18 Screens House by Sanjay Puri Architects

Fact file
Location: Lucknow
Size: 790 sq m
Principal Architect: Sanjay Puri
Photographs by: Dinesh Mehta


18 Screens House by Sanjay Puri Architects is a highly contextual six-bedroom residence that references the traditional courtyard-centric home. Lucknow, India, has a rich heritage with numerous buildings dating back to the 18th century. The site for this house lies along a busy arterial road and is on the peripheral edge of an extensive planned development for private homes. The house is planned to allude to the traditional Indian courtyard house in response to the climate of the location. “Temperatures in the long summer months are over 35 degrees celsius, with the sun in the southern hemisphere,” explained the architects, outlining the design intent and context for the project.

While a six-bedroom house spanning 790 sq m is bound to come with an extensive set of requirements, the designers have ensured that open terraces, landscaping, and a generous interspersion of greenery work in harmony with the naturally ventilated central courtyard to cool the residence (apart from their aesthetic appeal). “Patterned screens derived from traditional Indian architecture and the famous Lucknow “chikan” embroidery sheaths define outdoor seating areas for each room on the south, west, and east sides. “These screens provide shelter from the sun, create different light patterns throughout the day, and mitigate traffic noise from the busy arterial road on the southern side,” said the architects.

A copious amount of filtered natural light enlivens the interiors through the presence of palatial glass windows on the northern side. The home is divided into distinct sections, each with a unique identity, through fluid, volumetric variations in the form anchored by the courtyard. “Built almost entirely in raw concrete, a natural palette of sandstone and wood with muted colours and vivid Indian art and landscape are brought together in different compositions in each of the internal volumes,” said the studio, expounding the material and décor palettes. “A series of experiences are created in this house that, by its design, facilitates natural ventilation and sunlight within and is simultaneously contextual to the location, sun articulation, tradition, culture, and social aspects,” they concluded.