Text description provided by the architects. The site measures 60 feet by 40 feet with the longer side facing the road but with no view to speak of. On the lateral sides are existing buildings whose walls are juxtaposed with the site’s boundary.
Typically, residences are designed with a front yard abutting the house with a couple of functions having a view of this landscaped area. We asked ourselves how we could increase the presence of this ‘outside’ within the daily activities of the house.
Our solution then was to design a C-shaped house which allows for the landscape to plug into the built space with all the living spaces looking into a double height courtyard, thus maximizing the boundaries of the programmes i.e., the living room, the dining room and the bedrooms, flanking the courtyard. The service areas were pushed to the periphery.
The vision for the courtyard was to be sculptural rather than being a platonic entity with the compound wall having a dual purpose of both cutting off the outside as well as providing a backdrop for the view from within the courtyard.
The elevation was designed to be a monolithic object which is faceted and has a crystalline sensibility. As one approaches the house, the compound wall which is treated with red oxide gives an appearance of being part of the ground, almost like constructed earth, rising up to wrap the courtyard creating a womb for the courtyard. The openings on the front façade are crystalline cut outs that merge with the rest of the faceted monolithic form.