In Ahmedabad, architect Ar. Yatin Pandya coordinates and oversees the architectural firm Footprints E.A.R.T.H. The primary design tenets of the company include using local vernacular architectural elements as inspiration to create environmentally friendly and sustainable structures. They also appreciate and use design features that make their modern architecture relevant, influenced by traditional Indian architecture, and engaging from a social and cultural perspective.
He explains that to create wholesome architecture, an architect must consider the sum of six factors: size, shape and mass, space organisation, aspects of space creating, material and construction, and finishes and articulation.
The architect provides the following advice on living sustainably:
Make use of space in multiple ways. Select local and organic materials for building and finishing. Support regional and artisanal talents and customs. Allow indoor spaces to benefit from natural light and air.
Make the most of natural insulation. Grow more vegetation to enhance the quality of the air within.
Avoid or minimise reliance on energy- or mechanization-intensive applications and appliances.
Scale back on waste.
In addition to being contextually appropriate, holistic architecture is experientially stimulating, environmentally sustainable, and socio-culturally relevant. Contextual in terms of construction, culture, and environment. His design process entails the development of contextually appropriate modern solutions that draw inspiration from the rich traditions of India while also aspiring to the nation’s future aspirations. He also uses an alcove detail which is his prime signature which has also been used in the villa. The villa has also been disintegrated into several blocks but is still unified.
The villa’s entrance starts from the northern side, adorned with water bodies and vegetation, giving it an organic start. The entry point is also access to the element of surprises. A perforated brick wall with vegetation and water elements greets the people at the entrance. The actual entry to the villa goes via a platform over a pool.
Daily comforts and land-based living fantasies can both be satisfied in a small building.
Building orientation with the north for daytime living activities versus the southwest for nighttime activity zoning
For mutual shadowing, it is massed with the southwest and terraced with the northeast.
Multiple courtyards are dotted throughout for light and fresh air. A water feature and landscaping surround the living spaces.
The interiors of the space resonate with contemporary Indian architecture.
The manor consists of some open spaces where the wash areas are present and a court space in the guest bedroom. The areas provided for children are also open, and the passages are well-lit.
There is also a segregation of space for formal and informal occasions, and the spaces are segregated such that they don’t hinder either activity.
The dining hall has been strategically placed under the wavy roof, which gives it a double-height ceiling along with direct contact with the kitchen and the natural lighting coming from the outdoors.
The toilets are open to the sky, and the showers are connected to the greenery.
Four bedrooms in the villa get natural light from the outside with louvres. The bedrooms are private spaces, so they are segregated from the public porch, and all the bedrooms are connected to the landscape outside.
The living room is connected to the pool providing ample natural lighting; a deck is also connected to it. The living room is segregated from the main passage of the residence to maintain privacy.
The manor is designed with a wide corridor that is accessible to each room and well-lit with the presence of fenestrations from all sides.
The materials that dominate the structure are the bricks and concrete. The roof created in the curvilinear shape is made of concrete which rests over the habitable rectilinear spaces. Exposed brick walls were present with water and vegetation cutouts. The materials used in the interiors were Italian marble and Burma teak.
South-facing windows are the best for daylighting; they let the light in all day long and don’t cause problems like glare. A slanted wall has also been provided on the outer façade, giving an edge to the linear façade; it also resonates with the outer landscaping. The walls are built straight to avoid maximum heat gain from the west.
The whole villa has been designed in an organic environment with plants and vegetation around; the ground coverage of the villa is only 40%, the rest of the space contributes to the landscape and pools around the villa, and the amphitheatre has also been provided to create an interactive space. And it has also been kept in mind to use minimal and sustainable materials to make the villa socially and culturally engaging.
Footprints E.A.R.T.H (2012). Shukla Villa. [online]. (Last updated 2015). Available at: https://footprintsearth.com/projects/residence/shukla-villa.html[Accessed 2 Feb. 2023].
Slideshare (2017). Case Study of Shukla Villa. [online]. (Last updated 2017). Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/YatharthThakkar/case-study-of-shukla-villa-ahmedabad[Accessed 2 Feb. 2023].