‘Why fix it if it’s not broke?’ So goes a popular American saying. The makeover of an existing house in good repair into one conforming to the client’s brief and fulfilling their expectations is always a challenging task.
Name Of Firm : Niraj Doshi Design Consultancy [N. D. D. C.]
Website : https://www.nddc.in/home
Title of the Project : Innovative Transformation (II).
Project Typology : Private Residence (All scales).
Project Website Page : N D D C – Innovative Transformation 2
Site Area : 680 sq.m.
Built-up Area : 745 sq.m.
Client Name : Private Client
Design Team : Niraj Doshi (Principal Architect) & Ar. Akshay Karanjkar (Project Architect)
Location : Pune, Maharashtra,
Visualization : Paramjeet Girse
This house (seen in accompanying photographs) in a peaceful residential neighbourhood of Pune was home to a seven-member family representing three generations. The client wanted it transformed into a new stilt-plus-three storey structure, the idea being that the ground floor would consist of a car park as well as landscaped courtyards and the upper floors of separate residential spaces for himself and for his son’s family, with the last floor being earmarked for all the amenity spaces. Thus, the family would live together under one roof, yet each unit would enjoy its individual space, privacy, and freedom.
Having studied these requirements and having taken into consideration the three ‘R’s of sustainability (reduce, reuse, and recycle), we made a suggestion to the family : the old structure be retained while adding a few extensions to its footprint. By doing so, N.D.D.C. could retain almost 40 per cent of the old walls and almost all of the reinforced cement and concrete (R.C.C.) structure.
The makeover was planned in such a way that the final outcome would not resemble neither the old design nor the old structure in any manner. In effect, it amounted to the ‘regeneration’ of an old property, in the process saving the client considerable project cost in the short run and equally considerable carbon footprint in the long run.
We envisaged three floors, each floor serving a different purpose. Although a challenging task, we could execute it successfully and, more importantly, to the complete satisfaction of the client.
In its revised form, the existing house has been divided into two apartments along with the amenities on the uppermost floor. The Ground Floor is clearly divided by a central axis which acts as the main Central Passage So as anyone who enters through the main Entrance Door, his attention is immediately directed to the Ganesha Idol installed at the extreme end of the Central Axis in the courtyard. This also gives the visitor an idea about the actual expanse of the Site. This Passage is further illuminated with a Skylight installed above the Second Floor’s Roof which has not created a nice bright ambiance as opposed to the Old House’s dark & cold ambiance.
While the Client has his Apartment on the Ground Floor, while the Son has an individual Apartment on the First Floor, and, as mentioned earlier, all the amenities like the common areas such as a Home Theatre, a small Pantry, Gymnasium, Yoga Room, etc, all of which can be shared by all the members of the family are located on the Second Floor.
This house has gained renewed charm on account of the use of natural material such as stone flooring and stone walls, etc. Hardscaped areas with a feature infinity water pool on the north-east and landscaped areas on the south-west are both comforting and soothing for the dweller and beholder alike. Another noteworthy aspect is that the greenery surrounding the old structure has been retained with all the old trees remaining intact. This, in turn, has a salutary effect on the ambient temperature.
Solar panels have been installed on the roofs with a view to harnessing solar energy, which will cater to all the outdoor zones. Furthermore, all the stormwater first gets collected in different channels or gutters and is then diverted through down-take pipes to various locations. The large landscaped areas will, thus, benefit considerably from this recycled water. It will also reduce dependence on municipal or borewell water supply.
While executing this Innovative Transformation (II), we were keen on reducing the amount of waste generated as much as possible in order to improve overall waste management processes and programmes. Needless to say, it is highly desirable for a sustainable life.