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)