Info & Images: Courtesy istudioarchitecture
Photography credits anclicks and bmdpix
Mumbai’s young practice, iStudio Architecture designs a brick house inspired by both, the philosophies and the works of architects, Laurie Baker and Nari Gandhi...
The Brick House, situated amidst rural settlements in Wada, near Mumbai, India, is a 2500 sq.ft. farm house set within hills and farms. The impact of its architecture is strong, always leading the viewer to a new observation, not allowing him to be complacent about the space that he occupies. An individualistic piece of architecture, the organic form emerges from the ground and flows into the skyline, following curved dips and peaks.
Each space flows into the other, leading into a seamless expanse held by a central courtyard. The visitor begins his journey along the curved jali brick wall offering him tantalizing glimpses of the interior, drawing him into dramatic compositions of light and shadows.
As one enters the home, one is greeted by soft sunlight falling on the central body of water and the coolness within the structure. The interior space is dominated by two huge arches of brick and stone, opening to vistas of farms and hills. The stark contrast of a stone entrance wall against the exposed brick work lends itself to the realization of texture of both materials. The furniture seems to rise and fall from the walls or floor just as dramatically, guiding one’s eyes to a distinct play of materials.
The house is constructed using brick in its naked form, giving an earthy feel to the built up space. Construction techniques using rat-trap bond (helps in reducing the amount of material used, provides natural insulation and readymade conduiting for electrical work), filler slabs, brick jalis (eliminate use of window or glass shutters) and built-in furniture and arches contribute to the circular planning of the structure and low cost of the project. The positions and sizes of openings within the home are dictated by climatology, ensuring natural light, cross ventilation and passive cooling.
Zoning of activities responding to the climatic conditions and views are achieved with the use of levels leading to a single yet distinct living room, kitchen and dining, where the kitchen becomes the centre of the household. The levels further continue as a stone staircase onto the upper private bedroom, connected to an open terrace. Due to its south-west position, the built mass of the first floor bedroom provides shade in the courtyard, thus keeping the central water body cool.
The ecologically contributing project is a commendable exercise by young architects in present times, encouraging gen next to curtail requirement of steel, cement & bricks by using locally available material and rejecting unnecessary practices like plastering.