In­stead of solid walls that usu­ally de­fine the outer struc­ture of a home, this bun­ga­low in Jammu is wrapped with a wooden screen of ver­ti­cal tim­ber bands


Ar­chi­tect Sameep Padora wraps a Jammu bun­ga­low in wood in­stead of the usual brick and mor­tar

In a new sub­urb on the out­skirts of Jammu called Sidhra, a client wanted us to build their sec­ond home. Spread over 5,000 sq ft di­vided into two lev­els, the idea was to rent out the up­per floor. How­ever, the site posed a unique prob­lem. It was lo­cated in a rapidly ex­pand­ing sub­urb dom­i­nated by in­for­mal set­tle­ments that ap­pear faster than con­ven­tional plan­ning strate­gies can be im­ple­mented to man­age them. So, we turned to ge­om­e­try. Cre­at­ing what looks like a stack of tim­ber boxes as the outer shell of the home, we called it the Lat­tice House. The house is bro­ken into a se­ries of hor­i­zon­tal bands with the ar­chi­tec­tural form be­ing a de­riv­a­tive of chang­ing space re­quire­ments of a fam­ily over a

pe­riod of time. Each of the hor­i­zon­tal bands is shifted slightly to shade the level be­low, while cladding made from lengths of lo­cal de­o­dar cedar helps to fil­ter direct sun­light. In fact, the fa­cade of the house is a re­sponse to the cli­matic sever­ity of the re­gion which ex­pe­ri­ences ex­tremely hot and dry weather for eight months of the year. Hor­i­zon­tal bands of ver­ti­cal wood lat­tice screens en­com­pass bal­conies, sun-break­ers and stor­age in an at­tempt to scale the mass of the house as a se­ries of sec­tional hor­i­zon­tal shifts. More­over, the dense ar­ray of wooden bat­tens was in­tended to give the build­ing’s ex­te­rior a solid and im­pen­e­tra­ble feel, ad­dress­ing se­cu­rity con­cerns

re­lat­ing to the house’s in­fre­quent oc­cu­pancy.

Both lev­els in the build­ing are used by sep­a­rate fam­i­lies. The house is also struc­tured by the clients life­style which in­volves a lot of en­ter­tain­ing and so the kitchen be­came the cen­tre of the plan flanked by the liv­ing cum din­ing on one side and the lawn on the other. Solid par­ti­tions were avoided in the main liv­ing space to main­tain a bright feel and con­tin­u­ous lines of sight be­tween the var­i­ous ar­eas. The pri­vate func­tions of bed­rooms were placed to the rear, en­sur­ing the col­lec­tive tasks of liv­ing, din­ing and cook­ing, take place as a seam­less unit to­wards the front part, which opens out into the lawn. Rooms on the first floor open onto bal­conies screened by the tim­ber cladding, which also con­ceals ser­vices and stor­age on the build­ing’s roof.

The house won the ‘Wall­pa­per De­sign Awards 2016’ for best pri­vate house and also finds a place in the book 50 Modern Houses of In­dia.

Mumbai-based Sameep Padora is the found­ing prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect of sP+a (Sameep Padora and As­so­ciates). He grad­u­ated with a Masters in De­sign Stud­ies from Har­vard Uni­ver­sity in 2005. His prac­tice works on projects rang­ing from small scale ur­ban in­ter­ven­tions to large scale de­vel­op­ments. www.sp-arc.net

The fa­cade of the home from di­ifer­ent an­gles shows how the tim­ber bands run around it pro­tect­ing it from the sun and pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity

Ar­chi­tect Sameep Padora in his of­fice in Mumbai (right); the liv­ing room in the Lat­ice house (be­low)

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