Delivering Innovative Designs Optimizing Human Well Being
Architect Yash Patel and Architect Rachita Patel, Principal Architects at Ergo d novate believe in delivering innovative design solutions which optimizes human well being and overall system performance. Yash Patel completed his B.Arch and his expertise is delivering contextual, climate and client friendly designs with systematic execution. Rachita Patel has done her B.arch following which she did her Post Graduation in Industrial design (Ceramic and Glass Design) from the prestigious National Institute of Design. Their creative global firm, Ergo d novate is based in Gujarat and follow the mantra of providing user friendly innovative design solutions mainly concentrating in environmental and industrial design.
They have shared with Gallopper their project, JD Villa : A Courtyard Abode located in Nadiad, Gujarat having a builtup area of 12,000 sq.ft.
The design team consisted of Pradeep Patel, Shailoo Patel, Dipali Khammar. The Clients brief was very specific: the client used to live in a very crowded area and they now wanted a house where each member have their private space and at the same time should have spaces for larger gatherings of the joint family. The size of the plot being 20,000 sq.m.
The client, Jayantibhai Dahyabhai Patel (JD) a native of village Dumral, Gujarat, is a Charotar Patidar and a farmer by occupation, residing with his joint family in his ancestral village since birth. The family comprises of 3 generations with 14 members living in harmony – where they pray together and have dinner together.
The core objective of selecting the project site of JD Villa in Dumral was to remain deeply rooted, enjoying the quality life of rural environment while catering to urban lifestyles. The basic requirement was to design 8 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, a kitchen, a home-theatre, a pooja room and dining space. Impressively, the client wanted a design with a strong statement of connecting with nature.
Thus this united family residence was conceptualized as per Hindu philosophy of Panchmahabhuta. Panchmahabhuta are the five elements that created the universe and everything around. A quote in one of the ancient books of Hindu philosophy says, “When Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky arise, when the five attributes of elements become manifest then the yogi’s body become purified and he is free from illness, old age and death”. This depicts the connection of the human body to these five elements and is believed to be the key reason behind an individual’s wellness.
Blending these five elements- Akasha, Bhumi, Jal, Agni and Vayu in different proportions was the aim of the Designers while conceptualizing this project and transpired as”
Akasha (sky) : Open to sky spaces have been created in the form of courtyards which connect different functions of the living space.
Bhumi (earth) : The ground floor structure gets blended with grass counters and natural stone boulders. The use of natural stone in façade keeps the entire habitat connected with Bhumi – the mother earth.
Jal (water) : Small water bodies have been placed near the entrance and the verandah with fountains which creates a soothing ambiance.
Agni (fire) : The sunlight at dawn and dusk penetrates the entire house through the glass facades and open to sky courtyards, giving natural light throughout the day.
Vayu (wind) : Specially designed stone jalis are placed in the wind directions which provides natural ventilation and screening from light, offering a calm, cool and airy environment. During the day, as sunlight streams through the jali, the patterns form magical play of light and shade.
The site is located on the outskirts of the city and near the highway. Open farming fields surround the site. The designers reminisce, “As the clients design brief was large we started the design with the concept of ‘central open courtyard’ theme and having only a single storey structure where the family members are easily connected with each other and at the same time they have their private spaces for small gatherings; we started placing the different rooms facing courtyards, the which worked as gathering spaces for the family. The landscape was planned in such a way that it became camouflaged with the superstructure”
The site being located in the center of Gujarat where the summer temperature reaches almost 47 degrees, stone jalis were used across the house in wind directions to ensure natural ventilation and to keep the house cool in the harsh summer. Besides, this also ensured natural light in the property.
Small water bodies have been placed near the entrance and the verandah with fountains, to create a soothing sound thus enhancing the ambiance. Natural materials have been used extensively for an earthy look. A colour palette of white, brown and green has been used throughout the entire project.
Australian white marble has been used for the flooring and special Bolivian wood was used in the entire project. A lot of emphasis was laid to “hand crafted” items in the entire project.
Exposed RCC has been used in the ceilings of the passage. The long linear passage was made visually interesting by creating patterns in the exposed RCC slab, which were derived after doing tessellation of different forms. The same pattern was followed for the design of stone jali and the metal space frames.
A large living room for the joint family was placed adjoining to the central courtyard on one side with a large window on other, ensuring a view of exterior landscaping. Minimalist furniture is kept in the room and specially designed wooden motif reflecting a leaf is placed on the blank wall of the living room to give a little touch of contemporary vernacular feel.
The kitchen, catering to a large joint family, needed to be big. A C-shaped platform, with a large central island fitted with 3 cooking ranges was planned. Acrylic solid surface, Corian was used in the kitchen platform to give a homogeneous look of the large platform of the kitchen.
Each of the 8 bedrooms are unique and fine tuned according to the users’ expectations. The overarching theme across the bedrooms was supported with simple straight line furniture and solid wooden flooring. Each room have 3 different views of the garden as there is opening in 3 wall which connects the exterior landscape with the bedroom.
Stone jalis and metal space frames create a play of light and shade on the wall and floor at different times of the day. Artificial lighting has been used for the continuity of this drama, in the night.
Natural stones have being used in the exterior cladding of the house to give a strong and bold look to the façade. This not only breaks the monotony but also protects from the harsh sun in summer.