A Contemporary Villa On Traditional Ideals | DREAMSCAPE ARCHITECTS
A contemporary villa developed on traditional ideals, Chikoowadi (a farm of sapodilla trees) houses a family of 6 that included the owners, their son, their daughter, their mother, and a pet dog. The clients envisioned an inward looking house with a courtyard, a quintessential feature/element in the famous Pol houses in the walled city of Ahmedabad.
Owing to the regular gatherings of friends and family, the clients wanted the residence to have open spaces, while ensuring that other members of the family are not disturbed. Other requirements included a private swimming pool and a large lawn area.
The site was a farm of Sapodilla trees, leading to the name Chikoowadi. To ensure that the trees were an essential component while visualizing the design, we departed from the convention by drawing up most of the designs directly at the site. Upon analyzing the client brief, we developed a basic concept that involved two key elements, 9 sapodilla trees, each around 25 years old, and the courtyard.
The form of the building was designed in accordance with the location of these trees and the concept aimed at creating a dialogue between the building and the trees. Due to the possibility of waterlogging during monsoons, the ground level of the site was raised to 1.5 meters and the house was aligned on a north-south axis to minimize heat gain.
Once the concept was in place, we started shaping the design of the space, and designed an experience of a scenic journey for everyone who walked in. Welcomed with a water body and a soothing water wall on one side, one then walks on a bridge to a foyer, an exposed RCC box, to enter the house.
Upon entering the vestibule, they are greeted with a view of the garden and a tree. The vestibule leads to the public areas viz. the guest bedroom and formal living room on one side and private spaces of the house on the other, through a long corridor with glass windows. The private and public spaces are connected by a cantilevered exposed concrete staircase and a courtyard.
The other key element of the design process was the courtyard. It provides an entrance to the family living room, a space for an informal gathering placed between two trees. The dining room, placed between the garden and the courtyard, is a lively space that seamlessly integrates the indoors and outdoors.
The placement of every window and balcony in each room is designed in such a manner that the view is unique yet at least one sapodilla tree is always visible. The grandmother’s room has a tree right outside the window whereas there is plantation inside the guest room. Both master bedrooms, located on the first floor, have open to sky shower areas. While one master bedroom overlooks the courtyard, the other overlooks the vast garden area. The lounge area was connected to the house with a bridge.
The swimming pool was placed in the basement to ensure the privacy of clients and their guests, and is also accessible through a ramp in the garden. Sliding folding louvered doors provides clients with the necessary privacy, while also giving them a view of the lush gardens.
The garden area, rife with beautiful plantations, is divided by the ramp into two levels, with one level connected to the backyard.After carefully analyzing the layout and the requirements, the materials selected adhered to the perceived sense of journey for everyone who visits the house, along with an emphasis on nature.Welcomed with water and an exposed RCC vestibule, one then proceeds through an area with wood and black flooring before going to the courtyard, which has hand glazed fire bricks.
The idea behind using all these materials was to create a subconscious journey for visitors as well as enhancing natural elements on the site. Certain walls inside the house were enhanced using textures and wallpapers and the usage of wood was kept to a minimum as the site is prone to having termites.
Project name: CHIKOOWADI
Architecture Firm: DREAMSCAPE ARCHITECTS
Lead Architects: Ar.Suketu Shah , Ar.Aashna Desai
Design Team: Shreya , Kanisha, Gaurang, Dhruwin
Completion Year: December 2018
Gross Built Area: 11,000 Sq.ft
Project location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Photo credits: Ishita Sitwala (The Fishy Project)
Clients: Pranay & Dipali Desai
Engineering: P-Cube Designs
Landscape: Amitabh Teotia Designs
Consultants: Sanjay Shah and Associates