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Traditional cottages that speak a modern language

Sheathed in packets of dry rubble in the surroundings, are these traditional and yet independent cottages by Bees Design Lab (bd LAB), a design firm located in Munnar & Ernakulam.

With focus on aesthetics, the strength of design finds its midpoint with the triangular shape of the cottages and nature’s sleek silhouette. Inside the layered steel and concrete structure, spaces are warmed by abundant skylight. Modern language of glass and steel used in combination with wild stone in the forest setting helps in creating the element of contrast.

The entire setting speaks sustainability. Northern orientation of the cottages helps in less heat gain in to the interior. Natural landscape was retained and the buildings were placed without cutting down any trees. Detailed research was made about the flora and fauna of the locality; native trees were planted back to the site, and required fruits and vegetables were planted for making it self-sustained.

70 per cent of the material pallet was also created from the site itself, the rest were carried to the site by manual labour in order to avoid disturbance to the forest. Natural method of retaining wall was adapted by cutting in 45-degree slop and planting it with a vetiver plant Ramacham, which helps in preventing land slide.

Apart from using water-based paints and solar panels for electricity, even the numbers of visitors are restricted per year in order to control the waste management, taking in consideration of the impact towards the surrounding environments.