Location: Spituk valley, Ladakh
The Spituk house was a product of its context. Sitting on the barley and mustard fields with the 12th-century monastery as the backdrop, the starting point was the disposition of the masses to mimic the backdrop. The plan is a perfect square with a smaller square portion of it shifted out.
The core principles of the practice are reflected in the construction. A passive solar house built to keep warm from the freezing winters of Ladakh. Ecological solutions have been used to achieve the same. The building is oriented towards the sunpath to maximize heat gain. Glass windows are present on the southern and western sides to trap the heat. The structure is load-bearing and three floors high with 2 feet thick rammed earth walls. Mud being a good conductor keeps the building comfortable all year round. Solar panels support all the electrical needs and the house is off-grid.
The smaller square becomes the main living space with an open plan consisting of the kitchen, dining and living room. The space created by this offset one-story structure becomes a court with a feature wall made of random rubble masonry. The bedrooms are within the remaining L-shaped portion of the house.
The landscape is designed around an existing stream along the site, its path is manoeuvred to come in and create a small stacked terrain using locally available flagstones.
The built is a clean monolithic structure sitting between the fields with a historic backdrop.
Materials: Earth, wood, stone and lime.
Architects: Sandeep Bogadhi, Nidhi Divecha, Arnab Swargiary
Rammed Earth Craftsman: Rasiq
Stonewall Craftsman: Nar Bahadur