The house we live in should not alter or affect the universal house of everyone, which is nature. It is this concept that inspired Vidhu A. Menon to come up with such a house. There are houses that have a bond with nature. But this house, situated near Koratty, is a dream blend of tradition and modernity.
“When we started thinking of a new house, the very first thought that came to me is that it should not affect the environment. And we have given justice to that decision. In the making of this house, we haven’t cut down a single tree,” Vidhu said.
Vidhu, who is working as the Panchayath secretary in Meloor Grama Panchayath, Thrissur, made sure whatever he is doing to build the house should not affect the environment and also the house itself should be eco-friendly.
The house was constructed by Shantilal, a builder based in Thrissur. Stone and red soil are the main material used to build this lovely house. Vidhu explains about his dream home in detail. “We had an old house earlier here. We have left one portion of the earlier house as it is. And effort was put to utilise every single object that was taken from the old house. Almost 95% of the things have been recycled from the earlier home. We have taken roof tiles, wooden things, stones and even soil from the old home. For the wooden works, other than the material we got from the former house, I purchased used timber which is comparatively low-cost,” he says. The plastering is what differentiates this house from the others. One cannot find the use of cement here. The plastering itself has been done using soil. For the walls, which are made of red stones, a composition of soil and mortar is used. The compound would be kept for around two weeks before it is used. In the later part of the plastering process, along with the above mentioned composition, rice husk and cow urine would be added. This mixture is used for plastering the walls. The final touch is given again with finely filtered soil. To this soil, jaggery juice and gall nut are added.
The advantage of this is it gives a cooling effect.
The first floor roofing of this house is done with ‘filler slab’. Concrete is used in this process. But a limited amount. Two layers of roof tiles are used here and in between that concrete has been utilised. Thus, the roof resists the heat from the sun.
The staircase has been made of wood. The handrail for the same is made using old electric posts. The old-fashioned wooden electric posts that were bought through an auction have been used here. The use of bamboo to replace iron grills gives this house a fresh look. The 1,650-square feet house in all ways is just really amazing due to the courtesy it offers nature. Compared to other houses, the use of iron lever is only 1/3rd, as is the cement use.
Everyone has an idea of a dream home. Vidhu has made it happen. In a way he dreamed it and in a way nature made it happen.