Mud House Revisited

  • October 13, 2014
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In 1993; a few years after I had just started work, with some landscape experience and really no architectural experience, a client who I had done a residential landscape asked me to visit a land he had near town.
It was barren. Completely. But had two majestic mango trees on it; the rest of the large land sun scorched and bare.  He wanted to build on it a place to sit; that’s all- and did not want to spend much money.
I remember seeing the trees, and deciding that I had to build somehow engaging them. The branches were low , and so I finally sunk the ground around it, and built at a diagonal, between the two trees, so as to not disturb the branches.
And since the ground was bare, I marked the space around it with ” shevri” that grew quick and circumscribed a circle.
The negligent budget determined the material- brickwork in mud mortar, or just mud walls.
Then I planted many trees in the ground and left the site. Oddly never to visit it from over 20 years.
And then yesterday I did.
Some pictures by Vinay.

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The dense bamboo groves that now line the path leading to the pavilion.
 
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A gate of rough wood with metal wires, that lead to the circle. A  pond on the higher ground and the pavilions.
 
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The pavilion, nestled under the trees, held by the circle. The above two pictures from different sides.
 
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One is a lower pavilion,used to sit,the smaller upper one has a swing, a store and a washroom. The ” shevri” over time replaced with a hedge- the circle intact.
 
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The sitting pavilion, with the mango trees reading in a diagonal.
 
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The lowered ground. A dense grove of trees now in the background.
 
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Inside a large low table to sit and eat and a small pantry.
 
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Details of window and mud plaster.
 
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Lighting. Brackets.
 
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The client and his wife, narrating tales of how they use the place, and how lovingly they have taken care of this fragile mud pavilion for 20 odd years and kept the details intact.
Well…it was a good afternoon….
 
Aniket Bhagwat

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