Brick House | By WALLMAKERS | Kurian Philip Residence ,Thazhakara, India

Project name Kurien Philip Residence
Project location Thazhakara, Mavelikara, Kerala
Completion Year 2015
Gross Built Area 201 sq m
Lead Architect Ar. Vinu Daniel
Team Members ArchanaNambiar,JincyRajan,BibuBehanan,Shobitha,


Photo credits: AnandJaju
Masonry contractors: P.S. Suresh – Shivranjini Constructions, Pondicherry
Fabrication team: Kunjumon James -J.K steels
MEP Unni Krishnan

Home is a partnership between the creator and provider. The creator being the architect and provider, the client. Nothing was more important to make a building like Kurien’s residence than this divine and sturdy partnership.

Kurien Philip is a pastor residing on the backwater fields of Kerala, a small tropical state in India. Traditional homes were being replaced by modern concrete homes resembling match boxes in an unfitting environment. This prompted the client to ask for something new. Emphasis was laid on climatic response and eco-friendliness and being ‘Earthy’. His only request further was to save his antique furniture and water well which gives ample water throughout the summer.


Keeping all the above in mind, we were inspired to create a ‘Vault’ which was an umbrella to protect the shelter from the indomitable tropical sun. Thus the long catenary vault blocking the South-West sun made from more than 9000 CSEB bricks.


Age old construction technique involving masonry with earth blocks and mud mortar without shuttering to create a wide range of arches and domes and vaults. The was reintroduced to 20th century by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy.


The technology consists of constructing wave like walls with or without reinforcement. This was pioneered by architect EladioDieste in Iglesia de Atlantida, Uruguay. The Wallmakers have tried to emulate the essence of Dieste by using Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks without reinforcing the vault structure. This small technique allowed wind to enter creating beautiful triangular openings (windows) and yet avoiding trespassers viewing into the home.


Chain study method helps to stabilize the right shape of the arch before the execution begins. The structural study was first formulated by Antonio Gaudi in some of his structures. Which engineers posthumously found out. The same technique is employed to achieve stability in the Arches.


These are mud blocks used for walls, vaults, composite beams and columns prepared by compressing earth in the form of blocks of different sizes and shapes.

The mix basically contains 80% gravel, 15% sand and 5% cement.

A finished CSEB wall is 15-20% cheaper than country fired brick wall.


CSEB are consuming 4 times less energy than country fired bricks:

CSEB produced on site with 5 % cement = 1,112.36 MJ/m3

Country fired bricks = 4,501.25 MJ/m3


CSEB are polluting 4 times less than country fired bricks:

CSEB produced on site with 5 % cement = 110.11 Kg of CO2 /m3

Country fired bricks = 444.12 Kg of CO2 /m3

Products and Brands Used in Project 

Kitchen and Wardrobes Ebco- Technical Hardware solutions
Sanitary Fittings Simpolo – Penelave

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