STEPPED CUBE HOUSE, AHMEDABAD
Plot Area – 2600 SQ.FT.
Built Up Area – 3200 SQ.FT.
Principal Architect – AR. Prashant Parmar
Website – www.prashantparmar.com
Firm Name – Shayona Consultant, Ahmedabad.
Located in the densely populated surroundings of Paldi area in Ahmedabad, is this compact plot of 42’ x 62’. Exposed to the residential developments on the three sides and a road in the front, it would be needless to say that the design approach for the house had to create a sense of privacy and security.
The client’s reason for selection of this plot was to stay connected with his local groups. The house appears a set of cubes with varied volumes, arranged with a balanced play of solids and voids. The brief was to create a spacious home with four bedrooms, a drawing room, a dining area, a kitchen and a formal living space that connected to garden. For easy movement within, a lift was needed. The parking was discarded as a common space was already provided by the society. The planning of the house is done based on the below factors:
- The sun path that moves from front - east to the rear side that tilt’s towards south
- Air flow from south to north
- Vaastu considerations
- Density of developments around the site and a large common wall on the north
- Extreme heat during summers
The planning of the elevation is the derivate of the concept of the Stepped Cube House.
Articulated as a three storey home, the stacking of the floors plates defined the look of a cuboid which was thereafter integrated with solid volumes and natural steps. The solid top or roof of one volume transforms into the terrace garden for the next volume. The compound wall is pulled up to create a dramatic effect of a flat background from which cubes are protruding. The south east corner of the site was the best angle considering the view for light and flow of air. Dividing the house in 9 sections as per Vaastu, the entrance to the house is marked from the north east that is shaded with a verandah. A cosy garden space with pergola, sit out and a water body is provides a soothing vibe to the house. The Puja space is a double height area located in the north east corner. A skylight in the central Brahmasthan, allows natural light to seep in and illuminate the spaces across the floors. The drawing room and dining area kept spacious with almost 22’ x 26’.
The drawing room is connected with a small gazebo in the front garden, the dining is connected with a semi covered verandah and a water body located on the south side. These spaces allow the users to spend quality time with their family. A small powder room is created by the dining area. The connection of kitchen and dining is planned such that, they are secluded from the other activities. These spaces are visually connected with the views of the garden through large openings that bringing in natural light and air. The rear is panned with utilities and a servant’s room. The parents’ bedroom is planned in the North West corner with minimal interiors to maintain the simplicity. It has connects with a semi-covered private garden with a pergola. A staircase and a lift are provided in the north side, keeping rest of the spaces undisturbed. The wall here is highlighted with chisel stone cladding of lighter shade and showcases an interesting mural as it runs up to the first level.
The first floor is planned as a more private space with a lounge and a terrace garden. One can still connect with the view of the double heighted vestibule and puja area on other side. The master bedroom placed on the south west and is connected to the terrace garden. It is designed with a large walk in closet and attached toilet. The daughter’s bedroom follows the grid of ground floor bedroom, and is provided with an attached toilet. The top floor brings in the view of the skylight and the private terrace garden that is attached to the son’s bedroom along with a dress and toilet. The terrace garden here is separated by a screen wall with a circular cut-out that allows free flow of wind from the south side and is covered with pergolas to create a dramatic effect during the rains. The terrace gardens for the private bedrooms are provided with artificial lawns and natural planters, in order to reduce the maintenance.
Care has been take that during summers when temperatures hits 45° – 47°, the building itself works as a shading structure, the open spaces are provided with requisite shade and a screen wall is provided on the south facing garden on the ground and second floors. The central solid volume is a slightly raised level that creates shadow on the garden. This brings a play of light and shadow in the exteriors. What makes the built volume more beautiful is the play of textures, materials and the details one encounters with every step as he moves ahead to explore the house. The main door featuring the design of that of ‘veins of a leaf’, the verandah flooring in natural stone mosaic, and the Italian marble flooring inside, are just a few noticeable elements.
By understanding the climatic conditions & the surrounding context, and with good play of solids and voids, one can create a unique architecture even if the site is small. The plot size was a challenge but we took it as an opportunity, to give finest result. It was a very grateful moment for us, when the client was fully satisfied with the end result of the project.