Villa – ‘Center Court’

The brief for a personal residence placed on a 2.5 acre plot of land, was to have a six bedroom home with indoor/ outdoor living areas and a large entertainment space. Clients’ inkling towards contemporary aesthetics, informed the building design with clean horizontal lines, sculptured rectangular forms, large expanse of glazing and wide sliding screens creating the desired visual delight.

The villa is designed with two sets of parallel masses with another volume perched above, perpendicular to the former creating two courtyard spaces and an  H-shape building configuration. All functions are programmed around these two courts so as to provide maximum unhindered views of the landscape from almost all habitable rooms. Strategically placing the pool to adjacent to the north court contained this space and formed  the focus of the project.

On the lower floor, the volume to the east is occupied by formal program as the Entry foyer, formal Living room and the dining area. The part to the west is more of a private living zone.

The dining area is aligned with the central court leading to the pool outside the patio in front of the Formal living and bar. The west block of the building helps in shading/cooling the central courtyard during summers. This coupled with the pool creates a cooler microclimate in the center that further enhances natural ventilation in the house through this space.

The upper floor comprises of four bedrooms in all with two being the master suites housed in the west wing. Both floors are linked through a central double-height space containing a sculpted staircase. The striking white staircase with floating steps and glass railing stands out against white walls making the space minimal and very calm. This central double-height wing has full glazing on either sides and overlooks the long, rectangular pool to the north court.

The interiors are strongly interconnected with the exterior spaces and the choice of materials play with the two realms. Interior spaces are intentionally very minimal.

For the outdoor landscape, simple textures and materials were chosen for the paving materials, decking such as granite slabs and cobbles, conferring a very minimalist reading to the spaces. A transition in landscape is noted through crafting of different textures in these materials using the same color. The planting has been done to achieve a combination of sculptural and foliage accents.

Further, green strategies have been applied to make the house sustainable. The architectural design, with series of inter-connected voids, facilitates natural ventilation generated during summers by using stack effect, thus resulting in cooler spaces. Timber and aluminium louvers have been provided wherever there are large expanses of glass and cuts down on direct heat gain. Cavity walls have been extensively used through out the structure facilitating low heat gain. South facing solar collectors have been installed to heat water in winters to be used in toilets and kitchens. Rain water harvesting and water recycling has been provided as well.

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