CHHAVI HOUSE, JODHPUR

 

Location: Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Year: 2016-2018

Programme: Architecture | Residential

Status: Built

Scale:  710 sqm

Team: Abraham John, Alan Abraham, Anca Florescu, Niranjan Fulsundar, Prachi Donde, Neha Gupta

The challenge of designing a residential villa in Jodhpur was trifold: extreme climate, small footprint and quite a few requirements. The house is Vastu compliant - ancient Indian design principles regarding space, sunlight, flow and function.

A restricted plot in a society scheme, encumbered with existing adjoining buildings along its compound walls on two sides, and two roads along its north and east sides. Hence, we needed to create privacy, through orientation of the views, screens and courtyards, as well as landscape design. The little gardens, decks, waterbodies, sculpture court, sky lit balconies and terrace gardens – all enhance its spatial feel.

The floating steps make an inviting entrance, the lighting and landscape add to the sense of arrival. As one walks towards the main gate, one can pause on the bench and enjoy the soothing sounds of the cascade. The first impression we wanted to create is that of space and privacy, hence the imposing wooden doors, double height volumes and projections that are reminiscent of the many palaces, forts and temples set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert.

We conceptualised an open dining and living area. The kitchen French doors completely slide open onto the dining room for a special occasion. The dining, kitchen, living and garden form a public area that looks very different at night, with mood lighting and a waterbody, landscape and a beautiful authentically Indian wooden sculpture. The living area is a double height area with the ceiling continuing through from the inside to the outside.

In a city where temperatures routinely exceed 40 degrees, the filigree screen is both functional and aesthetic. It looks spectacular at night, and during the day it creates beautiful reflections on the large window panes. From the first landing you get a feel of the double height, of the expanse and a new angle to the screen which gives the villa its character: it combines the past (jalis), with a feeling of modern, clean lines.