Have you ever thought of building a house on your own? This Pune couple can show you how.

Dhruvang Hingmire and Priyanka Gunjikar, an architect couple, use natural materials and employ local labour to build houses.

They started ‘Building in Mud’ six years ago, and used locally available sustainable materials, labourers, zero cement, and more to build their homes.


Before starting a project, they study the geographical highlights of the area and plan the work accordingly.

For example, to build a private retreat in Kamshet, they used black stone, mud mortar, clay roof tiles, and local timber.

They rarely use cement in their projects but stick to clay and lime.

This method of construction also helps to keep the interiors at least 10 degrees cooler than the outdoors.

Both architects pursued their degrees from Rachna Sansad Academy of Architecture, Mumbai, where they were trained by Malaksingh Gill.

“We happened to visit a drought-prone area in Maharashtra where we met a lady who built her mud house by ingraining bangles. This was our inspiration,” says Dhruvang.

The couple worked with Malaksingh Gill for three years and learned to look at the socio-cultural aspects of the residents before construction.

“Even villages depend on big cities for construction materials and labour. But we employ local artisans and workers on our projects.”

Because of the natural construction of these homes, they most often don’t need any ACs or fans to stay cool.

And what about the money? Are the couple sacrificing a lucrative career?

“We don’t think of our work as a sacrifice. It is a privilege to work in places that are beautiful and so close to nature. And as Laurie Baker once said, 'Our real teachers are in the villages'.”