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Courtyard acts as a ventilation system for Ahmadnagar residence

Pune-based architecture and design firm Tao Architecture has designed the Courtyard House, which was a single-family residence in Ahmadnagar. The client brief was to design a house with an extended living area and bedrooms linked to the courtyard. Simple and locally-available material utilizes the project’s location in a deserted forest area.

The courtyard connects the occupants with nature with parallel walls linking the indoor spaces with the outdoor areas, hiding the service areas from public view. It forms a passive ventilation system for the house and acts as a heat buffer along with the turbo vents on the roof. Locally-sourced Nevasa stone cladding has been used on the ground floor and foyer, with Warli painting and square openings to adorn the spaces. Yellow painted walls external walls and red Mangalore tiles complement the Nevada and Kota stone stones in the courtyard. The greenery and earthy color palette are further lined with teakwood doors and pebble-filled channels.

Moving on to the interiors, the 2800 sq ft area is landscaped and spacious. Two parallel double-storeyed blocks on either side of the structure are connected at the upper level by a 10 in wide terrace bridge. The living space is illuminated by a large glazed wall overlooking the landscaped court, filling it with light, air, and open spaces. The ambiance thus encourages outdoor living and promotes a spiritual connection between the residents and nature.

A central mango tree with a seated Buddha sculpture transforms the semi-open verandah into a contemplative retreat, complete with a rustic wooden swing. The private semi-open verandah in the grandparents’ room overlooks a vehicular entry for car parking space. A red stucco staircase forms the skylight, acting as a lightwell element. The first-floor lobby has a library and study, linking the guest and master bedrooms on the west block and terrace bridge leading to the east section. The suspended connecting lobby overlooks the courtyard forming a sit-out for the first floor.

Bedrooms have bay windows and sit-outs with private, semi-private and open spaces for the family. Skylights and windows allow natural daylight while the photovoltaic panels produce green energy. Combined with LED lights and terracotta pots, the strategy ensures minimal carbon footprint and thermal insulation.