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Home > A Punctuated Façade of Undulating Arches Shelters a Multi-Generational Home in Bhilwara

A Punctuated Façade of Undulating Arches Shelters a Multi-Generational Home in Bhilwara

A curvilinear façade of sculptural arches, locally sourced materials and an interesting play of volumes define this contextual home designed by Sanjay Puri Architects

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Context is key, they tell us. It can change perception, transforming the absurd into a masterpiece. In architecture, context plays an important role in determining the very essence of a structure, paving the way for it to relate to its environs. Great design is born out of a profound understanding of the setting and allowing the tangible and intangible factors of the surroundings to guide the form and choice of material. It’s a concept Sanjay Puri Architects deeply infused into the creation of a multi-generational home that was purposefully designed in response to the hot desert climate of Rajasthan, India. 

Design Firm: Sanjay Puri Architects 
Location: Bhilwara, Rajasthan  
Size of the plot: 622 square metres 
Lead Architects: Sanjay Puri and Nina Puri 
Design Team: Architecture – Ishveen Bhasin and Shreiya Kumar 
Interior – Nilesh Patel, Tanya Puri and Kalpesh Kacha 
Photography by: Dinesh Mehta 

Passive design strategies, locally sourced materials, shaded terraces, a  punctuated envelope and verdant garden areas work together to mitigate the heat and create  a cool haven for the family

The expressive architecture of this home creates an arresting visual – a terracotta-hued façade of undulating arches and curvilinear punctuations rising from the surrounding greenery. “Our vision for the project was to create a sculpture, not a house – one that becomes a landmark and makes use of the space in a very permeable manner. From the outside the structure looks like a sculpture because of the way we have treated the form and designed the building with strategically placed arches,” explains Sanjay Puri. 

The home is surrounded by green expanses, dotted with trees
The home was thoughtfully designed to create energy-efficient spaces with reduced heat gain and introduce indirect natural light in every part of the house

Designed on a small corner plot of 622 square metres within a residential villa layout, this is a contextual house planned for a family of three generations. The site is flanked by adjacent residential plots on the southern and eastern sides and a road on the northern and western sides which allows for a few open spaces and garden areas dotted with trees. Cocooning the home, the enveloping façade creates interstitial semi-open spaces along the entire perimeter with deeper recesses on the garden-facing sides. This considerably reduces the heat gain whilst providing sheltered yet open spaces in each room around the house.

The enveloping façade wraps around the building to create sheltered recesses at every level and reduce heat consumption

The interiors see an interesting play of volumes making up three levels encompassing four bedrooms, two living areas, a gym and a study. Adding layers of visual interest to the interior palette are fired clay panels, an abundance of natural wooden surfaces in light oak, aqua ceramic tiles in the waterbody, a lot of local pink Makrana marble, local granites and local grey textured sandstones for the bathrooms. They have also made use of stone sheets and metallic paint combined with ceramic, earthenware and woven art pieces as well as cane and cotton for decorative lights. Elevating the beige palette are soft neutrals including blue, pink,  grey, beige and black tones of suede, linens and velvets for upholstery. 

While each space within the home features small elements being manipulated by colour and furniture, the overall colour and material palette stays the same imparting a visually strong identity to the whole.
The overall material palette includes locally sourced bricks, sandstone and lime-plastered walls

Within the home, one is greeted by a long airy passage with arch-like doors and neutral soothing elements all around. “At different junctions, the rooms melt into triple height spaces, voids with an abundance of natural light, spatially sensational curves on the ceiling, large open windows and a waterbody that gently takes all of these elements and softens them out,” the architect notes.

The living room is the main area one sees as they enter the home. It features furniture from Mozaic, lighting from Olie, carpets from Jaipur Rugs and furnishings from a to z

The living room features large structural arches and high ceilings which are gently curved to accentuate the form and softly reflect natural light. The furniture is defined by soft lines and natural fabrics while one wall is cladded in a fired clay panel. “Even the artwork and lights that we used were woven with ropes and made with matka cotton to allow for soft, soothing and magnified textures to play with around the house,” Puri explains.

The dining room features a solid wood dining table with a 10-foot cane installation by a local company and a dhurrie woven rug as artwork on the wall
Furniture in the dining room has been sourced from Mozaic.

Other public spaces on the ground floor where the family gathers include the dining area and the family room. “The dining room was personally one of our favourite spaces as a team,  because it was 26 feet high, and it changes the way a human can interact with space in general. For example, while the family is sitting for a meal at the dining table, they can simply look up and see a massive arch, which is the first-floor passage area, thereby increasing spatial flow and visual interaction,” he explains. 

The family room is purposefully designed keeping in mind entertaining and  television viewing and is the only space with the option of shutting out the light and features  a large custom-made, L-shaped couch for comfortable viewing

 The family room opens up to outdoor seating on one side and the waterbody on another to create a cross-connection of elements that adds a lot of dimensions. The balcony opens out to the rust-toned arched envelope and carries all the way down to the living room, tying the whole exterior together. 

The ground floor also houses a master bedroom with three more located on  the first floor

Each bedroom has a very distinct character based on the person using the space. Says Puri, “The daughter’s bedroom was the only one where we incorporated arches behind the bed in a completely different manner than the rest of the structure. This gave a beautiful backdrop and with the use of non-neutral, coloured furniture we made the room feel more light, fresh and young. In the son’s bedroom, we wanted to keep the focus more on the volumes so we diverted from the beige tones and did this more in grey tones with black hardware highlights.  We kept it very simple and clutter-free by using minimal furniture and a lot of local textured  stone.” 

The multi-generational home culminates on the second floor which houses two decks, a home gym and an office

Summing up, Puri says, “One of our main approaches for the space was to merge the forms  and the visual of the exterior arches into the interior spaces and blend them seamlessly so that the architecture is in harmony with the interior and the space is more connected as a  whole.” 

Ground floor plan
First-floor plan
Second-floor plan


Story by Nadezna Siganporia 


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