Toy Storey Residence – Designed by Wallmakers, the Kerala home dovetails recycled plastic toys with earthen facade

Located in Vadakara, a town in India known for its high toy consumption, Architecture studio ‘Wallmarkers’ embraces a circular design philosophy by repurposing approximately 6,200 discarded toys to prop up perforated walls of the home.

Aptly christened by the Wallmakers, Toy Storey is accessible from all sides, the house with airy verandah is supported by a unique combination of discarded toys and traditional Mangalore tiles.

Highlighting the stark disparity between traditional wooden toys and the current reliance on non-biodegradable materials, studio founder Vinu Daniel points, the global toy industry exceeding $107.4 billion in 2022 and most toys unsuitable for recycling, an alarming 80% end up in landfills, incinerators, or the ocean.

The project is conceived as a ‘house within a house.’ The expansive living space is envisioned as a welcoming space for neighbors and members of the community.

The private areas are separated by translucent shoji screens, inspired by Japanese design principles.

Four evenly-spaced entrances are embedded into the facade which is wrapped by a cantilevered verandah offering outdoor space overlooking the surrounding greenery which are unsuitable for recycling, as structural components and decoration within the external walls.

Inside, the home’s first floor is divided into public and private segments. The public half is defined by a large living room while the private half contains an open-plan kitchen and dining area flanked by bedrooms.

The site’s topography enabled the addition of a secluded basement level containing a library and bedroom, accessed from the upper floor by a central staircase.

An internal courtyard topped with a glass ceiling slices through the building providing additional daylight for the interior.

This cantilevered structure, held aloft by corbelled toys, embodies the concept of a house without a designated front or back, fostering a sense of openness and community.

These screens allow for natural light and visual connection, promoting a sense of openness while maintaining privacy. Below, a secluded basement floor hosts a library and a bedroom.

Photographs by Syam Sreesylam

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