Located as part of a cul-de-sac next to a peaceful temple compound, the locale for the house boasts of a menagerie of flora and fauna including peacocks, monkeys, pigeons, etc. that make up for the lack of dense vegetation. Few of these trees served as strategic references for the vista from the building. The orientation of the plot facing the south aided the possibility of a favourable air passage and sun path. Home to our small family of five, the house is envisioned as one free and open space that can also otherwise accommodate a host of frequent visitors from the considerably large extended family. Also most of us being closely associated to the profession of design and architecture, the house is visualised to be a retreat 

for frequent familiar and social gatherings, thus demanding for a smooth co-existence of privacy as well as receptivity. Referential to the climatic conditions, the site and programmatic specificity, the house is conceived as a connected amalgamation of volumes and spaces that go unobscured, rendering a distinctive transparency. 

The volumetric massing, the plan configuration and the landscape features oscillate between taking references either from the vista or the surroundings such as the temple and existing trees. Certain architectural gestures like the raised plinth and the larger openings are a direct outcome of the climatic response. Furthering the concept of free space, are also certain aesthetic decisions, for the interiors and materials. 

The furniture elements are the extended enclosures and connectors in the principal architectural intent of uninterrupted volumes. Singular material- plywood with different explorations in form and finishes, aids this thought also furthered by the flooring, where a central seamless floor extends out the interior to the landscape. The treatment of exterior facades is reflective of the overall responsive aesthetic, wherein each facade is a deliberation of the direction it faces, accentuated by the artwork in plaster.

With reference to the wind direction, the building is set as an ‘L’ that flanks and creates an intimate courtyard on the south, which is the garden, with its organic plinth modulation.

The two distinct type of volumes are intersected by an almost transparent gesture of volume, creating three courts towards the north, south and the centre.

The two courts on the north and south that open out the interiors to the temple and the lawns respectively

The three typology of courts: the north courtyard open to sky surrounded by the volumes and oriented onto the temple, the south court as the garden oriented towards the street and a place for gatherings while the central double volume is an intimate family space looking onto the garden.

A schematic showing the massing 

The water tank for the house takes its reference from the adjoining temple shikhara, the gesture supported by the specific colour treatment against the otherwise stark facade. 

The large north-south openings render the three bays effectively bare, for circulation of light and breeze 

The row of bamboos on the east, line the entry ramp and is intended to act as breeze catcher for the garden, that holds the south west wind.


Chhaya and  Dilip Patel

commencement: 2010

completion: 2012

340 smt

Ranjit Rajan

Sneha Puri

Landscape: Milind Patel

Structure: Jigar Shah

Art by: Vyom Mehta

Dinesh Mehta