MODEST HOUSE IN ‘POL’ NEIGHBORHOOD of Inpractice
In a traditional dense neighborhood in Ahmedabad, Indiathat is quickly adapting to a more modern way of life, the Inpractice architectural firm has built a one-story building residence exposed from concretewith facades articulated through cuts, folds and bends. Dubbed ‘Smart House’, the new project replaces an existing derelict structure and emerges from the region, reminiscent of communal living in India’s ‘Pol’ housing estates, to demonstrate its functional robustness. It stands in striking contrast to its surroundings and fits harmoniously into the scale of the quarter as a small urban addition.
each ‘pol’ has a group of houses in which each family shares a common thread of commonality | Image courtesy of Inpractice
A clever house that fits seamlessly into the local context
This neighborhood in Ahmedabad has all the aspects of a traditional “pole” but is changing over time, but still remains rooted in the idea of community life and the interaction between the houses and the street. The Clever House by Inpractice (find more Here) fits seamlessly into this local context.
A gently curving corner at the northwest end marks the modest entrance to this home. Entering the home one is immersed in an open space where warm sunlight is connected to the street through the skylights and deep set windows placed at different levels on each side without compromising the privacy of the space. The windows on the north wall catch the high sun and the windows on the west wall connect with the busy street life. On this side, running the length of the house, is an ‘otla’, a traditional low platform – a break in the busy part of town.
single-storey residential building made of exposed concrete | Image by Vivek Eadara
The living, washing and cooking rooms on the ground floor are arranged linearly one behind the other. These spaces flow into one another without a defining physical barrier or threshold, increasing the character of versatility into a single space that can accommodate multiple functions. The deep recesses in the windows serve as clever storage spaces on the inside and seating on the outside. The furniture, particularly the seating, frames the living space against the backdrop of an ornate staircase – each step an independent piece of wood-finished metal, with parts of the space below clad in bright yellow, serving as seating, storage or even display space. A view of the upper floor conveys the feeling of an inner courtyard.
the facades of the “clever house” are structured by cuts, folds and bends | Image by Vivek Eadara
Upstairs, a bedroom and bathroom span the entire floor overlooking the expansive and vibrant living area below. The off-center windows flood the space with ambient light and frame the nearby community center. With no opaque boundaries, only the furniture conveys the vastness of the transitional space, which leads to a small bridge that serves as a reading corner, with a bookshelf and reading pedestal, flooded with light from the open skylight. The bridge leads to a small terrace which is separated from the apartment except for a small peephole. It is the outdoor area of this small family unit. From here, an external concrete staircase leads to the upper terrace, which overlooks the lower terrace and overlooks the bright neighborhood.
Both floors are open, so light can enter from different sides. Refined details in elements such as the staircase, gargoyles, grilles, doors and even furniture contrast with the solidity of the exposed concrete, creating balance. The play of light and shadow frames every part of this home, highlighting the old world charm of Polish homes presented with a new perspective to reflect the era in which they were built and the aspirations of the people who live in them. to represent.
protruding windows allow residents to connect with the surroundings | Image by Vivek Eadara
the living and cooking rooms on the ground floor are arranged one behind the other | Image by Vivek Eadara