A live-in relationship with nature


Text and Photos by Architect Sunil Patil

In tropical countries introvert kind of planning has been observed from where light and air is drawn. Such open to sky planning is an important aid in cooling a house and providing other comforts like—privacy, security, and tranquility. From ancient times, sky has profoundly affected our relationships from builtform to open spaces. Courtyard has been a live element in housing, be it winter, sunny or rainy season -the best place to be in the late evenings or in the early mornings is outdoor, under the open sky. During different seasons, subtle changes in the quality of light and air take us through different moods and generate feeling within us- feelings which are central to our beings. A Courtyard being a intermediate space between two spaces, create interaction among the spaces at various levels. For a tropical country like India, this is not a new concept. From ages, courtyards have played a prominent role in creating a design

Almost all our residential projects have courtyards, which is one of the main features of tropical contemporary architecture. For us introduction of courtyard in almost all our residential project is important because it brings nature in… Sunil Patil and Associates have always attempted to revive the sustainable ways to enhance a better life style. Experimenting with courtyards as a way to provide outdoor space for small communities of people at a time is one of them. Courtyard is a medium to express and enjoy a live-in relationship with nature.

The concept of design is to create spaces, which can communicate with each other comfortably, though being at different levels.

The main feature of the residence is its central circular courtyard, around which all habitable spaces revolve. The courtyard is stepped, comprising of the pre-Colombian style of statues in siporex. Its floor is covered with pebbles. Thus accentuating the statues placed at different levels. The lush green palms back drop the same. The overall composition of the courtyard becomes the center of attraction right from the very entrance to any room in this house. Thus acting as a core of interaction.The wire mesh glass fixed in wooden frame covers it. Glare free sunlight pours throughout the day, keeping the interiors light up naturally and healthily.

It is a popular designing premise that to make a home appear larger, one should encourage a flow between rooms. But at the same time privacy is a necessity. So though the rooms are given full segregation they are tied up with the central core of the residence – The courtyard

Keeping in mind the need for sustainability in this day and age, the openings to the house have been provided in such a way that the natural ventilation eliminates the need for air conditioning in any part of the house. Also the composite stone masonry construction insulates the houses from the hot Kolhapuri summers. The courtyards and the connecting lobby, provided with skylights, are lit up by sunlight throughout the day minus the harmful glare of the sun.

The materials having been kept in their natural state convey a feeling of warmth and welcome despite the huge scale of the house. Teak wood frames polished have been used on the pillars around the courtyard.

Dr. Sudhakar Jadhav’s Residence:
The client couple who are doctors, great lovers of nature, wanted their residence on a plot of 519.00-sq m. to be surrounded by nature, having a country villa looks. We thought of offering them NATURE, not only around but also in their residence, enjoying it to the fullest.

The main concept is to concentrate on both functional aspect and as well as comfort. Hence, the emphasis is more on space designing within the set parameters, to achieve optimal design solutions and yet retain an individual character.The Project is conceived to develop a natural ambience and to make as little intervention as possible to NATURE.

The unique point about this house is- the courtyard is not in the centre. A small “Kunda “( small water body) is made in the courtyard which enhances the ambience and the light effect cast in this water during different times of the day and night is magical and mystical. The openings around the courtyard bring in huge amounts of light into the house, eliminating the need for any artificial lights during the daytime. The rustic finish is used to bring out that Moroccan look.

In order to garner the feeling of subtle sophistication, the interior has been true to the minimalist genre, with the finishes kept within the range of beiges.

Dudhane’s Residence:
The courtyard brings nature into the house. The shabad cladding, one of the economical sources used in the courtyard gives a vernacular appeal. The space flows in & out into the nature through the various walk outs & opening from living, dining & bed areas. Thus it perfectly blends the architecture, interior decoration & landscape to complement each other & none of them stands alone to dominate the other.

Vikram Singh Jadhav:Rushil
Amidst the weeds of concrete with the stark heat piercing through the deceptive transparency of glass and uninspiring expanse all around , a chocked site of 15 m by 34 m had to be transformed into an amicable abode for a doctor couple in Miraj. Bringing nature within livable spaces has been the goal of our projects. The inclusion of courtyard –nature’s shaft as we call them contribute to the natural wafting through the house and the feeling of being one with nature and helps tremendously in cross ventilation. With the limitation of the site, and the absence of a healthier surrounding it was a must to inculcate all the aspects such as fresh air, greener spaces into our design. Limitations of lack of space can be overcome by intelligent design and that compactness can in fact be a virtue- courtyard being one of them.

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