by Anmol AhujaJul 15, 2021
This geometric house with distinct gable roofs owes its bold, airy and straightforward persona to its location – built on a rectangular plot at a cul-de-sac, in a dense residential neighbourhood of Ahmedabad, India, the home’s spaces are designed to connect effortlessly with the refreshing outdoors. The dwelling is conceived by Indian design studio UA Lab (Urban Architectural Collaborative), headed by co-founders and architects Vipuja and Krishnakant Parmar, who planned the residential spaces around the north garden and the central courtyard, which were ideated first.
“The Gable house provides a rich variety of spaces, which can be enjoyed during different times of the day and in different seasons. All the spaces are well integrated within each other as well as with the outside,” relays Vipuja Parmar, co-founder and principal designer, UA Lab.
Making a rather convincing case for modern Indian architecture, the mass of the bungalow is made mostly of reinforced cement concrete, separated into two blocks, to keep the garden and the courtyard continuous. UA Lab developed a unique, coherently structured layout, replete with plain landscaping and a kitchen garden at the back, as “interconnected spaces and interconnected volumes”. The open spaces outside run parallel to the free-flowing, indoor ones, allowing maximum daylight and better cross-ventilation within the house.
Emerging over the two blocks is a gabled roof at the front and another that rises close behind at double height. A slender grey tower stands adjacent to these as a concrete, unmoving sentry.
Clerestory windows dress the Gable House, running between the walls and the roof, while the low height, front gable roof greets one at the entrance of the residential design. This is accompanied by a narrow, double-height space. The light from the slim windows combines with that entering from the classic A-frame, casting glowy patterns inside. The sweep of the roof brings in added light from above, brightening up this vertical pocket.
“The tactfully designed scissor truss with sleek mild steel members holds the roof above and the living space below. The delicate scissor truss against the dimple bold tower displays a contrasting and evocative entrance facade set in the green open space,” explains Vipuja. With no towering apartments or buildings near the site, the residence receives ample sunlight and breathing space.
The eaves of the gable roof make it seem afloat thanks to clear glass windows between the eaves and the wall, according to Vipuja. “As the gable roof is kept floating, natural light enters the inner space from all the four sides. The natural light changes throughout the day and during different seasons. This makes the experience within these inner spaces richer and more mesmerising,” she continues, relaying the light-filled, expansive experience of the Gable House.
Comprising a study, living and resting spaces as well as a home studio, all the internal spaces of the single-family residence flow into one another. The elements of the interior design are realised within clean lines enhanced by the play of light, an essential participant of the home according to UA Lab. The volume of the formal living space is linked with the other main spaces of the house on one side, which leaves the other three sides open towards the garden.
The double-height volume in the middle form the family room and the dining area. “Interestingly, this is sandwiched between two open spaces and provides very good cross-ventilation in the living room area, where maximum time is spent by the family,” says Parmar. A mild steel metal bridge ascends from the dining area to the floor above, where an abundance of natural stones and recycled wood can be found. The residential architecture employs such an open and visually connected planning that all interior areas can be seen, regardless of the vantage point.
The living room and the bedrooms on the first floor hold the gable roof, its seemingly delicate scissor truss providing uninterrupted clear openings at two ends which are kept transparent, protected by clear glass. This ensures that the insides are always provided with a clear view of the skies. A sliver of the interiors can be viewed from the street through the gable frame while most of it is concealed by plants and strategic angles. Potted plants, furnished accents, curated artworks, as well as the selected furniture add a much-needed dose of warmth and colour, ideated by the client Chandni Doshi, who is a designer herself.
The walls are finished in plaster and painted white, humbly contrasting the heavy grey palette that dominates the dwelling's concrete architecture. “From day one, the idea was clear. We wanted a house with minimum materials that relay a rich and bright experience,” says Vipuja, elaborating on the straightforward choice of colours and materials.
Name: Gable House
Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: UA Lab (Urban Architectural Collaborative)
Founder and Principal Designer: Vipuja Parmar, Krishnakant Parmar
Lead Architects: Vipuja Parmar, Krishnakant Parmar
Design Team: Kruti Shah, Bageshri Thakar
Furniture and Furnishing: Chandni Doshi
Landscape: Sushma Sawant