The site for this residence is part of a plotted enclave of very expensive land parcels in western Ahmedabad. It is located between the old NH 8 leading to Gandhinagar and the new circular ring road defining the new outer residential zone of the city.
Bore water here is scarce and fairly saline. There is no municipal water connection to these plots and individual borewells dot the landscape. Storm water drains are stretched each year with roads and new development being added to this sector of the city. The backdrop of our intervention is defined by the above considerations.

Set within a plot area of 1200 sq.m, the program called for a four-bedroom house for a family of four, and to accommodate visiting grandparents and guests. The mandate from the clients was to carefully structure the public and private functions and strongly define the central core of the house as a family space, reminiscent of the old courtyard houses of Ahmedabad but covered at the top, breathable and open at the lower level to the garden space.

    • Careful sequencing of all spaces with regard to public and private zones of the house.
    • Transparency of views across the house and beyond.
    • Strategic location of trees to shade and cut glare.
    • Use and integration of shading devices as built elements.
    • Locating all services along the south, south east and west directions was a strategy to shield from the core areas from the intense heat while all the openings were aligned to catch westerly and south-west breeze. This strategy aids in reducing the load on the central air-conditioning and also keeps the building cool, breathable and open able.
    • Two gravity vents placed directly over the central space in the family area help in regulating the required fresh air within the home and ventilate the core in a passive manner.
    • Deep-set openings with shading devices help in keeping the sun out.
    • This house harvests all of the water that falls on the roof and percolates and recharges all the run off from the compound.
    • Water from the wash basins/wash areas is collected, treated and dispersed into the green landscaped zone on the north using French drains- dispersion trenches. This reduces the use of raw water in the landscape.
    • Wastewater is treated in a septic tank and led to the drain.
    • Rainwater is used for cooking and drinking year round while bore water is softened and used for washing and cleaning.
    • Integration of building elements such as pergolas for shading with landscape.
    • Pergolas not only shade the west and east sides of the building but become structures to grow vegetables year round. This has urged the clients to be excited about growing their own vegetables and helped integrate this idea as a viable aspect of domestic landscapes.

This is set in a belief that if water is to be used for greening. It must help produce clean organic vegetables for the family as well. Bottle gourd, bitter gourd, pumpkin, ridge gourd and cucumber are harvested on this structure.

  • Allocation of a significant area of open space for vegetable farming is seen as an essential aspect of growing enough food to sustain a family of 4 and a few others.
  • Segregation of dry and wet waste and use of kitchen waste to prepare compost to be used in the garden to grow vegetables.


Client : Kavita and Rajesh Agrawal
Location : Ahmedabad
Architects : Uday & Mausami Andhare, indigo architects, Ahmedabad
Design Team : Uday Andhare, Mausami Andhare, Tejas Jasani
Consultants : Ami Engineers, Ahmedabad
Site Area : 1500 sq.yd.
Building Area : 450 sq.yd.
Completion Year : 2008
Civil Engineers : Devmani Constructions, Ahmedabad
Photo Credits : Uday Andhare