Architects: The Grid Architects
- Area: 1100 ft²
- Year: 2021
Lead Architects: Designers – Mr. Snehal Suthar and Ms. Bhadri Suthar
- Execution And Drawings : Mr. Keyur Patel, Mr. Vishvajit Hada
- City: Ahmedabad
- Country: India
The project. A small, intimate weekend home situated at Gujarat – Ahmedabad that celebrates materiality and the relationship between the manmade and the natural - reducing carbon footprints. We used earthy, local materials, shaped and worked by local hands, to build this modest, private retreat. The surroundings were left largely undisturbed while building this ecologically sensitive accommodation
The ethos. The dwelling is home to a couple who were desirous of a space that would reconcile privacy with transparency and possess a strong connection to the outside. The key to this project was to build the home around nature instead of weaving nature into the home. There is a modesty of articulation, which is rich with consideration for the environment, as well as the consciousness that a weekend home should offer you an experience that is fundamentally different from a routine one. Natural and raw materials were the primary medium through which this guiding principle was articulated.
In addition to the organic envelope. the building features water bodies and is surrounded by local species of insect repellent plants — thus developing its own micro-ecosystem. The programme and planning were also driven by this objective for communing with nature. We minimised the built-form — which was designed as a shelter for essential activities so that most of the day was spent outside.
The setting. The site is surrounded by large local mature trees that act as natural sun-breakers, shading all the pathways and the periphery of the home. These provide shelter and sustenance to a variety of birds and small fauna, encouraging biodiversity. We consciously stayed away from fragmenting the overall landscape with compound walls/boundaries and the home relies on the natural boundaries created by the vegetation for a notion of privacy.
The architectural formalisation. The built-form is articulated as a modest single-storey H-shaped block that impinges upon the visual surroundings very gently. The plinth is raised by two feet to provide a small vantage point. The envelope uses locally sourced Dhrangadhdra yellow stone for the foundation as well as the construction — thus its name, Rock House.
Aligned to the central philosophy of the project, the one-foot-thick stone walls retain the material’s original raw form both inside and outside and dispense with any sort of cosmetic layering. The floor-to-ceiling glazing strengthens the home’s connection with nature, making its play of seasons, light, and shadows an intimate part of the internal experience. The living spaces are column-free to allow an unobstructed view of the surroundings. The stone and glass facade act as a bridge that links the home to the green landscaping.