India is a home to an extraordinary variety of climatic regions. The site being located in Surat, Gujarat falls into hot and humid climatic zone. High humidity, strong sun and glare from the sky characterise the climate. The client having a family of five members, Kanji Bhai Bhalala is a public figure whose only purpose is to serve the mankind and in constant touch with people in the neighborhood and visitors throughout the day.
The site is a part of residential society, a corner plot approached from Undulating Red Brick Façade Brick Curtain House, Surat, Gujarat road on the west edge. The layout was organised in such a way that the private zone was at the inner side and public zone at the front facilitated by a centralised connecting services.
On the ground, the front occupies parking while the rear consists of a servant room and a multi-purpose hall that connects with the outdoor garden. In the habitable spaces above, private spaces like kitchen, dining and bedroom are accommodated at the inner side of the house while the front portion serves to bring the nature indoors and hence contains semi open spaces on both the sides that help connection with the neighbors with a double height living area in the center. Within the centralised connecting spaces lies the prayer area which can be looked up to from the second and third floor. Further, on the third floor, the home office is at the front merging with the terrace garden on the sides.
The spatial organisation brought with it the biggest climatic challenge, the front façade with large surface areas stood exposed to the west side, intensifying the heat gain throughout the day.
To reduce heat gain various explorations were done after understanding the architectural elements of hot climatic region, such as material, texture, jali, engraving.
The analysis led to select brick – a module that is raw and natural, and could help create a protruding façade to reduce the heating effect.
A brick façade with bulges protruding in and out was selected. As the façade majorly needs to shade the central indoor environment, the two ends are straight without bulges, giving the undulations in the centre a firm hold. The central portion was divided in three parts each having three bulges in a series. To structurally hold the huge façade of 83 layers, vertical and horizontal reinforcement was added.
The chosen form served dually:
● Individually the brick module shaded itself
● Convex bulges in the wall shade its lower concave bulges repeating the same shading pattern at larger level.
The house is a perfect epitome of how a plane curtains itself. It stands out and connects to the surroundings – both at the same time. The brick façade provides an ideal backdrop for the living area and major interaction spaces aesthetically adding simplicity and integrity to the design.
Overall the expression of the house is a response to client’s affinity with nature. It is an outcome of amalgamation of sustainable and functional aspects for the comfortable living environment.