A multi-disciplinary firm from Gujarat, the Grid Architects, is a team of spirited individuals led by Snehal Suthar and Bhadri Suthar. With simplicity and clarity forming the basis of their architectural endeavour, every project undertaken by the firm aims to create a close connection with earth. Mindful designs with considerate incorporation of materials like wood, stone, metal and plants are produced effortlessly. From considering design as a spiritual journey to forming a cohesive bond between the universe and materials, an emphasis is laid on creating structures that are timeless and sustainable. While the completed projects span across various scales and explore multiple typologies, the firm specialises in delivering residential projects, including several mesmerising interiors!
Here are a few projects by the Grid Architects:
1. The Screen House, Ahmedabad
Three concrete-clad structures sit enclosing a gorgeously landscaped courtyard forming a C-shape. Such is the glimpse offered by The Screen house, which gains its name from the incorporation of wooden brise soleil or sun-breakers on the facade of the three homes. A network of semi-open, open and sheltered spaces has been weaved to offer balance, functionality and a sense of capaciousness to each of the areas. Living areas open up to provide views of the courtyard, and a serene water body lies exposed to the sky. The embodiment of natural materials bestows gentle compliments to the overall conception of the design, all the while maintaining a uniform architectural vocabulary consistent with its interiors.
2. Pixel House, Ahmedabad
The need to respect contrarian requirements, i.e. provide privacy as well as offer togetherness has been skilfully addressed in the design of the Pixel House. Stacked volumes and stepped form suggest the desired segregation and privacy, whereas small congregational spaces knit several spaces and serve as assemblage areas for the users. The Grid Architects have employed modern materials like stone, bricks, exposed concrete and wood, in the palette with the intent of painting a canvas of exotic facades. Adorned with a skylight on top of a staircase, the central mass of the main structure draws the users towards the interiors, revealing a symphony of volumes, voids and fluid spaces.
As the name suggests, the design of this one of a kind, fine-dine restaurant resonates with everything that is remarkably Indian and earthy. It’s subtly toned red wall-plaster, humble usage of rustic materials, wooden doors and intricately carved accent furniture pieces takes one back to the modest villages, steadily traversing through the vivid memories of both food and architecture. In a bid to pay respect to one’s roots, the Grid Architects, through their proposal, have successfully translated their philosophy in the conception of the design. The modern seating arrangement and velvet upholstery conform to contemporality, and the overall scheme is reinterpreted as an amalgam of past and present.
4. Farmer’s den
When approached by a farmer to design an office that would reflect his personality and philosophy, the Grid Architects proposed an inventive space that radicalised the idea of conventional office spaces. The designed office space exudes with openness and provides an insight into the warm and comfortable vibe desired by the client. The open courtyards are well-connected through passages and bridges with a scatter of ample semi-open spaces for shelter. The yellow sandstone walls with a sloping roof have been incorporated to blend well with the exquisitely crafted landscape and pay respects to the traditional and the local architecture of the place.
5. Urban Oasis, Posh
Recognised as Gujarat’s first Platinum-certified Green Building by IGBC (Indian Green building Council) in 2015, this sustainable housing project by Grid Architects is another design endeavour that reached fruition. The comprehensive urban residential project incorporates environment-friendly building techniques that are economical and comply with the requirements of the clients and users alike. The facades are uncomplicated and deft, clad with sun-breakers and concrete, intermittently interrupted by spacious balconies.
6. Rope Terrace Cafe, Ahmedabad
With bright yellow captivating walls and an impression of the chic-bohemian treatment of the interiors, the Rope terrace cafe enthralls the visitors at the first glance. However, the most exciting feature is the intelligent modulation of ropes to offer shade from the sun. The users receive shelter in this open to sky cafe through multiple arrangements of its defining element, ranging from rope canopy to a rope disc. The raw wooden flooring and rustic treatment of the furniture add to the striking character of the cafe and offer a contrast to the vibrance of the yellow walls, lush green plants and popping colours of particular furniture pieces.
