Home to a family of four in Ahmedabad, involved a simple brief of making a spacious and comfortable home on an expansive land, with an area of 47,700 sq ft. This brief slowly transformed into a complex design challenge of creating a sequence of private and social spaces that addressed their individual aspirations. With a construction area of 18,500 sq ft, it comprises of five bedrooms, formal living room, TV room, courtyard, dining room, verandah sit-outs, kitchen, recreation room, lounge, barbecue area, temple, gymnasium, terrace sit-outs, and other service spaces. Having lived in a strictly urban environ all their lives, the family wished for a haven that connects them to the outdoors, thus making the landscape and the green pockets equally important. The family also aspired to have a central courtyard reminiscent of the traditional houses.

Adapting to the contemporary needs and climate, the house unfurls around a central ‘courtyard’ which is a family space housed around a sweeping, curved roof. The built form is articulated such as to open out to the expanse of a large garden on the north, and other pockets of greens around. The outdoor spaces are imagined as a series of open or intimate pockets that house different possibilities of interaction for the family- sometimes a dinner with friends, or a barbecue with cousins, or simply an evening chai on the swing. The first floor also has its share of terraces as outdoor pockets on the north overlooking the lawn, and on the southwest. The recreation room and the lounge open out to this terrace, which becomes a venue for a lively evening of entertainment, and to enjoy the evening breeze.

North-south spine of the house extends out through the courtyard, connecting the interiors to the outdoors, and blurring the barrier between the two. The swooping roof brings in ample light from the north to the central volume. 

All openings are designed to respond to the harsh weather with a combination of louvers for ventilation, and glass sliding for view and light. They are deep set under a continuous lintel band that acts as a shading device.

The concrete elements are left exposed- in slab bottoms, lintel bands and external elevation of the house. 

The existing site with three lush, neem trees. The entry is oriented as per the two trees in the north.

Through the course of design development and dialogue with clients, the residence shaped into a courtyard house, the courtyard being the core that connects the surrounding units.

The dining area and living room around the courtyard form a linear spine that opens out the inside to the outside.

The other spaces organically unfurl around the central courtyard and spine.

The exposed concrete lintel band running on the whole periphery of the house, offsets the windows, creating deep shadows and shading the large openings during the harsh summer months.

The courtyard with the staircase and circulation passage around connects the surrounding units internally, on both the levels.

Ahmedabad

Nirav Shah and family

commencement: 2017

completion: 2019

4430 smt

Landscape design by: Milind Patel (IORA Studio, Ahmedabad)

Dinesh Mehta