May 21, 2024

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A Courtyard Home Designed for Natural Cooling Beats the Dry Heat

A Courtyard Home Designed for Natural Cooling Beats the Dry Heat

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Project Details:

Location: Bharuch, Gujarat, India

Architect: Samira Rathod Design Atelier / @samira_rathod

Photographer: Niveditaa Gupta / @niveditaagupta

From the Architect: We believe that architecture is a response to many parameters, including context, site, vegetation, geography, and climate. When building in a dry and arid place like Bharuch, the heat, locally called loo in Gujarati, was a huge parameter that the architecture had to respond to. When designing a house, it is imperative to take into account the many practical parameters of comfort, and for this house in Bharuch it was particularly about tackling the summer heat. The name Cool House comes from the way the house has been designed. It’s a respite in the summer like a tree’s shade under the scorching sun. The house is like a funnel that channels all of Bharuch’s wind into the house, making it a cool, comfortable haven.

“Designed like a track with rooms on either side, the house is punctured vertically making two courtyards on either side of the central track like a corridor. The courtyards begin on the first floor and frame views of the sky from the house. The house is designed like a box. It looks inward with strategic windows that bring in cool breeze and diffuse sharp light. The south facade is kept fairly dead and the wind is allowed to pass from the southwest courtyards and escape from the northeast courtyard, thus ventilating the entire house. One courtyard has a shallow body of water that cools the incoming wind before it enters the house. The other courtyard has trees on the first floor, making a sort of context for the house from within and allowing internal windows to see the tree tops. Although the house is inward looking, there is a constant choreography of inside and outside movement where you encounter the courtyards and can step out to them from the central track.”

“To help beat the heat, the house also has thick external walls and a soothing interior done in lime chuno that helps cool the rooms from within. The unique material is painted black and other walls are very tactile in small custom cut Siporex bricks.

“The Cool House in Bharuch has been a surprise for us all. Although everything has been consciously designed within the house, the breeze in the house at the peak of summer has really blown us away, literally and figuratively.”