Architect Ashish John Mathew was determined to build a house on meager budget, that too in a cent of plot, to create awareness about the reasonable modes of construction, especially during the post flood days. He built a house in a one cent plot adjacent to his ancestral home in Vadaserikara, Pathanamthitta. The 900 sq ft house which also functions as his office, has formal and family living spaces, dining area, kitchen, a bedroom and a common bathroom.
The architect vows that the budget didn’t exceed Rs 8 lakh after the construction and furnishing of the house. The foundation is built using hard rocks. Red bricks, mud bricks and porotherm bricks, brought from Bengaluru were used to build the walls. The truss work is done over the roof and is paved with mud tiles.
The temperature inside the house will not soar as the sunlight doesn’t hit the roof directly. Used mud tiles, bricks and hard rocks bought for cheaper price helped lower the cost of the construction.
Ashish says that he hasn’t compromised on the furnishing and has lavishly used beautiful wood works to make the interiors look classy and elegant. Old wood were reused to make the doors, windows, furniture and the ceiling as well. As an architect, Ashish has realized the great potential of bamboo as an excellent element for furnishing. The bamboo furnishings add a rustic charm which makes the house look closer to nature. He spent half of the budget for wood works alone, which is elegantly done.
The house was constructed without ruining the natural setting of the plot, which lies in 4 levels. These differences in height can be perceived in the interiors of the house as well. However, Ashish has been able to wisely and beautifully utilize it to his advantage. The foundation was raised above the hard rocks. Instead of concrete, wooden ceiling is built at some places which add to the elegance of the interiors.
One can climb down to the kitchen from the living area. In order to avoid any dead spaces, cantilever technology is used to make the stairway and the balcony. Vitrified tiles and wooden floorings separate the areas. The beautiful view of the faraway river can be enjoyed from the balcony. This space has been designed as an area where the family members can gather and have a great time.
An array of different elements are used to make the ceiling. Gypsum ceiling with lights add elegance to the living space, while the bamboo ceiling in the kitchen is a unique feature. Calcium silicate boards, which are long lasting and can prevent moisture and leaks, are used as ceiling on the first floor. The bedroom and kitchen are simple with only the required facilities.
These are the factors which helped reduce the cost of construction:
Spaces were wisely utilized by reducing the area of the house.
The walls are in the exposed style without the cement plastering. The use of concrete was limited.
Old wood were reused for furnishing.
Bamboos were used to make switch boards, curtains, and hand rails of the stair way and also as a wiring conceal.
Ashish vouches for the fact that space and budget limitations can be overcome by proper planning and execution.
As his office is in the house itself, Ashish takes his customers for a tour of his house to show them that an elegant house with all the essential facilities can indeed be made in a small plot and on low budget as well.
Location: Vadaserikara, Pathanamthitta
Area: 900 SFT
Plot: 1 cent
Owner and designer: Ashish John Mathew, Asquare Architects