DADA & Partners have designed two residential projects that epitomise the perfect fusion of modern and traditional concepts; here open spaces revel in a perfect balance of material, colour and volume.
Simple composition of volumes, a minimal material palette and a strong architectural character define the works of DADA & Partners, a multi-disciplinary design firm based in Gurgaon, India, that works with the core belief of creating enduring “places” of a high quality. Most of their designs exhibit unique massing, augmented by material blocks that define or understate the negative-positive spaces.
Among their many residential projects is is the ‘South Court Villa’, a farm house outside Delhi, designed by Architect Sumit Arora and his team.
Massing, material palette and features like courts and louvers find a prominent role in the perception of this large farm house. The architectural vocabulary was generated in response to the building orientation, and the final building typology emerged as a direct result of the design concept.
Situated on a narrow, west facing 2.5 acre plot, the positioning of the house was a challenge, since placing a building in the front or back would result in wasteful landscape space in the other end. Also the view of an adjoining building housing an array of servant rooms had to be blocked.
The elegant building is an opus of white volumes structured by the interplay of timber and glass patches creating architectural symphony. The façades are appealing without being pretentious, the massing architecture of which is enhanced by the simple material palette of stone, timber and glass.
The entrance to this large house is marked simply by a canopy of steel and wood and granite clad walls.
The architectural team designed an ‘L’ shaped structure which created a south facing inner court and also avoided the view of the neighbouring building. The two flanks of the ‘L’, house the private spaces on the northern leg along the length and the public spaces along the width of the plot.
This design segregates the private inner court and the formal outer turf, connected whenever required by opening the living room bridged in between.
The interiors of the farmhouse too have been designed as open spaces flowing into one another, overlooking the external landscape with spectacular views.
Warm hues and rich materials govern the inner volumes. Adequately shaded by timber louvers and projections, the first floor fenestrations take full advantage of the ample light and ventilation available through the unhindered glazed surfaces.
The minimalist blueprint is augmented by the use of timber, glass and white surfaces, which in combination are conceived as a sophisticated and modern design. The composition and architectural vocabulary is a balance between solids and voids, inserted with structural elements that add to the ensuing drama.
The design takes into consideration the sustainability of the structure through its material palette, planning and shading techniques.
Vastly different in form and function from the ‘South Court Villa’ is a suburban studio residence designed by Architect Sumit Arora and his team which is an interesting confluence of traditional and modern architectural concepts. The three storied dwelling, houses the residence of an architect couple on the upper floors and their studio in the half-sunk basement.
The façade, composed of simple volumes and enhanced by material blocks, is a riveting picture and since it is west facing, insulation against the harsh sun is offered using plain white masses interjected with motorised louvers on glazed surfaces, creating a final picture that exudes effortless beauty.
The entrance block, a combination of blank white walls, masonry and timber patches, and glazing resembles a veiled box perched over nothing; the lower floor is encased in glass and stacked above the timber louvered room. Adding to the myriad grace is a ‘Y’ column creating structural drama.
The external architectural vocabulary continues in the interiors – warm spaces are conceived in a minimalistic design providing veiled visions of the spaces ahead.
Lightness in structure and space is further achieved through a traditional courtyard that has a prime spot in this architectural design, with bedroom and living spaces overlooking it.
Abundant light and ventilation permeates the spaces and seeps into the neighbouring arenas through a series of connected voids interspersed on all levels that also help in maintaining continuous spatial and visual connectivity throughout. As we traverse more, we notice the hierarchy of zones – public spaces in the front while the private areas occupy the inner, rear portion.
Almost all the projects designed by DADA are thought as energy efficient and this sustainability is incorporated in their designs through architectural elements and features like inter-connected voids, motorized louvers, material palette of timber and masonry and solar collectors, which is seen even in the studio residence.
Both the studio residence and the farm house are examples of balanced massing and use of architectural features. The projects vastly different in function show a signature architectural style identified as truly DADA & Partners. They successfully combine traditional and contemporary architectural concepts in one canvas, constructing built spaces that are chic and simple, creating bold statements without being loud or brazen. The houses speak for themselves as final pieces of a carefully orchestrated design.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Lightzone, Ranjan Sharma