7. Twin House
The Twin house is a beautiful assemblage of several elements that impart a sense of peaceful serenity to the context in which it is set. Flanked by a courtyard, the lively house feels like a home from the inside and continues to amaze with its humble and modest facade treatment on the outside. Not only does the house cater to the requirements of the clients but adheres to the prerequisites of functionality and sustainability. The two parts of the twin house are separated by a small patch of the courtyard in the centre but are united in spirit and design.
The design of the GYM is an indirect manifestation of the grind that one experiences while physically working out. The designers have drawn inspiration from the grunge elements of industrial design and incorporated several aspects of it in the treatment of the interiors. With metal chains, exposed pipework, raw concrete slabs and perforated metal panels, the narrative of simplicity and complexity in power is reinstated through the design.
9. Red Box House, Ahmedabad
The fiery red walls and a minimalist structure of the Red Box House, make a strong visual statement in the surrounding urban fabric of its neighbourhood. Due to the limited availability of area, the designers strived to deliver an array of well-designed and functional spaces with optimisation of the usable expanse in the design of the bungalow. The large and small openings, voids and masses, the interplay of light and shadows maintain a constant sense of contradiction and thoughtful compositions. All of the sit-outs, outdoor spaces, desks and sheltered balconies are compliant with the language of the interiors and strike a lively conversation of their own.
10. Brick Apartment
As the name suggests, the brick apartment has its walls clad with different shades of warm red brick coupled with the dull tone of raw concrete. Taking advantage of the fact that the apartment being on the 5th floor receives ample light and ventilation throughout the day, the openings have been maximised to allow sufficient daylight to flood in. As a result, the interior spaces are not only roomy and open but also receive adequate ventilation, thereby meeting the low energy footprint requirements of the clients. The overall quality of the design is perceived as warm, earthy with a hint of industrial, owing to the mixed material choices by the Grid Architects.
With barricades, tents and drums as the theme for the design of this food-court restaurant, the Grid Architects have recreated the scene of a military battleground for an incredible dining experience! Complete with a tank of their own, the inclusion of rugged materials and elements like wires, spikes and ropes lends the open-air and semi-sheltered seating area an unparalleled thematic sophistication of being in the middle of a battlefield.
12. L House
The primary idea behind the conception of the house was to retain the large number of trees that were pre-existing on the site. The clients desired to have the kitchen to be in the line of sight and hence the designers chose to go with an L-shaped plan to address both the obligations. Uncluttered volumes and spaces resulted from the elimination of purposeless walls. The exteriors of the house are enhanced with carefully curated landscape elements and an elegant water feature.
A rectilinear box, crowned with a concrete polyform breaks the rules of linearity and stands tall, making a bold statement. The circular perforations in the concrete casing serve as voids facilitating the admission of natural light and ventilation—the projecting form shelters a double-height volume that is landscaped to act as a terrace. An interesting juxtaposition of light, colours and shapes is embodied in this unusual commercial design project proposed by the Grid Architects.
14. Axis House, Nagpur
A glimpse at this unique 6-bedroom house reveals an intersecting roof and natural stone-clad exterior wall. The designers based the concept on the central axis, which connects the main staircase crowned with a skylight to a double-height family room.
The choice of the axis creates and emphasises multiple focal points; furthermore establishes a connection between the interiors with the exteriors. Conscious inclusion of local species in the landscape further enhances and complements the selection of earthy elements in the material palette.
15. Sangath Terraces
Awarded as the ‘Best low rise residential building’ by GIHED in the year 2013, The Sangath terraces were designed by the Grid Architects as a sustainable housing project. Recipient of Gold Rating by the IGBC in 2015, the intent of the project aims to display the subtle transition and interaction of built forms and landscapes. Each of the apartments has been provided with a private balcony or terraces. The main terraces are connected by trussed bridges, allowing movement across the building blocks. In a nutshell, the underlying concept of ‘unity’ and ‘connection’ has been brought about through this architectural venture.