For me this project was full of challenges at execution level. As all the construction techniques were unconventional no contractor took up the whole project, I managed each and every agency separately. Firstly no craftsman of the area was able to construct such sand stone wall, three different people started construction of walls but left in just days or hours! I went finding experienced stone craftsman from nearby towns and it took two months two find 65 year old haribapa who was coming from 25 kilometers away! Manually lift heavy stones and do masonry work at 20 feet high was challenging for haribapa and team as well. The stone mines had run out of ‘government royalty’ and had no seller. So to buy stones I had to personally go every time to Than village, find stone mine worker, give him stone sizes, give him suthi (token money) and arrange transportation vehicle.
Terrazzo flooring has been so rare in the area that no young worker actually was confident about it. So we arranged an old craftsman who knew it well, as he was handicapped, others workers did work under guidance of him on site. To manage proportions and same colour in terrazzo was quiet a task of precision. Folding metal doors were first of the kind project the fabricator had took and so first we made a sample door system at his workshop, resolved the problems and executed the actual work. Luckily carpenters jayantibhai and kalpeshbhai, were pretty smart, they took great care in resolving the details while making it. Most of the work was such that drawings did not help to resolve it and so I made shop drawings and rest of the things were taken care of on site. Almost every day or every alternate day I visited the site for more than three years, discussing with craftsmen, pushing their boundaries, not letting to compromise with design or budget and resolving while learning about the material.
During most of the construction there was no electric connection and so work was done on generator and then on connection from a different area!
site and context
construction of stone wall
laying terrazo flooring
making doors and windows
Construction of Walls:
Random rubble sand stone walls, stones were brought from Morbi and Than
Bathroom: Regular brick walls with plaster
Finishes on Walls:
Exposed stone walls with pointing
Only two interior walls are partly finish with a kind of cement stucco
Construction of Roof:
RCC slab resting on exposed concrete columns
Finishes on Roof:
Inside: cast-insitu terrazzo flooring
Landscape steps: bamboo flooring
Louvers are made from teak wood and finished with telpani polish
Pivot windows are made from deodar wood and to protect it from weather effects bees wax polish is done
Main Entrance Door:
9’ high 7’6” wide entrance door has metal frame and wooden battens as panels, opening mechanism is metal pivot
River side Doors:
Metal shutters with aluminum framed glass panels, bi-folding opening mechanism with shutters supported on brass hinges
Floor, walls and constructed bathtub: cast-insitu terrazzo
Khatiya: teak wood and metal pipes,
Dining table and outdoor benches are made directly from tree trunk.