The Hovering Gardens By Niraj Doshi

A unique project in its context, this house is located in a neighborhood of Pune, India, that is rich in greenery. The apt use of natural elements in its creation ― such as water bodies, bridges, stone walls, and landscaped areas on all levels ― helps it merge seamlessly with its environs on the one hand while making it stand out on account of its architectural beauty.

This is home to a family of six. The brief for N.D.D.C. was a modest material template culminating into a residence that would be rich in spatial experience. Ample cross-ventilation, keeping in mind the occupants’ need for privacy, as well as flexibility in space change in accordance with family evolution, was also an important consideration.

Therefore, the project was based on an H-shaped plan wherein all the spaces have three external walls, thus maintaining a nice “in” and “out” connection. The use of mirrors and reflective glass has lent itself to an optical illusion to maximize the landscaped areas, thus underscoring the feeling of being in the lap of nature.

Climate is a crucial factor in design and construction. Keeping this in mind, shading devices have been used here in the form of huge cantilevered slabs that give a sort of “hovering effect” while, at the same time, offering to ground to the building. Similarly, vertical screen facades have been devised as a barrier for the elements. Inside, the strategic use of triple-height atriums makes for ample stack effect and also helps in cross-ventilation. Almost all the existing large trees on the site are maintained as well.

In keeping with the predominantly “green” character of this project, an indirect evaporative cooling system has been installed extensively with a view to reducing the reliance on conventional air-conditioners.

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