A weekend retreat for an eminent lawyer couple was proposed on a site that is a part of a hill side development at Allua, over looking the Sabarmati River. Driving twenty-five kilometers north of Gandhinagar, in Gujarat, one passes through a fertile agrarian belt that dramatically changes to dry undulating mounds and green valleys, till one comes to the river. The clients had asked for a house with a view, a place where they could relax and unwind, and also entertain friends. The design responded by sensitively integrating the local topography and the existing vegetation into the plan for the house.

The 5,000 sq yd plot has access to the main road from the east, while on the west, the land slopes down towards a valley. The correct siting of the house was crucial, to ensure privacy from the road as well as optimize the view. This was done by tucking the house in an orchard garden nestled within the valley.

There is a dialogue between nature and the built environment, which was designed as a compact system of open spaces and enclosures. The enclosed spaces provide shade to the open inner courtyards, at the time of intense heat, while wafting in the cool breezes from the valley, which get channelised through all the rooms. The layout plan has also resulted in effectively minimizing the building sprawl, while utilizing the land gradient to compactly tier the spaces. Terraces flank the built form, and emerge as the underlying principle while organizing spaces and functions.

The circulation shifts through enclosures and open terraces, continually engaging the natural vistas beyond.
Built as a system of stepped, load-bearing walls and retaining planes, the idea was to cause minimal disturbance to the existing terrain.

Client : Soparkar House
Location : Alluva, Gandhinagar
Architects : Uday Andhare & Mausami Andhare, Indigo, Ahmedabad
Design Team : Brinda pancholi, Aashish Yadav
Consultants : Himanshu Parikh, Consulting Engineers, Ahmedabad
Site Area : 5000 sq.yard
Building Area : 388 sq.yard
Completion Year : 2001
Civil Engineers : Suresh Jadhav, N.K. Construction, Ahmedabad
Photo Credits : Uday Andhare