Circuit house

The building is located in Pune, Maharashtra, on a 14,444m2 site with existing buildings of poor planning and restriction of ground +2 floors. The project comprises a government guest house for various high ranking officials, spaces for political meetings, government authorities’ discussions and conferences, as well as a helipad.

Using elements like the shaded courtyard, transition spaces like passages and terraces, as well as jalis in form of louvers, the design aims to calibrate the post-modernist architectural style used in government buildings so far, with contemporary vernacular architecture. To allow the smooth circulation of all classes of visitors, private and public areas are segregated via three separate entries: main visitors’, VIP and service. The house provides three types of suites, with support facilities including dining for 100 people, a conference room as well as services, pantries, laundry and auxiliary spaces. This “green” building deals with Pune’s three distinct seasons, hot–dry summer, monsoon and winter, though climate responsive façades, with orientation being a primary criterion for zoning different functions. To avoid harsh radiation the west-facing side accommodates intermittent spaces, occupied for a short time span, and has vertical louvers to avoid solar gains. Suites are placed on the northern and south sides; overhangs on the northern façade cater for direct summer sunlight, while terraces and louvers on the southern one form climatic buffers, providing thermal comfort during winter. On the eastern side that comprises the dining area and the larger suites, all with views towards the golf course beyond, shading devices regulate morning sunlight.

The underground car park for 100 cars is allocated in the basement, allowing more ground to be left for landscape and saving existing trees. The focal point of the building is the courtyard-waiting lobby, semi-shaded and under pergolas, which acts as a landscaped micro-climate modifier, while a large water body provides much needed evaporative cooling for the hot-dry summers of Pune.

The interior décor is minimalist, with nature-inspired partitions, signage and art works, and a prevalent neutral colour palette. Recycled materials and fixtures, VRV air-conditioning, photovoltaic panels and a heat pump system providing 90% of hot water demand, reduce the building’s energy consumption by 52.81%. The multi-awarded Circuit House has also received a 5-star rating by GRIHA ​​certification.

Photos by:

Hemant Patil 

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