Compiled by Savitha Hira
Photography: Vinesh Gandhi; courtesy SPA
Ar. Sanjay Puri addresses the dilemma of a restricted plot size and an evolved lifestyle by creating a monolithic sculpted volume, he calls ‘Origami House’.
“Since the requirements of the client necessitated a house of four levels and a basement, on a small plinth, rectilinear shapes would have resulted in the structure looking more like a small building rather than an individual home,” informs Sanjay. “The entire four-level structure is therefore sculpted to merge the many levels and define it as a monolithic volume.”
Located on a plot size of 500 sq. m. within an enclave of small buildings and houses, Origami House is designed in response to its context. An architect by vocation and an artist by passion, Sanjay’s buildings often take the form of an artistic rendition as he visualizes the space in conjunction with human interaction. As zealous on the aesthetic as on the geometry of the built form, the architect revisits space with attention to the minutest detail.
In this case too, reinforced concrete takes on the mantle of pliable paper, folding itself at will, as it carves out a distinct form, rising up four levels, with angled incisions along the way; and subtracted volumes within, forming semi-enclosed spaces that punctuate the building form.
Each room opens into north-facing small, carved out, sheltered, open spaces creating an energy efficient building. A double-height living room and the master suite on the topmost floor ensure that the home is not just inward-looking with its expansive and interactive, centrally positioned lift lobby; but well integrated into its surrounds. A large open stairwell sky lit at the terrace level allows natural light to infuse the internal circulation spaces at each level.
With the mandatory open spaces left on all sides, the built up area that is restricted to just 250 sq.m. at each level is fully exploited with privacy ascertained on the southern and eastern facades due to the proximity of existing structures and on the western front, given the possibility of it being developed in the near future.
Although Ar. Sanjay Puri’s built forms appear straight out of precision-driven CAD, they are known to originate from prolific free-hand sketches that personalize the smallest details in designing a climate and inmate responsive home that not just looks good, but feels good too.
The project has just been shortlisted for BLUEPRINT Awards to be held in London in October 2015.