Aqua Grid House by Mindspace Architects is an intriguing composition amidst verdant surroundings. Nestled amidst a quiet neighbourhood in Pune, punctuated by Banyan trees, it was inevitable that the home should feature a seamless indoor-outdoor experience. Meandering around the existing foliage on site, the residence is defined by a cobbled arrival court that initiates a journey through several waterscapes, and eventually culminates at the swimming pool. Granite steps, variations in level and volume, and beautiful skylights are some other design interventions that distinguish this nature-inspired home. Scroll down to read the architects’ insights.
This house is located in a quiet neighbourhood in Pune. Abutted by two roads lined with large banyan trees, the site had an existing art-deco house, set amidst large trees. The program was to demolish the old house and construct a new one. The idea was to preserve most of the trees; hence the new house predominantly occupied the area of the existing house and started responding to these surrounding trees.
The presence of nature around was so strong that indoor and outdoor got integrated effortlessly, with almost every room opening in three directions and connecting with the trees all around. A cobbled arrival courtyard with a blank wall as a backdrop creates a layer of privacy. The journey into the house starts from this court and is directed by series of water courts which culminate into the swimming pool nestled behind the blank wall of the arrival court. The entire house takes shape around these water bodies, which are lined with rough granite stone steps, reminiscent of temple tanks.
The spatial experience starts from the deck next to the dining room on the east, goes through the house, comes out on the other side under the trees and then joins the pool. In the process it creates a strong link with all the interactive zones of the house, which are connected yet have their own space, defined through level differences, varying volumes and water bodies. The reflections of the skylight and tree foliage onto the water adds a different dimension to the experience.
Every single room, either on ground or on the first floor has an outdoor connection in the form of a veranda or a deck, linking shade under the veranda and the shade under the foliage. The material palette encompasses beige coloured rough granite on the walls, black flooring and wood accents for bedroom floors, doors and skylight. The lawn towards the south, flanked by huge Banyan trees, is designed for entertaining larger groups. Power is generated through P.V. panels that also create insulating layer of shade on the roof.