The debris of a demolished 1970s building was repurposed into mud-concrete blocks to create this house in Bangalore, India, designed by local architecture studio CollectiveProject.
Called Debris Block House, the dwelling builds on a research project initiated in 2018 by CollectiveProject that seeks to tackle the large amount of demolition and dumping of materials that has accompanied Bangalore’s recent development.
“Bangalore’s rapid urbanisation and unregulated sprawl over the last 20 years came at the expense of natural resources, including the encroachment, filling and unregulated dumping of construction debris into the city‘s lakes and waterways,” said studio partner Eliza Higgins.
To address this problem, we questioned if building demolition debris could be considered a resource, instead of generating waste, to create new components for construction,” she told Dezeen.
The yellow-brown debris blocks form the majority of the home’s outer walls. They are left exposed and supported by a framework of in-situ concrete, which has also been left uncovered.
The blocks themselves were created by breaking debris apart by hand, mixing it with lime, soil and cement before casting them in custom moulds and drying them in the sun.
As Debris Block House is located close to the city centre, the client desired green space at the home. Therefore, the studio surrounded it with gardens and incorporated stepped, planted balconies into its form.
The interior is organised around a central atrium with a staircase at its centre, designed to provide visual connections between each level.
“For the couple and their young daughters, proximity and engagement between spaces was essential to the brief,” partner Cyrus Patell told Dezeen.
On the ground floor, a living, kitchen and dining space is surrounded by full-height windows and sliding glass doors that connect with the garden that wraps the northern side of the home.
“We wanted the ground floor living room, dining and kitchen to really flow out to the landscape with large sliding glass panels that open completely,” added Patell.
To the south, a guest bedroom sits alongside a covered parking area, at the end of which is a small area of planting.
Above, three bedrooms on the first floor surround a library and TV lounge. They are overlooked by the second floor, where a small bridge connects a music room and an office with its own private terrace.
Debris Block House is among the homes to have been longlisted in the urban house category of Dezeen Awards 2023.
Lab testing was carried out to ensure the strength of the blocks used to construct it and CollectiveWorks is continuing its research into ways the efficiency and capabilities of construction with debris can be improved.
CollectiveProject previously completed a home overlooking a lake in Hyderabad that features a series of stacked boxes clad in granite and wood.
The photography is by Benjamin Hosking.