18 Screens House by Sanjay Puri Architects is a highly contextual six-bedroom residence that references the traditional courtyard-centric home. Sheltered open terraces and landscaped gardens complement the double-height, naturally ventilated courtyard to combat the extreme heat of the region. Chikan embroidery is the inspiration for patterned screens that conceal outdoor seating areas for each room and facilitate a beautiful sciagraphy throughout the day. A raw materiality, volumetric variations and bold Indian artworks complete the distinct spatial experience. Scroll down to read the architects’ insights.
“Lucknow city in 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 plotted 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 lengthy summer months are in excess of 35° C, 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 8500 sq ft 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 sheath 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 further divided into distinct sections, each with a unique identity, through fluid, volumetric variations in the form that are anchored by the courtyard. “Built almost entirely in raw concrete, a natural palette of sandstone and wood with muted colours, vivid Indian art and landscape are brought together in different compositions in each of the internal volumes,” said the studio, expounding the material and decor palettes utilised.
“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.