Cost effective construction by Shilpa Architects

PROJECT: Copper Beach House, Tamil Nadu

ARCHITECTS: Shilpa Architects Planners Designers, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

This garden-home project includes several cost-effective local construction techniques, such as the Rat Trap Bond brick, which forms an interesting texture on the façade. In order to display this feature, the exterior façade has been left un-plastered. This bond also forms an air gap that provides thermal insulation and cools the rooms in the hot, humid climate of Chennai.

Local elements, such as the Athangudi cement tiles, clay roof tiles and ceramic fretwork tiles, along with the exposed granite columns, are all sourced from the art belt between Chennai and Tanjore, so as to add a local Southern flavour to the garden-home. Light play is an important element for the home, and the same has been achieved through the usage of architectural concrete elements on the eastern façade, in combination with the more organic fish-scale ceramic tiles. Both filter light and provide a different shaded pattern-straight line element from the concrete.

The major component of the site is an extensive organic garden, which is also the main landscape element. The courtyard home is part of this setting and envelops a swimming pool as the central feature.


Principal Architect: Ar. Sheila Sri Prakash

Principal Designer: Ar. Pavitra Sri Prakash

Civil Contractor: Stone Lotus

Consultants: Carpentry & Façade Engineering – Stone Lotus; Landscape Consultant – Shilpa Architects Planners Designers

Area: 14,400 sq ft plot area, 4000 sq ft built-up area, 12,000 sq ft landscape

Year of Completion: 2015