The clients, (two brothers) commissioned Varun Thautam to design and build a low cost infill housing project on a 1200 sft urban site. They did not have the resources to hire an architect/contractor. The architect saw the opportunity to build above the limitations of frugality as the clients were interested to learn how to build with their own time relying on friends and family who could give their skilled services / time.
It gave the architect an opportunity to showcase rammed earth in a densely populated urban setting. The trained team moved for a week to their construction site to build with rammed earth. After building the walls on the first floor of the front facade the clients were confident to execute the project themselves. The architect visited the project once every two weeks to oversee the slow progress.
They two brothers were working on weekends and evenings with whatever free time was available..
Though they did not achieve the same quality of work expected, they did manage to finish three floors over one year of construction. Having smooth, finished / plastered and painted walls is a common perception in India. In spite of the architect's reluctance, they chose to apply a mud plaster on the rammed earth walls. Using sweat equity, rammed earth gave them the chance to build and rent out the extra floor that has made this project affordable.
Location: Bangalore City, IN