Concealed within a serene mango grove, Flintstone6 is a piece of modern sustainable architecture. The two-bedroom cottage boasts a multi-functional hall with an open kitchen, catering to the needs of a comfortable and practical living space. The parallel walls on the northern and southern sides of the house are inspired by the rocky mountains in the Cauvery Basin region, blending the structure harmoniously with the natural surroundings, demonstrating a seamless coexistence of trees and the building, creating an enchanting extension of nature itself.
THE DEBRIS WALL CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUE
When faced with a limitation on the availability of raw materials, this obstacle became an opportunity for innovation. Mitti Architects embraced the available resources and incorporated them into the building using a groundbreaking technique called Debris Wall Construction. The Debris Wall Construction technique involves mixing leftover building waste with soil and a small amount of cement to create a raw and sturdy mixture. This mixture forms the structural load-bearing walls of the building, providing strength and stability. In the case of the Flintstone House, this technique was used as an experiment by Architect Fawaz Thengilan, making it the first prototype in Sanctity Ferme.
To create the Poured Earth Debris Wall (PEDW), the architects used a specific composition. It consists of 3 per cent cement, 40 per cent debris including quarry waste and other materials, and 57 per cent earth. The exact ratio depends on various factors and is customised for each project. The result is a distinctive earthen texture and colour that allows the walls to blend into the surrounding landscapes seamlessly. The base of the debris wall is reinforced with a fence or chicken mesh, which adds texture and gives the wall its characteristic bulge.
The Flintstone house is designed with a simple yet effective layout that embraces an open-floor concept, allowing for a seamless connection with nature. Upon arrival, the entry porch catches the eye with its distinctive design, showcasing a combination of cement blocks, plastered walls, and integrated boulders.
The living room's glass elements bring a sense of lightness and blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. The entrance is adorned with a subtle 9 x 6 ft plain ply door, harmonising with the earthy surroundings and the Poured Earth Debris Wall (PEDW) technique used in construction. Like many other elements of the house, the door was crafted on-site, emphasising attention to detail and craftsmanship.
The interiors maintain a minimalist and understated aesthetic, allowing the debris walls to take centre stage. Further in, you are greeted by a central zone that features an open kitchen separated by a counter. The furniture is kept minimal, with the counter and storage units seamlessly integrated into the cement block walls that extend from the entry area. The bedrooms flank either side of the kitchen, while the living area is positioned to the left of the entrance, providing a cosy and inviting space for relaxation and gathering.
The staircase, located adjacent to the kitchen storage unit, serves as both a means of vertical circulation and a light well that illuminates the heart of the home. A glass wall separates the staircase from the kitchen, allowing for transparency and an uninterrupted flow of natural light. To maintain the visual integrity of the neighbouring farms, the stair room is ingeniously inverted, eliminating the need for an obstructive upper storey. Additionally, rainwater drainage is efficiently managed through small cavities along the staircase landings.
The roof of the Flintstone house is a work of art in itself. The composite Casuarina-glazed roof creates a captivating play of light and shadow, infusing the space with dynamism and visual allure. It serves as a sundial, tracking the sun's movement throughout the day, while also doubling as a delightful party terrace, offering a unique vantage point to enjoy the surroundings.
There are expansive glass doors on the house’s northern and southern walls, seamlessly connecting the interior with the surrounding landscape while ensuring ample ventilation and natural light. Custom door handles crafted from locally sourced wood add a personalised touch. The bedrooms boast unique elements, with the northern bedroom showcasing a washroom beneath the inverted stair room, providing natural light and a stylish touch. The master bedroom boasts a rock bed reclaimed from quarry waste. Positioned to overlook the external landscape, the master bedroom's washroom features a glass partition and white curtains, creating a captivating play of light and privacy.
BUILDING AROUND THE BOULDERS
The incorporation of boulders in the design has played a significant role in its overall aesthetic, lending it the name inspired by the beloved cartoon series. Prior to construction, careful consideration was given to the placement and purpose of each boulder, a process that involved multiple design iterations. These natural elements were strategically positioned throughout the property, adding character and a sense of harmony to the architectural composition. The design of windows and doors was intricately crafted to complement and interact with the boulders, seamlessly integrating them into the overall structure. Each boulder became an integral part of the design narrative, contributing to the unique charm and visual appeal of the Flintstone house. The result is a harmonious fusion of nature and architecture, where the organic presence of the boulders adds a touch of whimsy and characteristic to the home's distinctive identity.
Flintstone stands as a remarkable testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and architecture. From its sustainable design approach and the innovative use of the Debris Wall technique to the integration of boulders and the preservation of the surrounding landscape, every aspect of the house reflects a deep respect for the environment. Its open-floor layout and seamless connection to the outdoors invite residents to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings. With its modern design sensibilities, functional spaces, and thoughtful details, the house is a true embodiment of sustainable luxury, where simplicity, elegance, and a profound connection to nature converge to create a home that is both timeless and inspiring.