Meswani House is a project that deals with the possibility of utilising a ceiling to capture space and indicate programmatic assignment without resorting to complete vertical enclosures. Located in the beautiful setting of Pavna Lake, our proposal strives to solve two problems often associated with the design of large houses in the countryside – how do you organise 10 bedrooms without resorting to long monotonous corridors? And how do you avoid a massing that will be a blot on the beautiful landscape?
Our proposal reconsiders this building type and conceives the organisation of the rooms as an unfolded string of rooms tied together with courtyards and light wells, turning circulation spaces into a series of overlapping semi-outdoor spaces. This encourages the differentiation of the pace of circulation and views along this route and turns the rooms into pavilions strung across the site. The massing of the house is limited to no more than five metres off the ground and the strings of rooms are tiered along the sloping site.
To further tie all the rooms together over a relatively large expanse, a vaulted ceiling is used to accentuate the various rooms and spaces, limiting the use of walls to the most private areas. The vaulted ceiling is created by trimming the various intersecting vaults arranged along the walls of the rotated rooms. These cantilevered vaulted roofs also form the necessary overhangs that shade verandas from the sun and rain. The ceiling plane is further developed on its reversed plane – the roof. In contrast to the ceiling, the roof is left without planar modulations and articulation and left as flat planes filled with grass and cascades down the slopes of the lake. Thus the ceiling and roof as a clear, legible and singular plane of design gives rise to two autonomous and contiguous spaces for the house – the open landscape planes and the accentuated vaults.
- Location: Pavna Lake, India
- Use: House
- Date: Concept Design, April 2009
- Area: 1,500 sqm
- Design Team: Chris Lee, Kapil Gupta, Bolam Lee, Martin Jameson, Jin Kim, Santosh Thorat and Suril Patel