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A Farm House and the vernacular twist

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The quaint and vivid “Vashi farm house” featured here designed by Himanshu Patel from d6thD Design Studio has an overt principle of vernacular architecture in mind. In this time of rapid technological advancement and urbanization, there is still much to be learned from the traditional knowledge of vernacular construction. Sujatha Thampan finds out more from Himanshu…

Vernacular Architecture is not new, it has been the most widespread and indeed most of us were raised in these homes. It is the simplest form of addressing human needs which is forgotten in modern architecture. With the climate change concerns, and other environmental issues, the trend has sensibly swung the other way. In such an environment, Ahmedabad-based architect Himanshu Patel’s design ethos towards vernacular architecture is a breath of fresh air. Based in Ahmedabad, Himanshu’s architectural practice, d6thD refers to the 6th dimension of “feel good”. In a country with a history and culture like India’s, it is always interesting to see how young architects bring that context into their modern efforts. d6thD Design Studio strives to make the urban city resident aware of vernacular and ecological building practices and materials while generating income for the traditional building craftsmen, the unsung hero of the building trade.

The house located in Amalsad village at Navsari suburb (near Surat) of south Gujarat, designed to accommodate three generations of the family – grandparents, a young couple and their child has elevated stone slab verandah with columns of exposed twisted brick.

The client not only wanted a comfortable abode for the entire family but also wanted the design and layout of their home to speak of the rich culture and tradition of their native region. “d6thD designs to let one feel good. We are interested in exploring the ways in which spaces can create experiential happiness. We are passionate about design, but driven by ideas rather than personalities. We visualize the practice as a sheltered and collaborative place for reflection, where a community (including clients and other collaborators) can reflect on how to make life happy and feel good through architecture”, explains Himanshu.

Completed in October 2016, the house has a built up area of 450sqmt on a site area of 1.25 acres.

d6thD has arranged the program into a H-shaped plan, conceptualized around the idea of two distinct ‘green room’ spaces. An indoor courtyard and outdoor garden area reference traditional modes of living — blurring the line between interior and exterior to the point where one runs seamlessly into the other. The property is designed with a series of variously proportioned sloping roofs, intended to help offset the heavy rainfall native to the region. A deeply covered balcony acts as a space of transition between the hot and humid exterior environment and the warm heart of the home. Communal living spaces are arranged around the central courtyard, evoking a sense of community and family ancestry specific to the house.

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