Tiruvananthapuram: Poovar gets the first ‘Tsunami-resistant house’ driven by solar energy built by a British national, Mark Reynolds- a befitting tribute to this coastal island vulnerable to the risks of tsunami waves, which took the State by surprise, a few years back. Set amidst the swaying coconut palms this house looks intoxicatingly quixotic that subtly blends with its enchanting locale. This hydro-dynamically shaped house is designed to protect it from high waves.
Mr. Reynolds claims that the laminar flow will protect its walls in the event of a tsunami. The tsunami house built at a cost of Rs.3 lakh will be a sure shot remedy to the burgeoning housing needs of this hamlet. A hollow concrete block that can contain 75,000 litres of water props up the house and it could be used to meet the drinking water needs of a family for 90 days. The dome shaped house is made up with local products and it has battered walls, cantilever steps and protruding walls. The bedroom built over the bathroom is on the second floor and the four poster bed also forms part of the roof!
Gouri Parvathi Bai, member of the erstwhile Travancore royal familyinaugurated the tsunami-resistant house at a function held at the Poovar Island. The house belongs to the tourism venture promoted by Mark and Sujeewa Reynolds- the Friday’s PlaceEco Lodge and Home stay, which bagged the award for innovative technology at the World Travel Mart at London in 2006. It is interesting to note that while Mr.Reynolds himself designed and built the cottages with the help of local workers, his wife takes the credit of a stunningly beautiful landscaped garden heavily punctuated with shrubs and bright flowered plants.
The island of Poovar has no drinking water facility and Fridays Place depends almost entirely on solar energy for its lighting needs. It even pumps water and runs the kitchen equipment using eight solar panels, which ensure uninterrupted power all through. Mr. Reynolds underscores the importance of preserving the wetlands of Poovar by putting a leash on unsustainable construction and developmental activities.