Span Architects, The courtyard house, Residential design, Vernacular architecture, Contemporary homes, Indigenous design

The Courtyard House by Span Architects

Indigenous architecture meets a contemporary thought process in this luxurious house

In line with the design brief by the client, the Courtyard  House stands true to the idea of vernacular and indigenous architecture, however, following in the contemporary lines. Span Architects’ approach was to study traditional science, extract its essence, yet arrive at a fresh and innovative design. From large palaces like Rajwada Indore (Kings Palace) to small residential dwellings, almost all the houses in the region, use to have open to sky spaces, Hence, courtyard became the driving factor for this residence.

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Planning of the house is done in such a way that all the spaces are well connected to each other, such that the public rooms surround the central courtyard. The Private rooms are placed on the upper floors. The transparency among internal spaces, the multiple terraces and the central courtyard help one enjoy the pleasant city weather.

Following an introverted planning, the boundary wall of 10’ height is made in stone masonry, so as to break the visibility of internal spaces from the main road. A symbolic, antique door in the boundary wall greets one to the entrance of the house, giving a similar kind of look that Indian village homes use to have. Upon entering the house you are greeted with an entrance verandah, car parking and a small garden.

The ground floor is the social volume that accommodates the drawing room, family room, kitchen, dining space, courtyard and parents bedroom. The central space is embraced with a courtyard, which acts as a transition space and is flanked on either sides with the family room and the drawing room. It is the heart of the house. This tranquil space acts as an outdoor room, into which all the internal areas flow. It is an entertaining space in summers and provides relaxation beneath the sky. This calm space has an intimate connection with the interior spaces of the house. The kitchen window overlooking the entrance helps to maintain a clear vision of the outdoors. The first level is devoted to two bedrooms (one for the couple and the other for their daughter) with terraces that allow for comfortable ventilated and shaded semi-open areas. Meanwhile, the second level houses the son’s bedroom along with a multipurpose room for leisure activities under the sloping roof, adding character to the front façade of the residence.

The material and the texture create an impression of harmony between the house and the nature itself. Floors are covered with marble and locally available granite. Custom designed doors and windows are made of wood. Finally, the architectural qualities feature thoughtful details, clean geometrical forms and the aspiration to achieve simplicity. The choice of the material and finishes enhances the aesthetics of the interior. The courtyard has a brick wall with warli art in the niches, Terracotta tiles and copper vessels are used to create water features and add a traditional look to the place. Toughened glass partition between the rooms on ground floor acts as an informal partition and provides clear vision making the exterior landscape a part of interiors and allows the continuous flow of spatial quality.

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