The Wattle & Daub Cottage

Nelamangala, Bangalore – Our Works – series 1

When a lawyer turned farmer decided to make a space for volunteers on the farm, he chose to use natural material.

The Wattle & Daub Cottage at Sukrishi farm began as a humble effort by H.R Jayaram, a laywer-farmer to make a cottage that complimented his organic farm, but it truly began when it was expressed so uniquely by a natural building architect Biju Bhaskar who played the role of an artist.

Having an existing foundation was a challenge to deal with as what could a cubical base amount to? This is where the Wattle & Daub cottage at Sukrishi begs to differ from a normal cottage. Dealing with myriad of materials brought some interesting combinations such that had a potential of revolutionizing the natural building scenario in India.

There is bamboo, timber, stone of shapes and sizes and of course mud. Every material that is used to build with, contributes to lessen the carbon footprint owing to the locality of the material used. The beauty of Wattle & Daub lies in the versatility of the material and also the potential which has not been explored. The mud used on the site is locally procured.

Owing to the minimal use of mud, Wattle & Daub opens itself up to the context of the urban dweller. It is as simple as weaving a fabric, just a bit stiffer and then coating it with an inch of mud. Wattle & Daub also offers no restrictions for the plane in which it can be built.

The frame for the wattle and daub sits comfortably on the base of the cob, although it is possible to be done solo too! The wattle has a potential to take the structural load as well if it is planned for it. Therefore the cob base can be done without. The cob here, however, majorly suffices the need for any furniture which otherwise would have been made with wood, bamboo or even inferior variety of ply wood. This furniture is strong with a base of stone masonry and what it offers is a variety of handmade sculptures that can be shaped to our aesthetics. The cob even eliminates the need for any storage units as it is easy to make niches, or even dig them, into the mass of the cob.

Sukrishi cottage offers two beautifully unique roofs. A double insulated roof, with different slopes internally, offers an air gap for a good insulation against the Nelamangala heat. The upper roof is lined with Mangalore tiles that are repurposed for this building. The other interesting hat is the one on the washroom which is a living roof, designed to carry the load of a layer of mud with some fine rooted plants!

It is intriguing to observe how the building chooses for itself from the myriad of materials the region offers while maintaining the language. The cottage changes from the cuboid of the stones to the accommodating cob, from which emerge the weave of the multi-dimensional bamboo Wattle and daub. With an interesting dialect in natural building scenario, this Wattle & Daub cottage sure does initiate a dialogue towards a purely contemporary with a purely natural.

Click the green link below to see documentation of Weaving walls, a wattle & daub cottage

About the book Weaving walls

Weaving walls is a compilation of the documentation of our work at the Sukrushi wattle and Daub cottage. This book intends to make interested individuals who are unfamiliar with the world of natural building aware of the possibilities that lie in using locally available materials. It is an illustrated manual for all those who wish to take on experimenting with hand -building their own home. This step by step guide will not only help the user to understand the basics of natural materials, but also the in depth processes involved in making a natural building using cob, wattle & daub, stone, lime and bamboo. This book is a result of a need for the common man who wants to build his own natural, cost effective home, making it easily accessible.

You could support us by purchasing the PDF of the book by clicking the link below

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