Vertical Courtyard House by Manoj Patel Design Studio is a meticulously composed residence that utilises a detailed study of the climate and context to facilitate a serene, understated lifestyle. Multiple voids, terraces and volumetric masses have been complemented by a vernacular material palette and greenery to facilitate natural light and ventilation while maintaining a relationship with nature and the residents’ ‘roots.’ Apart from vibrant pops of colour in the furnishings and wonderful sciagraphy in the interior spaces, the structure is defined by a distinct facade that has been crafted from clay roof tiles in a ‘toran’ graphic at 45 degree angles. Scroll down to read the architects’ insights.
The home is located in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The residence has been planned by exploring the interaction between surrounding houses, dense greenery and the village lifestyle. The owner of the house has a nuclear family consisting the couple and their children. They are accustomed to living a simple and quite life based on their village community. While approaching this project, the main challenge was to incorporate an existing bank structure on the ground and create a house which feels close to nature.
Evolving the thought process, for this west facing house, we decided to incorporate the diffused light and create a volumetric mass. Here the study of climate plays an important role in planning an organised layout with multiple voids in the form of terraces and double height spaces. The absence of openings on west façade provides a large surface area for cladding. Vernacular material-clay roof tiles-were identified to clad which is low cost and has longevity. The pattern is explored through various arrangements and craftsmanship that depicts the ‘toran’ graphics at 45 degree angles. The proportions of clay roof tile strips casts shadow on the surface based on sun’s movement in the Indian context. The screening keeps the interior spaces cool and yet stands out of the local fabric.
To differentiate the existing ground structure and the entry gateway of the dwelling, a huge pergola framed structure with adjacent recessed green wall has been created in bold, dark colours to emphasis the massing. The sun’s harsh rays get cut due to the pergolas and keep the parking space shaded. When entering the main structure on the first floor, one is greeted by a double height foyer partly covered with vertical fins to protect from west glazing and to ensure visual connectivity across the road. The door showcases a unique concept of merging jaali effects with safety measure as new see through screen. A bold palette emphasis the intricate beauty of the door.
The house has its primary functions of living, kitchen, dining and bedrooms on the first and second floor respectively. To bring in the traditional art and craft of villages in a contemporary rendition, the living room has been transformed into double height space in a plain palette that contrasts the colourful patterned fabrics and rug. The proportions of the openings facilitate required light and ventilation, while preventing the harsh sun. As an alternative to monotonous kitchen interiors, a contrasting colour palette of brown is used distinctively with white shades.
The dining space is arranged around an inner double height courtyard in the middle of the house, creating an airy, peaceful and quiet space separate from the outside space. The crafted backdrop mural becomes the focus for the space and forms an introvert dinning, helping to connect the family with the nature and themselves. There are many layers of double height spaces, voids even designed for the master bedrooms on the first and second floor. To have privacy and visual connectivity with the dining space vertical slits have been designed on one of the bedroom walls. The connected punctured huge balcony creates air corridors for the internal as well as external space. Keeping with the interior theme, backdrop has been carved from minimum wooden panels which make it appear large.
The staircase sets its own identity in the double height space through the semi open railing element designed to combine adjoining tv wall unit and an above overhung passage in a play of contrasting yellow and grey hues. This creates an illusion of whole mass popping out of the inward looking subtle coloured mass. The master bedroom on the upper floor has a large balcony, acting as a barrier and canopy for the first floor below. This acts an interactive link making it look like a voluminous connected frame mass. The beauty of the backdrop gets enhanced through pink graphics and the texture of wooden laminates with the play of shadows.
For the kid’s room, the colour palette has been conceived in a vibrant combination of pink and violet with an interactive visual experience. The study table has been designed adjacent to an opening to get bathed in diffused light and feel close to nature due to surrounding dense vegetation. Through this project, we incorporated simple methods to create architectural spaces, used common local materials to clad and a colour palette of pop-shades which enhances the beauty of mass. From every position outside the house, one can see different large openings for ample of airflow and natural lighting.