Boathouse is born out of a desire to provide sustainable solutions to everyday activities for everyone. Placed in a green, serene zone on the outskirts of the city, it was imperative that the design reacted to its surroundings. The first move therefore was not to disturb the natural slope on the site.
Project name: Boathouse
Company name: Architectonica Procreate
Completion Year: 2019
Handmade Terrazzo Flooring
Polycarbonate Lexan Partitions
A/c – HVAC System
Ceramic Fittings (W/C and Basins)
A basement floor created at -1200 level nullified the need to do any filling at all. The basement was planned to be less than the upper floors to have more garden space. A conscious decision was taken to leave the ground as is, with no paving except for pathways having continuous movement.
Concrete as a material was selected to support the devious cantilever slab, and a shear wall system came up. Every material used in the Boathouse is selected only because it is sustainable, inexpensive and the potential of each material is exploited to its breaking point. A combination of recycled timber has been used with exposed fair faced concrete and RCC and steel support system. Use of factory made tiles is replaced with terrazzo and oxide flooring, and other finishing materials like laminates are avoided to help reduce the carbon footprint. All finishes are handmade, to encourage employment to skilled and unskilled labour.
The flooring near the pool and on ramp is made of props cut to 75mm and cast in concrete. The formwork rafters are used as framework for the partitions and as seats in the pool area. The wooden battens reused for four times in formwork were further cut into 10mm thick strips and used as screens on the partitions in bathrooms and other areas. The good pieces which could be salvaged as whole were used for flooring in the bedroom.
Next level of optimization was sought by dividing the functions into two clear zones- Living and Services, creating an in-between space. The courtyard communicates horizontally and vertically- physically, visually and sensually. It becomes a place to travel within the building and also where complete transparency is observed. With welded mesh steel screens on either side, the court is open to elements and cools the air that passes through it. This void is the heart of the house where stale energy is ejected and fresh one pumped in constantly. Most rooms have openings on three sides to allow for better ventilation. To avoid additional sunk slabs in the service block, the entire floor is made up of mild steel pipes, making all plumbing suspended.
All non-structural walls are partitions or full gazing to ensure maximum daylight into the house, cutting electricity costs. Long horizontal slits are cut in the western wall to minimise glare and maximize sunlight throughout the day. Thermal energy is further optimised by use of roof gardens, having earth, water and plants.
The bio pool, built on the concept of aquaponics, is a space to swim amidst nature. Its delicate ecosystem consists of aquatic plants, fishes, frogs, turtles and migratory birds. Architecture is a silent witness to the play of this life.