Architect Vinu Daniel of Wallmakers showcases how eco-friendly materials can be used to create some truly awe-inspiring structures.
Architect Vinu Daniel started his firm Wallmakers in 2007 and since has led his firm with the intention to not merely practice eco-friendly architecture, but to establish a practice that leads by creativity, innovation and experimentation with material and technology.
The philosophy of the firm has been constant – of being extremely sensitive to how they building on earth. Through his work he emphasises on the necessity of reducing waste and addressing issues of depleting natural resources.
Staying true to this ideology, the firm has executed a variety of projects of varying scales; Over the relatively short duration of his practice Vinu Daniel has won several commendations and awards from leading design institutions and organisations.
Vinu Daniel, spends most of his time at his site, he does not have a studio. His body of work is a testament to eco-friendly materials being capable of producing some awe-inspiring structures.
A recent project of his in Trivandrum displays displays this seamless connection with nature through design and use of materials, and at the same time is a bold evocative form that excites and intrigues.
The residence is a careful repsonse to considerations of aesthetic, functional and environmental aspects. A defining element of this project is a suspended staircase created with bamboo. The architect has inserted a steel rod through culms of bamboo and also managed to pump concrete through it. This not only makes the bamboo intervention stabilised but also help to introduce a safety element to bamboo by making it resistant to cutting and allowing it to aso be used as a safety grill.
The walls and facade of the structure are made using CSEB blocks (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks) with a careful system of passive cooling and natural ventialation ensuring the home retains a level of comfortable ambient temperature. Another innovative feature of this home is the creation of a large metal screen made using recycing washing machine wheels. This adaptive reuse feature has a very good performative aspect as it allows the cool westerly winds to traverse the interior spaces freely.
The furniture and other interior elements used in the home are largely made using recyling materials and salvaging waste wood. However, the design and fabrication is done with an eye for details ensuring that this home is not left wanting in terms of aesthetics, comfort or function.
At the recent Roca ThinkTurf event in Mumbai Vinu Daniel shared a keynote which delved into how using passive and sustainable means he doesn’t need to be at odds with aesthetics. Instead he pushes the envelope by engaging with masons, carpenters, and workmen to explore new techniques and articulate details. Experimenting with unconventional materials or re-imagining the use of traditional ones requires tenacity and dedication, a trait which was ably visible in the architect and his team of Wallmakers.
Roca Think Turf, partnered by Design Owl, is a series of architectural conversation that take place across India.
These exchanges aim to create a fellowship of thought leaders to deliver a better environment through a process of inquiry, dialogue and action. Roca Think Turf challenges prevailing practices and critically analyses architecture within its historical, aesthetical, ethical and cultural circumstances.