By creating unique suitable environments that enhance our health, safety, and comfort, architecture has influenced the molding of human civilization. It also imparts notable buildings across the world a sense of wonder and mystique. The consequences of social, technical, and cultural developments are glaringly obvious variations. Ironically, despite whatever might appear to be an increase in the range of building techniques, materials, and technological prowess, one of the most significant differences between both the architectural history of the past and that of the foreseeable is a decline in the general quality of architecture and urban space. Why did this occur?

Today, indigenous architectural needs are at a crossroads. Despite this rapid technological progress and urbanization, there is still much to be learned from the traditional knowledge of indigenous architecture, although some practices are still widespread. These low-tech methods of making are great because they are not only easy to apply during construction, but they are also cheap.

 Traditional methods and techniques involved in architecture

Architecture has changed over time to meet the demands of the times, much like all other disciplines. Every nation would have distinctive national architectural traditions that are essential to its cultural, social, religious, and geological identities. A vernacular structure like this is frequently referred to as traditional architecture. Modern architecture is the alternative. The 20th century saw the beginning of the modern architecture movement. In contrast to its traditional counterpart, modern architecture is thought to be completely different.

Vernacular architecture abides by the fundamental sustainable core elements of using the resources and materials that are close to the place. These buildings make use of local expertise concerning effective building design and how to make the most of available resources and materials.

The types of traditional techniques extensively used even till date are as follows;

  • Mud Mortar construction
  • Brickwork
  • Use of Jalli 
  • Rammed Earth Wall
  • Form concrete
  • Country Brick
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Ancient archicultural features and techniques – Jalli design _Arch daily

Firms practicing traditional architecture techniques

  1. Eugene Pandala

We have come across a large number of dissenting views on sustainable living and green architecture all over the years. These notions frequently seem pricey, difficult, or like a far-off prospect. Eugene Pandala, an Indian architect, has subtly changed the definition of sustainability from complicated feats of achievement to straightforward, non-prejudice solutions. In the Indian setting, mud has a long history as a building material, and the architect believes that getting your hands dirty in mud or clay can help maintain the surroundings clean. He frequently uses mud to create spaces and reimagines traditional construction techniques in his works.

Project in Reference – The Raviz, a Five-star Hospitality project
Location: Kollam,Kerala

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The Raviz _Eugene Pandala

The five-star resort includes 90 rooms, restaurants, spas, private pools, suite rooms, and cottages, and has made it a point to modestly exist next to the tranquil Ashtamudi Lake. This resort seeks to reverently embrace the nineteenth-century timber culture represented by the Travancore architecture. The concrete base, laterite stone, and lumber are all employed in perfect harmony with the history of the area; this enchants and accentuates the cultural and historical truth that is prevalent in the area.  The area’s charm resides in how blissfully it merges the courtyard and also allows the surrounding outdoor surroundings into its breadth.

  1. Architecture Paradigm

Architecture Paradigm is a Bangalore-based architecture practice led by Manoj Ladhad, Sandeep J, and Vimal Jain. The firm, founded in 1996, specializes in architecture and interior design, with projects spanning from residential to institutional to commercial to public. The selection of resources, unprocessed protective coating, and austere geometric shapes define the projects. Their distinctive visual theories are founded on the conviction that architecture has the power to transform people’s lives. They support a collaborative and human-centered design philosophy. The creation of beloved experiences and settings results in the built forms.

Project in Reference – Brick House
Location: Mysore, Karnataka

The house’s L-shaped layout combines the interior spaces with the western open spaces. There is intimacy, privacy, and openness. Warmth is emitted from the areas thanks to their classic brick walls, floors, and vaults. Light is provided by the numerous rooms and skylights. Combining traditional brick for walls, floors, screens, and vaults with modern reinforced concrete for the armature gives the interiors a pleasant feeling. Brick and mild steel flats are used to form privacy and security screens; however, the steel flats’ slenderness and propensity to bend over extended lengths are dealt with by the use of brick spacers, which stiffen and unite the individual flats to produce a distinct textured surface.

