Photography: Edmund Sumner; courtesy Matharoo Associates
Read Time: 2 mins
An exploration in stone masonry and craftsmanship, Marbled House is a manifestation of the client’s professional background as one of the largest suppliers of construction-grade stone.
Located in a gated community in Ahmedabad, the design investigates innovative and original approaches of dealing with the stone, creating extraordinary spaces in the process.
Drawing inspiration from a stone stack in the client’s yard, principal architect Gurjit Singh Matharoo explains how he related the uniformly-cut stone slabs to a bookshelf allegory, and magnifying it to a larger-than-life scenario, composed a programmatic artifice.
Each wall appears like a medley of discarded components, which are tuned together to create a vivid display of shadows that reflect the vertical paving. Interspersed with concrete window openings, this slanting assembly of external walls mimics an irregular saw-tooth pattern at the edges, creating niches and alcoves within that house the private living spaces; while they simultaneously conceal the servicing props; and elucidate the architectural vocabulary for the entire home.
The layout of the house distributes the programs along two perpendicular axes, where one accommodates the private areas and the other, the living areas. The orientation of service areas, coupled with the position of the openings, with deep frames, ensures the house plenty of light, while simultaneously protecting it from the harsh sun. Deceptively segregated, the elimination of corners and the circulation paths within the layout allow the spaces to beautifully blend into each other.
While the distinct architectural style of Ahmedabad is characterised by elaborate jalis and finishes of superior quality, Marbled House reclaims off-cut pieces of mid-grade masonry and relies on the dexterity of the local artisans and stonemasons to augment the details for the stonework.
Marbled House is an instance of the ingenuity and playful approach to design adapted by Matharoo Associates in their practice, and reflects their principles on sustainability and architecture “…approach to sustainably is taking green and adding a little blue for open mindedness, so environmentalism goes hand in hand with science - a