This is a project by Shirish Beri and Associates and it is located at Nadhawade, Maharashtra, India. There are seventeen images for Nadhawade Farm House.
The farm was bought with the idea of creating an ecologically balanced environment with maximum use and recycling of local materials. The house has an organic quality with a unified interior space instead of segregated, isolated rooms. Every requirement was worked out as activities and not as rooms. The house was designed to grow around the trees, and integrate them in the built environment. The inside and outside spaces mingle with each other.
Some times the garden comes inside, or the house extends out in low-built forms into the garden.
The use of locally available laterite stones wood, mud and cow dung besides bringing about economy, lend an unusual warmth and earthiness to the spaces.
This land was bought with following ideas in mind:
Our own house, farm aid’s quarters, garden, well, pool & services structure have been located centrally under & around large existing trees to facilitate better supervision, better insulation, shade and beauty.
The house was designed to grow around the trees, and integrate them in the built environment. The inside & outside spaces mingle into each. Sometimes, the garden comes inside or the house extends out in low built forms into the garden.
The house was constructed in laterite stone masonry (a locally available porous stone of 26cm X 40cm X 16cm ht.) This material can be dressed to any size and shape, has good insulation value and brings about a great saving in cement mortar. These stones have also been used as flat arches over the windows, as windows slits, as carved niches in walls, as prefab steps, lintels, flower bed, retainers and so on…
The foundation is in Deccan trap stone obtained while digging the swimming pool. The sand was gathered from the streambed, which runs along the property.
The wood used for the structural work is all locally available jungle wood. The doors and windows are of local teak wood. The main Osri or portico pillars are beautifully carved old wooden pillars of 55cm diameter.
These were abandoned by local temple in the process of the renovation when plastered stone pillars were constructed. These were bought from the village.
The flooring is cow dung and mud on ground floor (except toilets and wet areas) and timber on mezzanine. These materials are natural materials, which are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The well compacted cow dung plastered mud floor has good impact strength.
Climatically the microclimate of the house is cooler by a few degrees than the outside in summer. Cross ventilation throughout the house even with closed doors and windows helps reduce the humidity level. The heavy rainfall is taken care of by the sloping Mangalore tile roofs & their overhangs. The roof comes down very low on the south & west sides to give maximum protection where necessary. The southwest breeze also brings in the fragrance from special species planted on the windward side.
The bedroom sit out recognizes the natural irrigation canal, which flows through the site from January to May.
The swimming pool is constructed with minimum construction and costed only Rs. 2500/-, which comes Rs. 40/- per sq.m only. The wash out of the pipe is connected to the irrigation system of the coconuts and areca nut gardens at the lower level, thus no water is wasted. It acts as a play arena, when the pool is dry.
The farm aid quarters and stores were constructed in he vernacular manner with laterite pillars in the cement mortar and in situ mud partition walls. This building cost worked out 1/5th of the general prevailing building costs then.
The gas plants design was based on a Chinese’s model, which is more economical and indigenous.
The well has been designed as a landscape element with stepped gardens, and the pump shed is camouflaged by a rockery, a cascade and a lily pool.
The old existing temples with their Deepmalas have been retained with improved arrival spaces in front.
All this has been built by ourselves and local farm aids with some practical training at the farm itself by us.
The built environment has a lot of interrelationship with the natural organic environment also.
The use of the solar cooker, methane gas and wood from the energy plantations reduce the dependence of external energy resources. The wind on the farm was not enough for the exploitation.
Our attitudes towards life as a whole are mainly responsible for the shaping of this symbiotic living experience at Nadhawade.