Over the years we have encountered many conflicting ideas about green architecture and sustainable living. Each time, these ideas seem complicated or a distant possibility and often expensive. An Indian architect Eugene Pandala has gracefully shifted the idea of being sustainable from complex accomplishments to simple, non-prejudice, deep-rooted solutions. Mud has been an ancient building material in the Indian context and the architect believes, getting your hands dirty in mud/clay can keep the environment clean. Many of his works revolve around sculpting spaces with mud and reinventing old methods of building. Let’s dive into getting acquainted with some of his works.
Here are 10 Iconic architectural projects by Eugene Pandala:
1. Bodhi | Eugene Pandala
Location: Chathannoor, Kerala, India
All those times we built sandcastles and those little imaginative encounters we had with our clay doughs are brought to lift when the Bodhi house materialized in 1996 in Chathannoor, a town in Kollam district, Kerala, a state in India. The beauty is built with the cob structure technique, but this method was diverged by using twenty percent clay mixed with mud and five percent cement to strengthen it. This invested a lot of faith into the client’s comprehension of their space and that helped bring this tranquillity to their reality. The home is so confidently woven with its roots and context that it speaks volumes about how gracefully it invites one in, including nature itself at large.
2. Revathy Kalamandir
Location: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala,
Stories have been a way to convince mankind of their own presence from various perspectives on mother earth, and what better way to stir these stories with the future generation than embarking and guiding them in this Earthly haven. This film academy articulated by G. Suresh Kumar, is built with, yes you guessed it, mud. The saffron layers of various architectural elements that are fashioned with mud have a rhythm of their own. This marvel is built keeping in mind how an architectural intervention should truly have a conversation with its surroundings and its timelessness resonates with the requirements of crafting a film.
3. The Raviz, Five-star Hospitality project
Location: Kollam city, Kerala
The Five-star resort—resorts to respectfully absorb the traditional timber culture of the nineteenth-century era that the Travancore architecture represents. This resort that houses restaurants, ninety rooms, spas, private swimming pools, suite rooms, and cottages, has made it a point to humbly reside abutting the backwater Ashtamudi Lake. The beauty of the space lies where it incorporates the courtyard blissfully and also invites the outdoor scenery in its expanse. The timber, laterite stone, and concrete base are used with complete harmony with the local history; it very evidently enchants and magnifies the culture and heritage truth that contextually prevails.
Location: Marayoor, Idukki district of Kerala.
Oviyum can be described as a dream hideout that essentially can reinstate any artist’s muse back into their consciousness. This seven-acre plot that houses the retreat space in less than 600 square feet, neatly tucks itself in the ambiance of the romantic terrains of marayoor. The space sprouts into existence to serve as a work and residential space for artists. It invites you into the mud sculpture almost hypnotically by keeping the human scale and the context in mind.
5. Banasura Hill Resort | Eugene Pandala
Location: Wayanad, Kerala
The 35-acre Banasura hill resort that melodiously imprints its existence in the zen zone of the Wayanad hills in Kerala, has a mission in itself to correspond to nature and the ecosystem. Eugene Pandala has a concrete ideology about using older methods of building with a modern coherence and sensitivity with mud, and this thought is very definitely displayed while building this resort. The built mass is built with the very mud that is scooped out from the land it sits on; this speaks very highly in favor of the sustainability it aimed to accomplish.
6. Sarai at Toria
Location: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.
The hospitality structure that cushions itself in the abundance of wildlife and the Ken River has a sense of presence that resonates with nature, a peculiar Pandala creation in its truest form. The eco-friendly resort houses 8 cottages, restaurants and lounges that are meticulously schemed so that its users can absorb the surroundings in their experience, the lounges are situated in the highest point of the site allowing the views to spill over the ken river.
7. Tendu Leaf Jungle Resort
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Tranquillity cascades over this getaway haven that is built in the presence of the wildlife that the context has to offer. The brick and timber material that is used to create this retreat is an end result of a conscious sustainable building. The aim of the concept was to use nature itself as an architectural element and this made the end-users feel one with nature.
8. Bishop Jerome Nagar
Location: Kollam Kerala
Bishop Jerome Nagar happens to be one of the largest shopping complexes that are aptly circumstantial in the urban context of Kollam, The concrete structure blends in serving its purpose as a public entity.
9. Pazhassi Raja’s Tomb and Museum
Location: Mananthavady, Wayanad, Kerala
A mud marvel that was built as a tribute to the Pazhassi king, who was a Hindu prince and was the head of Kollam town. The monument peacefully houses in respectful memory of the king and also an underground museum is built to accommodate the king’s belongings. And the timelessness of the structure signifies the glory of the king.
10. Sarovaram Ayur Resort | Eugene Pandala
Location: Kollam Kerala
The Ayurvedic retreat is built to cheer its surroundings and to be one with peace and stability through sustainable architecture, which walks on the principles of Ayurveda. Using local materials and reusing building components encompasses the purpose of affordable sustainability while celebrating the intent behind building this retreat.
Eco Friendly Enchantment By Better Interiors.
Cindrebay -School of Design- BLog.
ghashwat, December 2017; Page no. 102, and 103.-In conversation with Eugene Pandala.
onmanorama ; Revathy Kalamandir an architectural marvel… ;by Sunitha Nair.
Indian Architect and Builder magazine; August 4 2016;Pg no. 54 and 62 Issuu.com.(6-7 of 18 pages)
Conserving Natural and Cultural Heritage.