of experience in construction.
We looked for a site that resonated with our desire of how and where we wanted to live.
A vision of how we wanted to build emerged instantaneously from it. The 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 our neighbors in the rear.
‘Architecture Design can be both sensitive and considerate.’
Once the land was found we couldn’t wait to live on it. We chose Stereogram’s Innovative Building Technology (Schnell 3D Panel construction system) for its unmatched properties –Structural strength, high insulation, construction speed, perfect combination of prefab and in-situ. Total time for construction, interiors and landscape was 6 months, from site start to finish. Thanks to the intense partnership with everyone that worked with us.
We visited a laterite cutting workshop for a large cementless retaining wall project of ours. We requested the collection of lateritic paste residues from the workshop floor and adapted it as wall plaster. Combining a high-tech material for its efficiency with a low-tech material due to its nature.
Unlike a conventional house, there is no main door. You enter beneath a series of solar panels into a shared space of living, dining, and kitchen, seamlessly merging into an open area without columns, blending seamlessly with the landscape and rice fields.
Various furniture and fixtures are made from Schnell panel waste. An old tree root found on-site was cleaned and repurposed. The base of an old pumping shed was converted into outdoor seating. An old ditch was expanded to form a pond to retain water from the rice field for irrigation and replenished with roof water. A Bioséptica septic tank ensures proper sewage digestion, with the treated water recycled for landscaping purposes.
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. We believe 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 we must keep trying to come closer to more effective sustainable solutions.