In Rajasthan, India, a multi-story well has been standing since the seventh century, with a grid of crossed diagonal staircases as its main features. Then, the well-inspired Sketch Design Studio designed Mud House, a farmhouse created with rammed earth stone walls and thatched roofs.
Mud House by Sketch Design Studio has a design inspired by the historic multi-story well in Rajasthan.
Sketch Design Studio decided to focus on local artisanal building techniques and materials as the 185-square-meter house locate in Alwar, a district between Delhi and Jaipur known for its local architecture. Since hundreds of years ago, Alwar has had a local architecture that can respond to climate extremes using local materials and a sustainable lifestyle. Therefore, Mud House is an architecture closer to Earth by re-elevating the local building materials and techniques. Sketch Design Studio founder Shipra Singhania has done a lot of research and discussions with experienced local masons to support the effort.
Diagonal staircases that cross each other become access to the roof terrace of Mud House.
The outer staircase of this house is made of reclaimed stone.
Through this approach, Mud House bring element with walls from soil solids mixed with lime and fenugreek seeds as its natural binder. To resist insect attacks, edible stuff like jaggery and leaves of a famous Indian drug, Neem, are also added to the soil mixture. Singhania said that the construction of this house also doesn't use cement to reduce its carbon footprint. In exchange for cement, the rammed stones for its walls construct with mortals derived from Bagra, which is the limestone treatment waste commonly used in sustainable building techniques in nearby villages for centuries.
Mud House has two roof terraces at both ends.
Pyramid-shaped thatched roof of Mud House.
Meanwhile, the pyramid-shaped roof of Mud House makes from wild grass from the surrounding environment and other reclaimed stone elements of the building structure. One of them is that the stairs look overlapping, forming an access to the roof terrace. Thus, the two roof terraces with each stair will evoke the memory of India's most prominent and deepest historic stepwell.
Living room interior with rattan lamps and daybed sofa.
Bedroom interior overlooking the vegetable garden.
Turning to the inside of the house, the pyramidal volume of the thatched roof turned out to be successful in creating such a dramatic atmosphere of space, especially in the living room and kitchen, which has a ceiling with a wooden frame. After passing through the central passage from this area, residents can enter the two bedrooms under the roof terrace. One bedroom overlooks the vegetable garden, while the other leads to the outer deck on the ground floor. Such spatial arrangements adapt to the local climate that demands shade in summer and the warmth of sunlight in winter. Sketch Design Studio also added a roof cantilever that can shade windows while expanding the area from the roof terrace.
In the other bedroom, you can see the combination of two walls with different materials as the interior.
In designing the interior of Mud House, Sketch Design Studio uses natural materials for its furniture. From rattan lamps, and earthenware decorations, to daybed sofas, they are all the work of local craftsmen who are familiar with the interior design palette of Mud House.