The Jack Arch House
Type: Architecture and Interior Design
Status: Completed in 2018 at Ahmedabad
The Jack Arch House is a contemporary manifestation of the traditional method of slab construction.
Spatially, the Jack Arch House connects to the existing house and garden through its south west facing verandah edge. Visually, the it connects and relates to the existing house by means of its exterior simplicity- a ground floor structure with a large overhanging roof, finished in white plaster. However, the similarities between both houses end at the exterior level. Internally, the house is characterised by exposed brick jack arches, that are 'hidden' from the exterior. Our thought process behind selecting the jack arch system was influenced by the client's personality. The father-son duo are one of India's leading aeromodellers, they assemble their own planes and with that comes an eye for detailing, appreciation for geometry, structure and the art of making, and an understanding of how the sum of parts is larger than the Whole. The Jack Arch House thus becomes a reflection of its occupants' personality. Going beyond the narratives, the jack arches impart geometry, order and rhythm to the internal spaces. Whilst it emphasises the connectivity to the outside by means of its linearity, its geometry is carried forward in the patterns of the veneered doors, the brown kotah stone flooring and the custom designed furniture. Experientially, the house offers vertical connection to nature (sky and sun) through the courtyards and a horizontal connection to the man-made landscape (pool and garden).
Climatically, the south-west facing verandah and rear vents help flush out the daytime heat gains in the evening. The courtyards provide sufficient day lighting in ground floor and basement areas. The layer of tertiary spaces on the east and west facade and vermiculite insulation over the roof helps to reduce direct solar heat gain.
Spatially, the ground floor comprises of a 4 layered configuration- a porous layer of verandah, a 2nd layer of primary spaces (dining, living and master bed), a 3rd layer of secondary spaces (pantry, powder room, dressing and master toilet) and a 4th layer of tertiary spaces (utility and helper's area). The layering ensures privacy from neighbourhood. The basement houses a large entertainment area, visually and physically connected to the ground floor through two courtyards.
Materially, the ground floor comprises of a neutral palette of white walls, polished brown kotah flooring and light polished wood to compliment the exposed brick arches. The basement is intentionally realised in contrast to that of the ground floor. It is characterised by river wash champagne grey granite, grey walls, dark veneered furniture and sparks of colour to bring vibrancy to a space that will be primarily used to entertain guests.
Photographs by: Rahul Jota