The House at Kensville Golf & Country Club and Community in Ahmedabad, lays out a horizontal homage to its surroundings. Its structure blurs boundaries of inside and outside through a system of stairwells and ramps.
Linear’, ‘earthy’ and ‘full of surprises’– it is difficult to find better terms to define the House at Kensville Golf & Country Club and Community. The entire structure is an amalgamation of seemingly free-standing sub-structures that subvert the need for defined closed and open spaces within a house.
Encompassing the contradictions of form and style here is a charming structure that the team from Ahmedabad-based Arya Architects realised using a system of light and heavy, and stout and slender elements.
“The house emerges from the ground and extends out towards the landscape. Cocooned and sunk into the site at the lower level, it rises up making a vertical connection with the sky. The roof seems suspended above and reaches out towards the golf course making a horizontal extension. It is thus, a pavilion in a courtyard. The textures and the materials reflect this key relationship,” states Meghal Arya, one of the principals at Arya Architects.
The design team alludes to the structure’s horizontality and understatedness, two factors which indeed make this house create a direct connection with its surroundings. The 2,450 sq m plot (with a built up area of 1,256 sq m) is sumptuous and the larger area is of the Kensville Golf Club, with the house’s concrete, brick and wooden look forming a perfect fit.
The languid pavilion-based form of the weekend home has been designed to have an easy inside-outside flow, with no hard transitions existing in between. Instead there are spots of carefully composed greenery like flower beds and lawns, and water features like a lovely lily pond and a swimming pool.
The direct contrasts to the imposing nature of the concrete walls are a significant element of the house’s charm. Another facet that cuts through the effects of the harder surfaces is the natural light – plentiful in supply, which is forced to pass through wooden blinds and mesh walls. This light splits and dances further inside, choreographed into motion by railings and glass windows.
The polished surfaces inside are brought alive by the light and shadow play – it is an effortless, superbly whimsical detail that infuses the spaces with a sense of movement, a feeling of being one with the changing seasons outside. The furniture pieces extend the aesthetic value of the outside, the idea is to blend in and not jar. The flat seaters and bed-style pieces are designed to help make the most of the natural bounty filling up the home.
But, of course, the centre-piece of this material dance happens through the network of stairwells and ramps that branch out, connecting the different levels and establishing shadow zones and coves, perfect for escaping to, even if for a little while. The exposed concrete columns add a remarkable element of grace to the heavy parts of the house’s outer structure. The mild steel additions soften the effect further, making one look at the swathe with new eyes. The team’s statement on the project is almost poetic, “The two functionally private volumes hem in the linear form and hold between them a node of free-flowing spatial interactions accompanied by elements of nature.”
The look of the House at Kensville Golf & Country Club and Community reminds one of fortresses, and of historical observatories constructed to discover the mysteries of the stars. This retreat abode is so committed to its surroundings that it has established a near-complete camouflage. “Eventually, as a second home, it is a space intended to create an intimate and close connection with nature and the surrounding landscape in its myriad possibilities, including the dynamics between the contained and the extended, the horizontal and the vertical,” confirms Meghal.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photograph Courtesy the Architect