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Brick house – Feature wall _Arch daily
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Brick house – Elevation _Arch daily
  1. Malakshingh Gill Architects

Malaksingh Gill hopes to use what he has learned responsibly and to keep working sustainably after working with Laurie Baker, an innovator in the field of sustainable design. His company, which has its headquarters in Mumbai, strongly believes in catering to the circumstances and surroundings, which frequently forces them to unlearn new technology and practices and learn to return to the vernacular architecture’s origins. They hold the opinion that “architecture has to flow from the land itself, just like the flora and wildlife of a region,” and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Along with their innovative ideas, they thoughtfully incorporate local knowledge.

Project in Reference – Tathaasthu,
Location: Karjat, Maharashtra.

The two-bedroom house with a hobby room on the G+1 level looks out over the double-height living hall area. A lovely connection between the indoor and outside spaces is made possible with the front and end verandas. Due to yet another layering of roofing tiles and indeed the air space between them, techniques like under-tiling and the use of mud mortar enable maximal thermal insulation. Additionally, it enhances the interior rooms’ aesthetic value.

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Brick house – Elevation _Ar.Malaksingh Gill
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Use of bricks in interiors _Ar.Malaksingh Gill
  1. Architecture BRIO

An award-winning architecture and interior design firm called Architecture BRIO is actively working to provide sustainable design solutions that are acceptable for the context of our rapidly evolving planet. The studio’s work explores fresh perspectives on the frequently paradoxical relationships between the built environment, cities, buildings, landscapes, and the realm of interior design, and attempts to strike a delicate balance between building spaces with personality, responsiveness, and experience qualities within this context.

Project in Reference – Himalayan Mountain Retreat,
 Location: Mukheswar, Uttarkhand

In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, The Mountain Home is situated in a tranquil small village. Their terraces descend toward the view of the Himalayas on its steep 1:3 slopes. On the higher level, a boomerang-shaped structure follows the contour. They place focus on the wall compositions’ massiveness and solidity. As in a discovered ruin, the walls come to an abrupt end at the lintel level and are subsequently covered by a continuous lightweight steel and timber roof. The place is approached from the top of the land. You descend a walkway into a courtyard created by the boomerang home and the hill’s slope.

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Bedroom facing hill view _Architizer Journal
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Mountain hill resort – Elevation _ Architizer Journal
  1. Auroma Architecture

An environment that is more meaningful, pleasurable, and rewarding for people and the earth, according to Auroma Group, can be created by taking a more sensitive approach to sustainable living. The Auroma Group imagines a world in which eco-friendly environments support, encourage, and improve our sense of well-being. They focus on developing sustainable structures, including eco-friendly residences, schools, workplaces, offices, campuses, institutions, hotels, and resorts. They also work with wood and are skilled artisans.

Project in Reference – Bridge Houses
Location: Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

The location is a notable 150-acre organic farm in South India, close to Pondicherry. About a dozen different kinds of grains and pulses are grown on the farm. They have been conducting thorough research on organic farming techniques and are now eager to impart what they have discovered to other farmers in the area. For people taking part in the programs, the project is intended to act as a residential guest home. It ought to evoke a sense of community. The home is designed to resemble traditional pitched-roof Tamil homes. To encourage natural cooling, wind funnels were constructed inside the functional spaces and “bridged” with floating slabs. Consequently, the word ‘The bridges’ recurrence results in a rhythmic pattern of solid and empty space.

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View of houses with connecting bridge _Auroma Architecture
Side elevation _ Auroma Architecture

References

  1. Architizer Editors. (2021). 25 Best architecture firms in India, , Architizer Journal, Available at: <https://architizer.com/blog/inspiration/collections/best-architecture-firms-india/>  [ Accessed 6 Nov 2022]
  2. “Brick House / Architecture Paradigm” 11 Jun 2019. ArchDaily. Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/874305/brick-house-architecture-paradigm> ISSN 0719-8884 [Accessed 6 Nov 2022.]
  3. Architecture+Design. (2021). 5 Design firms acing sustainable architecture in India, , ARCH India, Available at: < https://archindia.in/5-design-firms-acing-sustainable-architecture-in-india/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-design-firms-acing-sustainable-architecture-in-india/>  [ Accessed 6 Nov 2022]
Author

Varsha Mini Veronica, an architect and urban enthusiast, driven by desire to envision modes of sustainability through design as a tool highlighting architectural writing as the medium to critique, create a demand for better architecture for society. Her strengths include her as a vertical thinker, as she believes in developing platforms that are not just human- centric but to address the livability of the environment.

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