AR. Hrishikesh More

‘The Orange Box’,

a project was conceptualised for the patron from Mumbai who believes in sustainability and is living in there day to day life as well. It was an experimental project to develop a unique farmhouse on outskirts of Alibaug town near Mumbai.

Clients Brief: The passion for the environment started when he quit his job to launch ‘TREEWEAR’ a company that makes eco-friendly products. MishaI had an initial thought of working with containers as a basic element for their farmhouse. A three-bedroom adobe which could further range to become an artist’s retreat or holding workshops or even a base for ‘TREEWEAR’ workspace.

Mishal approached us (Hrishikesh More Architects) with the basic idea of the farmhouse. This was a unique opportunity but an unconventional thought for us. We started designing with basic massing and planning which was in tune with the brief given by the client. This was not an easy project to work on as it was an unconventional design. We finally came up with a concept where we accommodated all the clients’ requirements in six40 feet containers.

Sustainability: Recycled containers being the primary construction material reduced the impact on the surrounding environment. Minimal use of concrete, sand, cement, brick which causes environmental damage. Green materials like WPC flooring (recycled wood plastic composite material) are used in this project.

Inverted funnel shape roof collects the rainwater into an underground tank with an open chain drain system. Further, the excess rainwater is percolated to recharge the groundwater table.

The site was blessed with aged banyan tree with several other indigenous plantations near the construction area. The orientation of the structure was.

Planning: We kept it simple. Six forty feet containers are arranged, with three containers staggered on the ground floor consisting of a bedroom, living room, dining and kitchen and three containers on the higher floor that are placed perpendicular to the lower blocks consisting of two bedrooms and a den/bar area. The orientations of the containers are such that it forms an open to sky courtyard in the centre. ‘Linea’ – linear water body forms a centrepiece which harvests rainwater from the funnel shape inverted roof over the courtyard through the open-chain drain.

Orientation: The orientation of the structure is such that, the existing landscape of the site is unharmed. The orientation of the structure is such that it reduces heat gain to the steel assembly. Double height glass window for living room face North-West to capture the diffused light. It is also the side which has a scenic view. Bedrooms facing South-West are designed with narrow openings which cut downs the heat gain to the rooms. Further, the containers are well insulated to tackle the external heat. South & West facade which calefies more, is buffered by toilet blocks, semi-covered terraces, and existing trees like BabuI and Neem. Modularity and Spaces: Shipping containers are standard sized; designing with them was like playing LEGO. This might be contentment while designing but there are limitations to it. Containers are eight feet wide and eight and a half feet in height which are standard dimensions, designed with space constraints was a back-breaking attempt. Variations in volumes are formed by amalgamating container blocks horizontally and vertically.

To give loftiness living room is provided with double height with the bedrooms overlooking, this added visual connections between the spaces. This volume is further enhanced by a glass facade which overlooks scenic view and also draws light inside structure.

Economics: Time frame of construction is the key feature in such a structure. Because of modularity, these structures could be built in quick time. Though it requires high precession and skilled workforce. Compared to other recycled or eco-friendly materials, Shipping containers are more durable and tough. Every time a container is recycled, thousands of kilos of steel are repurposed. The best part is that when using a container no other building materials like bricks or cement is required, which reduced the overall carbon footprint.

Name of Project:    The Orange Box

Location:                  Alibaug, Maharashtra

Total Area:              3200 sq.ft.

Date of Completion:      2019

Design Architects:       Hrishikesh More Architects

Principal Architect:     Hrishikesh More

Design team:                Vishal Shinde, Zill Savla, Urjasvi Mokashi.

 Interior Design:          Perfect Angle.

Project Consultants:    Florite Engineering Corporation

Structural Consultants:  V.J.Joshi & Co.

Contractors:  Florite Engineering Corporation (Fabrication Engineering), Haresh Bhoir (local Contractor)

Image Courtesy

Exterior Images:   MishaI Pardiwala

Interior Images:   Pallavi More

The above article is a joint effort by Ideasscape & Family Interiors Magazine to promote vocal for local. The content and images have been sourced from Family Interiors Magazine.

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