Toy Storey

Have you ever stepped on a Lego block? Everyone who has, even once in their lifetime stepped on one would remember the pain of it. This led us to ponder over two questions: ‘How sturdy is this material?’ and ‘How much of it is left in everyone's houses after children discard them?’

Plastic has managed to snake its way into almost every aspect of our daily lives, including 90% of the world’s toys, which is a far cry from the old Indian childhoods of outdoor play and wooden toys. With global toy sales peaking at $ 107.4 billion in 2022 and toys being unsuitable for recycling due to their complex forms and chemical additives, 80 % of all toys ever made have ended up in landfills, incinerators or the ocean.

When a project came up in Vadakara, North Kerala where the consumption of toys is the most in the state, the idea was to have a circular home accessible from every side with a verandah supported by toys and old Mangalore tiles. The cantilevered verandah that is held up by corbelling toys, ran all around the house that had no relegated “front” and “back” elevations. There were three large trees in the cardinal directions of the home that dictated the position of the house along with the level difference on site to include a secluded basement floor with a library and bedroom. The residence is conceived with the idea of a “House within a house” where the large living space will always be frequented by neighbours and members of the community, but the Japanese-style inspired shoji screens become translucent partitions providing light and visual connectivity for the private half. The central courtyard and the composite CSEB- Toy Jaali wall (Compressed Stabilised Earth blocks made from soil from the site), acts like a perforated external skin, with mesh in the interior, allowing constant cross ventilation and better insulation. The project also features a radial ferrocement shell roof that helps to reduce reinforcement by 33%, CSEB walls that with a very less embodied energy of 572 MJ/cum and the traditional oxide flooring technique.

But most importantly, the kids in the neighbourhood are always frequenting the house to look at and pointout their old toys. By using around 6200 discarded toys, “Toy Storey” manages to preserve the childhood of our generation forever on its walls.



Daniel, Vinu
Varughese, Oshin Mariam
Dasari, Dhawal
Pan, Mrityunjoy
Saji, Rosh


Vadakkara, Kerala (India)