The site is surrounded by roads on three sides, with a school on the east and 4-5 storey structures towards the north and west side of the site. In Urban living where the family being very social, the challenge was to create a fairly open house, yet maintain privacy for the inhabitants. So,we thought of creating an inward-looking house.
Chetan, Shubha, Gopi, Amruta, Raj
To maintain privacy from the roads, the entire house was raised by a floor keeping the gym, home-theatre and utility spaces in the stilt floor. We consciously bifurcated the living spaces from the functional spaces. All the liveable spaces like the bedrooms, living room, and the open terraces were all wisely zoned facing northwards where the heat is at its minimal. All the functional units like the staircase, servant’s quarters, utility were placed towards the South.
So predominantly this house is North facing. The open courtyard in the centre and the stepped terraces are all North facing which brings in the best light inside the house and provides opportunity for large openings facing these spaces. The courtyard inside the building also helps in maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the house. The Swimming pool above the double height living room not only cools the living space below but also is used to water the terraced gardens and water bodies on the north just by gravity system. During monsoon, when it rains the water from the terrace and balconies trickles down to a fish pond at the entrance.
In a place which is surrounded by residential units on all sides, the louvered screen is both functional (protects from the sun and offers some privacy) and aesthetic. During the day, the openings within the louvers provide interesting shadow patterns on the inside and on the other hand at night it looks spectacular throwing the indoor lights through the same
fenestrations. Facing north, the front facade features large openings allowing sumptuous natural light to penetrate deep into the open layout of the house. The vertical louvers cladding outside the open terraces on the north serve as adornment for the building facade, and also gives the required privacy. The sky-lights above the double height internal court, together with the tall expanse of windows makes the home self-sufficient in natural light regardless of the shade and privacy from tall buildings surrounding it.
The courts, verandah, garden, and stilts- are all in sync to achieve the purpose and to offer the most needed breakout spaces- visual as well as physical. The clutter-free interior design, climate-responsive facades, and openings allow a lot of natural light to make one feel fresh.