Minaret house is an amalgamated representation of modern technologies and traditional ideologies. The house not only embodies the climatic principles but also the social patterns that the architectural heritage offered.The brief of the house was creation of a space which would both revoke memories as well as provide a comfortable environment for many experiences to thrive.
The house is a pursuit of a cultural identity in the large cosmopolitan city of Delhi. An identity which was lost in transition, an identity that resided in the streets, trees, houses, squares and many other elements that formulated the essence, soul, individuality and distinctiveness of the home town in Rajasthan. The recollection of the cool touch of the thick stone walls, the wind through the Jharokhas, the complete family cooking and eating together in the courtyard, sleeping under the stark night sky and many such memories evoked the feeling of a home.
The house is situated in an urban setting in Noida. The immediate surrounding area has been developed mostly as high-rise buildings. In the midst of this dense urban environment, the Minaret house is located adjacent to a large golf course in a plotted development. As the construction activity is on the rise, it becomes crucial that the contextual setting serves as a strong background. Being the first residence built in the development, Minaret house also serves as a strong and defining precursor to all new constructions to follow.
The Minaret house is perceived as an amalgamative representation of modern technologies and traditional ideologies. With the architectural heritage disappearing rapidly, it has now become crucial to revive it and re-interpret these traditional systems to meet the modern day needs. India with its rich architectural heritage offers deep insight in the formation and evolution of physical spaces; this has served as the fundamental part of design process used for the Minaret House.
The Minaret (Wind Tower) has been integrated centrally with its exposed façade towards the south-west side. With this exposure the air heats up quickly inside the tower, thus forcing itself out and creating a continuous airflow inside the house. This has been used in combination with openings towards green terraces that surround the house and that towards the golf course. This creates a continuously self-existing cycle of cool and fresh air from the greens to enter in the house and ultimately pushed upwards from the wind tower. This forced air circulation created by the Minaret lowers the indoor temperature phenomenally and helps in reducing energy loads.
The embellished facade of the building, especially towards the south west side, also serves an alternate purpose than creating a reflection of a traditional facade. The detailing of the facade is designed to precisely inter-shade the exterior facade of the building to reduce the direct heat gains. The openings in the facade towards this side are also kept small and planned in deep recesses to further reduce heat gains.
Reflection of Simplicity:
Due to availability of specific building materials the built elements of the traditional cities were generally monochromatic, binding them together in one unified fabric. Capturing this essence of unity, all external elements like facade, boundary walls, parapet walls, and porch were finished using a plaster of Jaisalmer dust, white cement and stone aggregate rendering a golden yellow color to all exterior elements. The roughness in texture provides both depths in perception as well as distinctive unevenness of hand crafting.
Scale of Intimacy:
Small intimate spaces with low ceiling heights, narrow entryways and small external windows are planned adjoining large family spaces and other public spaces for providing the requisite comfort , privacy and scale that exist in the traditional houses of Rajasthan. These small intimate spaces, varying in character and physical manifestation helps in retaining the feeling of intimacy at home.
Minaret house is designed through a holistic design process. It not only embodies the climatic principles but also the social patterns that the architectural heritage offered. As a reinterpretation of traditional social spaces, distinct character is provided to public and private zones of the house. This is done through strict planning and placement of functions, segregated circulation patterns and varied spatial volumes. Subtle impregnated design elements and planning patterns generate curiosity in the mind and lead to many unique experiences for the user.