Inside Architect Sanjay Puri's Energy-Efficient Sculptural House In Rajasthan

Inside Architect Sanjay Puri's Energy-Efficient Sculptural House In Rajasthan

For me, it's a rare occurrence, when I look at a house and go “wow”. When I first saw renowned Mumbai-based architect Sanjay Puri’s architectural marvel of a desert home in Rajasthan, I was astounded. It is not only a sculptural piece of architecture but also, as the Sanjay Puri Architects studio calls it, “contextual"— it has been designed keeping in mind the harsh desert climate of Rajasthan. The steep and punctuated arches of the house are a response to the hot desert climate.

Sanjay Puri has named it Mirai: the House of Arches. It is a 920-square-meter house located on a relatively small 622-square-meter corner plot of a residential villa layout, creating an intriguing silhouette with red sandstone finish and sculptural appearance. Taking the location of the house into context, the architect has employed passive design principles. The southern and eastern sides have minimum open space, with adjacent villas on those sides planned for development in the future, while the northern and western sides have a road junction and provide more open spaces, including garden areas and existing trees.

The design creates a curvilinear and punctuated envelope around the house and the whole silhouette is surrounded by these steep, arched corners creating interstitial, semi-open spaces all along the perimeter, with deeper recesses on the garden-facing sides. This envelope reduces the heat gain substantially, while providing sheltered open spaces around the house to each room. Designed to mitigate heat gain in response to the hot avid climate of its location, this envelope keeps the entire house cool in the hot summer months, when temperatures rise in excess of 40°C for 8 months of the year

Sanjay Puri

Because of its geometry, the design creates energy-efficient spaces by reducing heat gain with indirect natural light in each part of the house. The house was designed for a family of three generations living together. Reaching three levels, it consists of four bedrooms, two living rooms, a gym, and a study.

The house was built in collaboration with local craftsmen and contract labor from the immediate vicinity, according to the studio. The house was built using locally sourced bricks, sandstone, and lime plaster, and includes processes for water recycling, rainwater harvesting, and solar panels for energy generation. The house is built sustainably and is climate responsive. This luxurious house is definitely a visual marvel but most importantly it is a house perfectly made for its surrounding environment.

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