Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Vinesh Gandhi; courtesy V2com
Read Time: 2 mins
Situated on an undulating site in the deserts of Ras in Rajasthan, India, Ar. Sanjay Puri’s Studios 18 apartments are climatically sensitive and contextual in nature…
Part of an entire layout spread over 36 acres, with no other development in the vicinity; this layout is designed for the employees of a new cement manufacturing plant that has commenced production nearby. With no existing development around and the closest villages being 1 km away, the residential units are interspersed within the existing land contours along organic streets that weave through the site.
The 18 residential apartments follow the organic nature of old Indian cities with houses stepping back and creating interlocked built volumes across three levels. A 4m contour difference is negotiated by the building levels stepping down accordingly. In response to the hot arid climate prevalent in the location for almost eight months of the year and temperatures in excess of 35°c, the apartments are all oriented towards the north, north east and northwest with none facing the south. The low-rise design allows the residents to be close to the ground level akin to living in individual houses.
The circulation spaces connecting the housing blocks are naturally ventilated with an abstract composition of square punctuations on either side. The harsh glare of the sun is cut off; yet ushers natural light into the linear corridors, playing on the natural aesthetics of chiaroscuro.
The linear corridors provide a cool ventilated sheltered walkway between the apartments allowing residents to glimpse landscaped spaces on either side, making the circulation a pleasant experience. Each apartment too is cross ventilated with deep recessed windows and open-to-sky terraces.
Contextuality is introduced via colour as deconstructed cubes sport varied hues of the sandy region, at different times of the day – visually differentiating the stepped, recessed volumes as well as identifying circulation spaces. With lighter hues on external walls to reflect heat off the surfaces, and darker tones indoors to create a cooler feel, they add impact to the highly ‘responsive’ design solution.