Even though summer alludes to vaccations and beaches, the heat isn't very pleasant in most parts of India. A large part of the culture of this season in our country is just ways to deal with summer; whether it be 'aam panna, 'shikanji', or the long days indoors with the cooler blasting cold wind. To curb the heat more strategically in the dry and arid Bharuch city of Gujarat, Samira Rathod Design Atelier built a house that stays cool even in the burning sun.
Planned as a direct response to the context, geography and climate of its site in Bharuch, 'Cool House' is built like a track with rooms on either side the house punctured vertically making two courtyards on either side of the central track like a corridor. The house is designed like a box, rather inward-looking with windows that are strategic to bring in the cool breeze and diffuse the sharp light. The south facade is kept fairly dead and the wind can pass from the southwest courtyards and escape from the northeast courtyard ventilating the entire house.
The southwest courtyard features a shallow water body that cools the incoming breeze and a perforated screen that directs it into the house. First-floor windows overlook the other courtyard, which is covered in trees. This courtyard also has a jali that allows for the wind to be channelled and then thrown into the house like a whiff of a cool breeze on a summer afternoon. The Cool House features multiple bedrooms and guest rooms, a living, dining and kitchen area, a terrace, lounges, parking spaces, a gymnasium, and a jacuzzi. In addition to its strategic design, it also has thick external walls and a cold, lime-powder interior to help regulate the temperature inside the building. Black paint and custom-sized siporex bricks add to its finesse.
With wind direction, pressure, 'passive energies', material and even colour into consideration, the cool house is a minimalist and efficient marvel in sustainable, intelligent design; an oxymoronic structure built in harmony with the elements to counter them.