Project Location: Sector- 29, Panchkula, India
Project Area: 240 square meters
Firm: Garg Architects, Panchkula
Project Year: 2017
Project Budget: Rs. 90 lakhs (construction cost only) 140,000 $ approx.
Project Duration: 6 months
Structural Engineer: Rakhra Associates
Contractor: Building Pro Solutions
Photographs: Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
OVERVIEW AND INSPIRATION:
The Sky Box house, constructed in a small rectangular 240 sq. meters lot of land, located in the Himalayan foothills, facing towards the north direction, is an architectural outcome guided by three main design aspects – Light, Simplicity and Proportions. The client for the project was a nuclear family with each of the three members involved in different professions, thus, possessing distinctive tastes and preferences.
The architect proposed a design solution which not only complied with the individual requirements of the family, but also stood up defying the time and budget constraints.
The house has been designed in consideration with the ‘Flow of Energy’ concept of Vastu. Another inspiration came from a conception of the Architect F.L. Wright: ‘A building should convey a sense of shelter, refuge, or protection against the elements. Its inhabitants should never lack privacy or feel exposed and unprotected.’
One of the prime concerns of the inhabitants – Privacy, was well taken care of by spatially segregating the private and common spaces of the house, and placing them in the best suited locations governed by factors such as light and air movement. For instance, the floor to ceiling height glass windows facing outside, provided in the first floor bedroom, are horizontally lineated by ledges at cill and lintel to obstruct the direct visibility into the interiors. On the inside, it offers a view of the entrance way and facilitates a plentiful of north light entering the room.
Windows: Schuco Aluminium
Paint: Asian paints
Sanitary ware / Bath fittings: Kohler/Jaquar
Wood: Teak wood
The 11 feet cantilevered block, emphasizing its prominence in the front façade, serves for a double-height semi-open space.
‘Drive way embedded in the garden’ was a novel design approach formulated in the front lawn area of the plot, where the paved portion emerged out of the green lawn, which fulfilled the demand for a lush garden in spite of the constricted space. The palm trees embracing both edges of the site at the entrance have been lit up influenced from the glorious palm tree lighting adornments in Dubai.
Shifting of mass in the box allowed for a beautiful effect produced on the left –side wall by the light entering through the horizontal slit, which was collated by a vertical grey band in the middle of the wall.
Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) was used to pace up the construction process for confronting the completion target of 6 months put forward by the client. Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) was used to pace up the construction process for confronting the completion target of 6 months put forward by the client.
Night view of the house
The main entrance door 7 feet wide and 10 feet high, clad with veneers of vintage teak from Burma, not just appreciated the elegance of the fore frame, but also adhered to the clients’ anthropometric requisites. The exquisite hand- grip was made from scrap wood which camouflaged with the door.
A visual continuity of spaces is achieved along the central spine with the rear wall of the house visible from the entrance itself, thus, uniting a sequence of spaces, i.e., the Front garden, Entrance foyer, Hallway, Puja room and the Rear deck through this visual linkage. The well-lit entrance foyer with double – height space uniformly spreads the daylight in every part, adorning it with a welcoming appeal. Functionally, the Puja space has been given a centric placement, and its double–height allows for a continuous cycle of energy flowing throughout the house. Captivation towards the time–honored design styles, client being a native of Rajasthan, directed the strategy for a subtle but elegant lot of material, color and texture selection for the interiors. Ochre toned wood finishes used for the furnishings and Coreal satin walnut veneer finish (imported from USA) for the doors become the cynosure against the neutral backdrop set by white walls and floor. The assorted selection of furnishings applause the authenticity of the interior spaces and complements the material palette even in the absence of false ceiling.
The client had put forward a requirement for a shoe-rack spacious enough for a capacity of 75-100 shoes. The under staircase space on the ground floor was utilized for a 3 feet high console made out of HDF wood with lacquered paint finish, making room for around 80 pairs of shoes.
The 11 feet cantilevered block and the front garden area.
The largesse of this space has been further realized with a play of proportions, by providing full height glass screen which showcases the sculptural sparkling grey metal staircase; gracing the double height volume. The glass screen allows the stairwell to engulf bundles of natural light, which then bathe the interior spaces, such as the main living area, in a balanced light through the cut-outs.
The rear wooden floor deck provides for an outdoor seating with a semi –sheltering louvered pergola above. Another issue of monkeys invading the house had to be dealt with, which was resolved by providing spikes above the compound walls.
Rear semi-open deck.
Casual seating in the double height front terrace.
The toilets located in the central portion of the house were provisioned with skylights; a peculiar feature as observed in the surrounding context; for penetration of daylight along with appropriate ventilation, thus, developing a connection with the outdoor environment.
Black galaxy granite used in the kitchen counter and dado area gives the illusion of infinite surface.
The furnishings compliment the interior space with their subtle but elegant design.