Project: Pirouette House
Architect In Charge: Vinu Daniel
Design Team: Oshin Mariam Varughese, J.M.Srivarshini, Gayatri Maithani, Swathi Raj, Keerthi Kausalya, Shiuly Roy, Neeraj S. Murali, Dhawal Dasari
Interns: Nihaal Gafoor, Smit Zalavadia, Apoorva Goutam, Harshita G Tophakhane, Manav Muralee, Rohith Krishna, Bharati Gupta, Yash Sukhwani, Neeraj Viswam
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Jotun, EBCO, Rhino, Simpolo, Zydex
Landscape: Vinu Daniel and team, Vinu Daniel
Carpenter: Shivadas, Sarath Prasad and team, Sarath Prasad
Engineering: Adcons Infrastructure Private Limited
Masons: Ezhil and team, Deepu and team
Location: Thiruvananthapuram, India
Area: 196 m2
Photographs: Jino Sam
The Pirouette House features the “Last of the Mohicans” fired bricks as an ode to the stellar practice of Laurie Baker with spaces that are made beautiful by the pure geometry and patterns created by the walls that seem to be coming alive and pirouetting around.
The Rat trap bond is a brick masonry method of wall construction in which bricks are placed in vertical position instead of conventional horizontal position and thus creating a cavity within the wall that increases thermal efficiency, cuts down on the total volume of bricks used and is ideal for concealing structural members and service ducts.
The idea of this residence was to have an inward facing house with all its spaces opening into a funneling central courtyard. The Pirouette house is aligned in the East-West direction with openings facilitating for maximum cross-ventilation.
The idea was further developed to form a series of slanting walls that danced left and right, converging only to support the ferrocement shell roof. Each staggered wall has been tailor-made to suit the issue of deficiency in space that this residence posed, aiming to create larger volumes and a feeling of privacy.
Cane has been acquired from the neighbourhood, treated and wound around the grillwork to create subtle screens for privacy and for various furniture.
Materials used in Construction:
1. Fired bricks for Rat Trap bond masonry – Rat trap bond is a brick masonry method of wall construction introduced by Laurie Baker in Kerala, in which bricks are placed in vertical position instead of conventional horizontal position and thus creating a cavity (hollow space) within the wall that increases thermal efficiency and cuts down the number of bricks.
2. Waste wood – Cut wooden scrap pieces have been joined to panel a part of the flooring.
3. MMT Ferrocement shells– These wafer-like structures are steel reinforced arched shells with effective thickness of 2.5cm and they take equal load of respective R.C.C slabs. They effectively reduce the overall cement consumption by 40% and steel consumption by 30%.These replace the R.C.C Slab in roofing as they are as strong as 1200 kg/m2.
4. Discarded Scaffolding pipes for Staircase and Grillwork – The staircase and the grillwork of this house has been made entirely out of scrap scaffolding pipes that have been welded in place.
5. Oxide – Floor and selected walls have been finished with grey and yellow oxides.
6. Cane – Cane has been treated and woven together in-between the grillwork to act as a partial screen for privacy.