The House by the Trees

The ‘House by the Trees’ is a gathering and retreat place for a Gujarati family on the outskirts of Ahmedabad set amidst the existing neem, chikoo and amla trees. The brief required a spacious and open place, providing increased security.

The architects primary concern was to weave the house layout into the existing vegetation, resulting into some trees appearing inside the house courtyards and some others along its edge; thus, the random location of the existing trees defined the extents of the house.

The house is a two-bay plan, with the front bay accommodating the semi open entry porch and vestibule and an adjacent guest bedroom. A linear courtyard separates the front bay from the rear, enhancing the sense of openness from the enclosed spaces. The rear bay houses the living room, dining area and kitchen on one side and the master bedroom on the other, with a semi open lounge that separates these zones. A 12’ cantilevered veranda hovers on the north side as an extension to the living room and master bedroom, along the existing line of neem trees.

The semi open vestibule and lounge connects the house with the courtyard and garden beyond, establishing a seamless transition. This area can transform at night when the sliding grill separates the outer area from the interior spaces, creating an introverted, secured place.

The house uses natural materials and finishes to evoke a raw, informal place. The floor has rough cuddapah in interior areas and river-washed black granite in the semi open areas, while the courtyard is clad in rough brown kotah stone. All ceilings feature exposed concrete and door frames made of valsadi wood. The bespoke furniture is made of old reclaimed valsadi wood.

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