Located in Pondicherry, Gratitude Villa is a futuristic “House for tomorrow” which is built for the modern needs along with reducing carbon footprint by 50%. Built amidst a vast spread of lush greenery, the Gratitude villa sets as an example of Modern architecture integrated with traditional design elements and aspects.
Why should your building respond to its surroundings?
What is a home? A home is where one feels comfortable in all aspects, be it visually, thermally or even the slightest factor like smell. The design of the space where one spends most of their time, should be in such a manner that the user feels completely at ease and the most comfortable. Buildings that respond to the slightest change in micro-climate of its surroundings makes for the best and most comfortable spaces for its users and Gratitude Villa does exactly that!
Curious to know what makes the Gratitude Villa climate responsive?
The longer sides of the house are oriented towards North – South minimising the heat gain on the walls of the house. The shorter sides are facing East – West and are shielded by deep balconies and verandas.
Buffer spaces like Wardrobes and washrooms are aligned along the west side of the building to reduce direct heat gain from afternoon west sun.
The eastern morning sun in our country is much softer than the western afternoon sun. The house is open to breeze from all 4 directions accounting for diurnal and seasonal changes in the wind patterns. While in the morning the breeze flows from the west, the afternoon breeze comes from the east.
These fenestration are well shaded by deep balconies and verandas to minimize heat gain and maximize cross ventilation.
The skylight in the uppermost floor of the house, helps in venting hot air out of the house while bringing in cooler air through the fenestration around the house. The vast size of the skylight, aids in making the room much more well lit and also provides the users an uninterrupted view of the sky!
As Masud Taj quotes,
“Some balconies are not balconies. They are actually rooms in disguise staking out extra– Masud Taj
territory, raising parapets, dropping fascias, bridging the gap with glass. They push into
the future backwards, always facing the room they are afraid to leave, always having a
crisis of identity. Their freedom is always temporary.”
The balconies of Gratitude Villa are no exception! As a person travels towards and along the facade of the villa, he/she can imminently notice two things;
The Balconies unfolding in a staggered manner, bridging the gap between the house and the nearby trees, giving a floating feel as if we could just stretch our hands and just touch the leaves.
The other, the large windows that span across the walls with mirror like glass that reflect the leaves around the house, almost camouflaging the house itself! These balconies serve a pivotal purpose in making the rooms cooler by acting as an umbrella against morning sun and pouring rain!
Filigree (Louvre) are an indigenous Architecture Element one might find in all buildings along the french town of Pondicherry. Despite adding an aesthetic value to the facade of the building, these louvres help in shading the walls of the house, additionally aiding in exhausting the hot sir pockets formed below the pergola!