We were asked to design a weekend retreat outside a town in India for Munir’s mom who had recently bought a small property. The idea was to create a green oasis with a natural buidling that can be used on the weekends along with a vegetable and fruit garden.
We used permaculture design as a basis to develop a masterplan for the site. Considering the local climate and very hot summer we decided to use earth construction to build the shelter to ensure the inside remained cool and comfortable. The design for the house evolved into a series of domes connected by a courtyard and a natural pond. The soil from digging the pond was used for the earthbag construction of the first two domes. The interior wall and floor were plastered with natural mud and straw.
We also planted a range of fruit trees and developed a permaculture based keyhole garden that was used for seasonal vegetables.
Dr Jamila Vahanvati