Saturday, August 27, 2011

Net House / By Matharoo Associates

Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Matharoo Associates
Post By:Kitticoon Poopong
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--Exterior view
net, nett, net, adj. clear of all else, subject to no further deductions. (Chamiers twentieth century dictionary)

Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
The relentlessly varying weather of the city of Ahmedabad exemplifies the typical tropical climate of extremes: short winters, wet humid monsoons and long dry scorching summers. Though less prevalent today, in our childhood we slept outdoors when the cool night breezes came as a reliever.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
We would tuck ourselves under a machardani, a simple net held up by four intersecting bamboo poles, locked between the legs of our charpouy cot. This would become our private domain, a safe haven protecting from insects, harsh light and parents’ eyes.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--Steel truss on the roof accommodates a viewing pavilion and a walking track
When the design brief for a weekend house in the fringes of the city asked for a place that is open to the wilderness of nature yet offers all creature comforts, it brought back memories of the net and the shelter it offered.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--View of net house framed by the thin mullions that hold up the concrete slab from above freeing up the floor space below
The house was visualized as a clearing amidst the forest. A 12mx12m column less space is sheltered by a single monolithic 90 ton concrete slab suspended by an elaborate steel framework which becomes thin mullions to a skin of net shutters.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--View of net house through the surrounding foliage
This steel trellis makes the transparent volume below evident by stark contrast, reverberating the image of the virtual jungle of hoardings, telecom towers, satellite dishes and temporary structures that now make up the Indian city skyline.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
The undercroft is enveloped in gossamer layers of sliding mosquito nets, roll up blinds and folding glass panels that center around an all-encompassing cabinet, the pulsating heart of the house. All these layers provide desired degrees of privacy, shelter and exposure to nature, enabling the space to be modulated at will to suit the weather and psyche, from completely accessible and open to the outside, to fully closed and dark inside.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--Hand operated layers of net, sunscreens and glass allows for desired degrees of enclosure
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--Multifunctional cabinet; with its top as the only lighting element, the compact 2m high cabinet, holds the TV, all kitchen, dining and household items
The two meter high cabinet works as a divider between the living space and the bathing areas. It unfurls to become a dining table with chairs inside and opens out into a kitchen replete with microwave, refrigerator, cooking appliances and cutlery, unfolding further to reveal an air conditioning unit, music system, television and speakers, storage for clothes and accessories. Custom designed and locally made, the top of the cabinet also becomes a lamp illuminating the concrete slab at night. The light thus reflected attracts no insects.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--Floating glass stairs wrap around the rainwater downtake pipe that transfers water from the roof to the 1 million litre rainwater storage tank underground
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
The shielded bathing area contains two private washrooms, whose plumbing, drainage and storage are also accommodated inside the very cabinet. The washrooms then open out into a secluded private area, netted again and including a Jacuzzi, steam bath, sun deck and a vast lilly pond thus making the 2mx7m washroom seem infinite. The bathing pool demands its own significance and occupies as dominant a volume as the living areas: The duality of the veiled transitional space and the water body set against the encircling stone wall makes it intimate.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--View form the lily pond
As the concrete slab hangs detached from the ground, a 150mm steel pipe becomes the only element mediating between the ground and the roof. Water collected from the roof flows down this pipe and spring back up at its vertical to form a fountain before accumulating in a 1.4 million liter underground tank, harvesting rain water during monsoons. Glass treads and a hand rail intertwine with this fountain to make a light stair, creating the notional experience of walking up a column of water. The upper floor accommodates a netted space for yoga, sunbathing, a walkway on the periphery and a gazebo to look out onto the landscape.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates--View of the outdoor shower
The site is a series of interweaving mounds and valleys set against a back drop of trees to make an environment that is an escape from city life. Away from the net house, an outdoor shower has been created in rough concrete as if it had been violently gorged out of the soft green mound.
Photo © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
The Net House, the sum total of all the essential components of living yet bare and compact, attempts to act as a catalyst, not getting consumed but enhancing the man-nature relationship, both within and without, just like the net panes counterbalanced by cylindrical weights suspended from pulleys above.
Description from the architect:
site plan--drawing © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
floor plan + section--drawing © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
floor plan--drawing © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
section AA--drawing © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
sketch concept--drawing © Courtesy of Matharoo Associates
Project Data
Project name: Net House
Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Program: Weekend house
Area: Site Area: 10,000 m2 
Building Area: 350 m2 
Total Floor Area: 200 m2
Year: Design: 2007-2008 
Construction: 2009-2010
Structural System: Concrete slab, hand fabricated steel framework 
Major Materials: Reinforced cement concrete, steel, glass, Kuddapah stone

The people
Architect: Matharoo Associates
Team: Principal Designer: Gurjit Singh Matharoo 
Project Team: M. C. Gajjar, Nauka Baxi, Dilip Revar
Client: Dr. Urmish Chudgar
Structural Engineers: Matharoo Engineers (Rajendra Singh Matharoo, Hitesh Rathi)
Water Supply and Drainage Engineers: Vraj Sanitation
Interior Designer: Matharoo Associates 
Landscape Architect: Vagish Naganur 
Mechanical Consultants: Jhaveri Associates 
Water Supply and Drainage: Furaat Earth 
Site Supervision: Dilip Revar 
General Contractor: Keval Parikh 
Landscape Contractor: Fali Kekobad
Photographs: Courtesy of Matharoo Associates

Note>>Location in this map, It could indicate city/country but not exact address.

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