12.0 Housing / Studio 2+2
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Manufacturers: Hansgrohe, ABBY light, Asian paints, Mitsubishi Heavy-Haier, Myriad Marmi, Piccolo mosaics, RHM & CO, Royal tiles, Slimline windows, VitrA
Janki Vyas, Margi Choksi, Shivansh, Sneha Suthar
Text description provided by the architects. Amidst the scrubland of Kanjari Village which is very close to the wetlands of Thol & Nalsarovar is this place which just had a lone Piludi(Salvadoran peaches) tree. The brief was to create a residence with a gigantic living area to host large gatherings and a few bedrooms to stay within these wetland areas. It is a single-storey residence enveloped in glass and exposed concrete to devise a monolithic composition. The entire house is shaded by an inverted slab that cantilevers about 12 feet from the interior facade, supported by a mild steel colonnade for maximum visibility. This 12 foot projection defines the home and that is how the name of this house came up. 12.0 was designed on the principle of providing maximum views and even the open plan was made to support maximum visibility of the landscape from all the interior spaces.
The home is made to integrate the lush green ecosystem with the cozy interior. With full-height fenestrations, which are mostly sliding and folding, the 1500 sq. ft. to an 8000 sq.ft gathering space as soon as the shutters are clamped to either side. There is also a courtyard that acts as a buffer between the house’s semi-private and private bedrooms. This court brings in more light and ventilation while serving as an open-to-sky lobby between the 2 bedrooms. Although small, this space creates a balance between gathering and resting space and adds a necessary void between activities.
The house is a system of 3 defined blocks according to the activity, the collection block, the retirement block with the bedrooms and the utility block with the wet kitchen and service. The plan of the house is quite straightforward with a wide vestibule looking towards the parametric ceiling of the interior dry kitchen. Both sides of this vestibule are characteristic views, one defined by wooden slats framing the central garden, while the other by the courtyard with lush green Areca palms and Radermacheras.
This vestibule leads us directly to the living and family areas, connected to the dining and drying kitchen, thus forming a fantastic space. The dry kitchen is connected to a separate utility block housing the wet (Maharaj) kitchen. The location of the Maharaj kitchen was kept separate so that it can accommodate the outer deck, sunken seating and the party lawn directly without having to interfere with the main living space. Similarly, even the powder toilets are placed in the same zone, so that they can be used from inside as well as the outer seating areas.
With a comforting and neutral color palette, the interior follows the tone of sobriety. The complete floor is laid with specially designed terrazzo tiles and the furniture design has pastel colors of blue and plum. The interior dry kitchen has a parametric ceiling carved from sycamore logs, and this is the only complex element amidst the completely minimalist space design. This ceiling consists of more than 750 pieces of wood, each of a different size.
The dark stained Ashwood, the pastel upholstery and the matt black aluminum sections and skirting boards are the only visible tones in the living areas. This has been done to justify the monolithic architectural shell and thus there are no such pop-outs in the interior. If we walk around this space, we only experience the natural view borrowed through the large glass enclosures. The two bedrooms are identical in elements with the same layout and decor, with the only change in their color themes. Every room in the house has cross-ventilation through the aluminum slats, with insect netting taken as part of the fenestrations, so that the fresh air is well circulated throughout the building.
The landscape is designed as an ecosystem with around 110 tree species and more than 150 species of shrubs and ground cover. Our aim was to preserve the datum and thus the soil filling at this site was avoided unless it was necessary for good growth in vegetable farms. The site was 5 ft below road level and after making a huge rainwater reservoir, we were only able to fill up about 2 ft till date. This helped us save a lot of expenses, as well as create a resource for watering the plantations throughout the year. The reservoir is able to save around 45 lakh liters of water and because of that we are able to support a lot of fauna be it fish or birds. Overall, the site houses a nursery, a huge orchard, vegetable gardens enough to provide vegetables for more than 20 families, a central festival lawn and a dense forest, which contributes to the diversity of scrub in the surroundings.