Mehul Patel Residence / Groundwork Architecture

Mehul Patel Residence / Groundwork Architecture

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Text description provided by the architects. The residence for Mr. Mehul Patel is built on the land of 1560 sq. mt and is in the western part of Ahmedabad in Bhopal. The client is a real estate developer working on various residential and commercial projects in Ahmedabad. Their brief for us was to design a house for their family of 5 people with private living areas, including formal and family living dining, kitchen, entertainment room, and four bedrooms. Beyond the functional requirements, they were keen to build a house with an open-to-sky courtyard, which could become integral to the living areas. The requirement was to use Vaastu principles to organize the overall layout.

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In the early stages of development, it was decided that we would use materials that would add to creating a timeless aesthetic for the house. We used exposed concrete and natural brick as the main construction aesthetic in this context. As these are finishes that do not have an added layer of plaster on top, the architectural detailing for the design had to be simple and robust. 

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The main entrance to the premises is from the north, and there is parking for their three cars accessible directly from the main street. This allows the entrance to the house to remain pedestrian only with emergency access for vehicles. The courtyard is the central organizing element of the house. The Entrance vestibule through the entrance porch connects to the ambulatory corridor around the courtyard. This corridor strings all the spaces together and seamlessly connects each space with the courtyard.

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The entrance vestibule backdrop wall cuts the courtyard from the initial visual experience. This enables an interesting surprise when one turns left onto the main corridor to discover the courtyard. This is when the Puja room located in the NE corner of the house is first visible. The main corridor has a full view of the courtyard on one side, flanked on the left by the double-height formal living room. The location of the formal living room is the last semi-private space, after which all other functions become private in nature.

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A straight-flight folded plate staircase is placed along this corridor, visually connecting the courtyard and open spaces to the east through a verandah. The kitchen is in the SE corner of the house and is well-connected to the dining and family living spaces. The house’s west wing is dedicated to the bedroom with toilets and walk-in wardrobes on both floors by stacking two bedrooms on each floor. Separate light wells are created to borrow natural light in the toilets. The entertainment area with the home theatre is located directly above the family living area.

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The courtyard on the ground floor is completely visually open, allowing physical access to the courtyard. Terracotta jalis are provided on the complete periphery of the courtyard on the first-floor corridor. This ensures a substantial reduction of direct sunlight entering the house and creates interesting graphic modulation of lights and shadows, which is ever-changing. The courtyard, along with the plants, helps bring down the temperature in the house and provides a place to enjoy open spaces with complete visual privacy.  All the facades are articulated differently to respond to the climate tied with simple form and material.

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