This Young Architect From Madurai is Helping Saving The Environment by Making Homes Which Remain Naturally Cooler

Imagine yourself living in a climate-responsive house that creates its climate within the rooms. Surprised? Well, 26-year-old Vignesh Sekar with this firm, STOMP (Studio for Modernism & Practical Aesthetics) has made impossible things possible in a chic and modern way. 

With the team of four people, Vignesh is earning accolades for this extraordinary work on a new house in Thiruppathur. Apart from being a perfect confluence of heritage and modern architecture, the 4000 square feet house is climate responsive. The Thiruppathur house was STOMP's very first residential project. Before getting into this innovative idea, along with tea, Vignesh had worked on multiple government and public projects. The 4000 square feet house was built for a 60-year old Suresh Veerappan who always had dreamt of residing in a Chettiar house (domed-tower created look). He also wanted a home to have all the modern architectural aspects of comfort and elegance, and this is how Vignesh came into the picture. 

Features borrowed from a Chettiyar house includes Thinnai, a front yard in the house for guests and private bedrooms from the central courtyard. Explaining it to The Times of India, Vignesh added, "We wanted to break the style of having the kitchen near the backyard- this was done to segregate women from the main living area, but we designed an open kitchen near the main courtyard so that the whole family can interact and have a chat while the woman cook". 

(Image Source: STOMP)

Being a climate-responsive house, Vignesh studied the climatology of the area and came up with that the north-east direction had maximum solar radiation so instead of regular concrete roofing, a filler slab roof will be installed. During the monsoons, the structure will retain the moisture and will keep the interiors more relaxed and one can enjoy the warmth during winters too. 

Explaining about the filer to an online publication, he said, "The filler slab roof is a concrete and terracotta structure mostly found in old houses of Puducherry. With terracotta pots installed throughout the concrete framework, the structure not only offers higher resilience but also acts as a thermal insulator. It reduces the room temperature by 6-8℃ as compared to the outside."

(Image Source: The Hindu)

In the entire property, there are 16 skylights with a terracotta net on the east side as it provides direct sunlight and dust. Adding sustainability factor, a vertical green wall is erected in the extensive area. The green wall has air-purifying plants like ferns, pothos that supplies indoor oxygen. The main crux of this project was to source all the materials locally as well as employ local artisans. Providing information about the walls fo the house, he added, "The house walls are tinted a mild grey because of this coating, which we chose over emulsion paints. White cement and marble dust provide the necessary colour and egg-whites act as a weather coat. With a thickness of 2-3 mm, the coating poses a glossy barrier to sun, rain, and dust. Any marks or stains on the walls can be wiped off in an instant."

The house is truly a sight to behold. The home has been featured in leading architectural magazines all over the world and Vignesh and the team highlights the gold medal at the Festival of Architecture and Interior Designing 2019 in Mumbai and the Young Designers Award from Indian Architect & Builder magazine. From empowering the local artisans to adding homely touch, indeed this project is socially sustainable.

(Featured Image Source: Magtzar)