Situated in a serene location in Pune, the Aqua Grid House from Mindspace is lined by two roads with rows of scenic banyan trees. The site had one existing art deco house surrounded by trees. This project included demolishing the existing house and reconstructing a new one. Keeping in mind the preservation of most of the trees on the site was one of the central ideas driving the project. Therefore, responsible tree management was critical to the architecture of the building.
The skilful integration of exterior landscape within the four walls of the house is the highlight of this design. Almost every room is designed to open into three directions creating a sense of natural, earthy connect with the environment. At the same time, addressing privacy issues was necessary for the architects. A courtyard at the entry itself, with a blank wall as a background, handles the privacy concerns.
This court leads into the house through a series of water courts that lead to the swimming pool behind the blank wall. The entire house is built around these water bodies that are layered with rough granite stone steps.
The scheme of water courts justifies the name of the house. It covers the deck next to the dining and goes round the house under the trees, eventually joining the pool. This connects the different spaces of the houses characterised by differences in levels, volumes and water bodies. The reflection of skylights and the foliage adds to the aesthetic appeal of the house.
All the private spaces, whether on the ground floor or the first floor, have an intimate open space. A verandah or a deck is present to provide a comforting outdoor connect. The material palette is kept in sync with the natural dyes and accents. Beige coloured rough granite adorns the walls while dark flooring and woody accent for bedroom floors, doors and skylight create a comforting ambience. A lawn towards the south portion is designed to host a group of people. Additionally, the P.V. panels on the roof are used to generate power and also create insulation on the roof.
The design scheme of the house revolves around the concept of integrating open spaces and proportionate build under a canopy of banyan trees.
Pictures: © Hemanth Patil