by Jerry ElengicalSep 08, 2021
A two-storey house for a family of three generations by The Grid Architects, an Ahmedabad-based firm, comprises stacked volumes and internal gardens. The project referred as The Pixel House draws from the idea of the most fundamental element of digital imagery, i.e. pixel that replicates as recurring inside-out spaces rooted in nature.
The brief outlined the project to be designed for three couples and two children. Architect Snehal Suthar and Bhadri Suthar conceived a layout that allowed every space with enough room to ensure both connectedness and seclusion.
A series of overlapping planes gave form to small semi-open meeting spaces and internal gardens interspersed within the indoors. This way the landscape becomes a part of the internal programmes and makes the house a green sanctuary.
"The architectural form explores the idea of sheltered balconies, overhangs and spaces-under-spaces in a bid to allow each room to face the front (north) garden, as a response to the region’s hot, dry climate. The result is a structure that is gently extroverted yet retains enough privacy,” explain the architects.
One arrives at the entrance by crossing a stone pavement laid adjacent to an outdoor garden. The gate to the house is sheltered by a sculpturesque concrete canopy that imparts ‘a certain sense of arrival’; its surface with square perforations of varying sizes reveal a wonderful play of light and shadow during the day, while large MS lamps suspended down the roof project ambient reflections in the night.
Inside, a gracious lobby leads one to the living area, which spills into a dining connected to shaded court, a kitchen and two bedrooms. A key space is a staircase block that sits at the centre of the ground floor against a brick clad wall and topped by a skylight.
"The stepped form of the architectural envelope gets mirrored here in a miniature fashion, as a series of stepped planters that lend a sense of security to the railing-less staircase,” add Snehal and Bhadri.
"The greenery makes the upward journey a pleasant one, as the overlapping plants invite you to touch them, creating a pleasurable sensation of walking in a garden.”
The upper floors are completely residential and are dedicated to three bedroom and an open terrace.
To manifest the ‘geometricity’ of the volumes, the architects have used stone, wood, exposed brick and traditional lime plaster in conjunction with contemporary furnishing within the interiors. On the exteriors, exposed RCC and stone envelopes the house.
The Pixel House inspires with its intersecting layers of spaces that ensure no one at home feels alienated as well as its simple palette suggests that the building is a product of the site itself.