JSL House by Atelier Design & Domain partners

June 27, 2015

JSL House- Designing in a place like Bhuj,Gujarat, it was imperative that the design which evolves must cater to not only the aesthetic demands of the client but also gratify climatic and environmental factors. Bhuj, a city in the North-Western state of Gujarat as varied climatic conditions with extreme heat waves. The design hence required a deliberation for the harsh sunlight and warm temperatures which are very common to this climatic zone.

As a design approach we located the bungalow a fair distance from the internal road of the plant, thus creating a sense of avenue to the bungalow. This approach was then accentuated with stone pedestals and stone plant pots aligning its complete length. Landscape earth mounts of varying sizes were created along the driveway to create necessary buffer from the utility block in the vicinity.

Vertical columns aligned along the driveway form the approach to the main entrance. These columns create a sense of rhythm leading to the drop off canopy. A few vertical columns anchor the entrance canopy which is anchored to the entrance vestibule tower. The entrance vestibule has been designed as a tower with large opening at ground level which permit the cooler air to enter and with jaffri/screen at the top which allows hot air to exit. On the axis of the driveway a water feature wall was created. The water body is created from several stacked stone pieces. Water comes out from the joints of these stacked pieces and collects in a trough below.

The project has a sense of linearity with the masses hugging the ground. This horizontality has been expressed as varying height masses strung together along an axis. These masses have been juxtaposed with several courts carved out of its form. These courtyards were considered as wind pockets which help to cool the built form. The living volume which is approached from the entrance vestibule opens into a large verandah that runs its full length. At all times the visual connectivity between the living to dining and entertainment room is maintained. At the entrance a glass and steel installation like bougainvillea creepers forms the screen that divides the corridor leading to bedrooms from the living room space. The base of this screen is a jaiselmer platform with loose pebbles kept in a channel.

Dining room is adjacent to the living volume, designed to dine ten people and has veranda attached to it for dining out in favorable weather condition. The powder toilet is attached to the dining facility. A glazed powder toilet with an idea of landscape belt with stone clad walls which are highlighted by a flood of daylight washes through a slit in the slab sets the mood for its guest using the facility. Family room is adjoined to the living room and is also aligned with this large verandah. Family sit out next to the reflecting pool has been designed with the intention for evening get to gathers during cooler climatic conditions.

The long veranda and sit outs have been given adequate large overhang, a necessity in these climatic conditions. The verandah enjoys the view of the sprawling lawn; a wooden gazebo has been designed on the axis of master bedroom which can be accessed from the verandah as well. A reflecting water pond surrounds the gazebo.

The living quarters are accessed from a wide corridor which was conceived as an art gallery exhibiting the art collection of its inhabitants. The wide corridor is brightly lit through skylight as well as the light from the courtyards located between bedrooms. The corridor visually terminates into the master bedroom courtyard. Each courtyard explores a theme of motifs which have been specially crafted into the local natural sandstone which adorns the wall. Artisans from the neighboring village were hired for their meticulous craftsmanship. A mogra/frangipani tree with 3 varying sizes of stone balls forms the foreground to the stone wall in the courtyard completing the canvas. The stone wall is punctuated with a jaffri/screen which permits cool evening breeze to filter into the courtyard making it a very comfortable lounging space.

Every bedroom overlooks a courtyard. In a climatic condition like Bhuj, where the temperatures drop significantly from morning to evenings, the outdoor spaces become very critical. Each bedroom is planned similarly with treatments to furniture and colour being the variation. The bathrooms are attached with the bedrooms having a visual court attached to the shower area. The master bedroom alone does not share its courtyard having an outdoor verandah attached to the lounge area in the bedroom. Flat roofs at varying heights, large overhangs, jaffries, rendered exterior walls, stone clad surfaces, diffused skylight and use of lime mortar for interior walls help towards the objective of controlling the climatic disparity and a design approach to the project.

Project Details:

JSL House  is done by Atelier Design & Domain  partners are-Anand Menon and Shobhan Kothari

Credits for photography- sebastian Zachariah

Web site : www.adnd.in

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