The bungalow which is located in the traditional “Meta” town scale context, belongs to a family of diamond merchants who moved to Surat city in order to expand their business. Although the family still has roots in the hometown, our task was to design a home on the property for future generations. Design considerations were developed out of a persistent effort to convert traditional vernacular meanings into modern vocabulary.

Project name : The ancestral house
Design Firm : D’WELL
Team : Jhanvi Mehta, Rakshit Shah, Alpesh Mevada
Project type : Residence
Area : 325 sq m
Time Duration : 2019-2020
Location : Meta, Gujarat
Photographs : Dhrupad Shukla

The Anscestral House by D'WELL - SHeet3
©Dhrupad Shukla

Unevenly shaped plot with shared walls on three sides and an open front to the west presented a major concern. As a result, the building was designed to be as porous as possible to allow constant flow of light and ventilation. Additionally, the façade is skillfully designed to blend in with the neighborhood’s other structures in a way that expresses continuity with the adjacent street aesthetics. The little squares are taken from a fascinating pattern that can be seen on the parapets of the historic community houses. Metal grills at openings are designed in a similarly intricate language, producing an intriguing play of light and shade on surfaces while also insuring safety.

The Anscestral House by D'WELL - SHeet7
©Dhrupad Shukla

The verandah in front is a continuation of the traditional ‘Osri’ and upholds the hierarchy of open – semi-open – enclosed area. The living room’s minimalist color scheme matches the built-in furnishings and gives it a classic Indian seated sense.

Banaskantha district’s traditional homes are built with center courtyards to accommodate the region’s hot and dry climate. With openings that keep the entire house naturally illuminated and ventilated, the central dining area is expanded volumetrically as an extended living space. Two rooms on the top level are connected by a bridge that spans the double height area and enjoys the skylight’s illumination while also enabling vertical communication.

In order to accommodate big crowds for sporadic events and to support flexible multifunctional usage, the spaces are somewhat larger in scale. This revives the possibility of co-living, which the current culture of individual designated places for everyone seems to be eroding.

The Anscestral House by D'WELL - SHeet9
©Dhrupad Shukla

An accountant’s spot will be in a special section to honor the family business’s beginnings. The family has a strong emotional attachment to this ancestral arrangement.

The east corner of the land has an open light well hollowed out to increase cross ventilation and add more natural light to the bedrooms. Similar to how the kitchen is expanded into a semi-open wash room, the constructed envelope’s porosity is maintained.

©Dhrupad Shukla

Due to the dry climate and ongoing water shortage, a chamber was usually set aside to store water in brass containers. These vintage brass vessels are displayed as decor in various areas of the home, adding sentimental significance for future generations.


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