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Louvered facade for Hyderabad residence

Hyderabad-based DesignAware has designed the Crescendo Ribbon House, which was to execute privacy, cooling and interplay of light and shade by using data-driven  design methods.

Though Crescendo and Ribbon House are two residences that are quite different in terms of scale, location, cost, program and user requirement, both their facades aimed for the same principles.

Crescendo is a large residence for a growing family of five on a skewed plot shaped like a parallelogram. The challenge was to plan spaces that optimized plot use as per vaastu considerations while minimizing square footage due to the acute-angled corners. This resulted in a staggered massing of its four levels inspired by the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, each level increasing proportionally until it reaches a crescendo at the top. The stepped floor plates cantilever out three inches at every level, finally reaching the edge of the plotline at the topmost floor, in compliance with the prevailing bye-laws. These overhangs allow for the shading of each lower level in the house by the one above it.

The urban site is at a higher vantage point in the neighborhood, offering panoramic views of the low-lying city below and rockscapes beyond at every level. Without a wide setback from the road and because of its height, the house is vulnerable to noise, dust and lack of privacy from the road. The scale and proportion of the building are also not very reminiscent of a residence. Due to the stepped elevation, it becomes a 3×3 grid in which each square is a distinct space. In order to create barriers from the street and to filter out sunlight, a louvered façade system has been designed with varying percentages of openings for each square.

The louvers are made of cuboidal elements arranged as twisting arrays, creating an overall undulating surface. The twist angles determine the percentage of openings that vary based on the function of the space within: sparsely turning louvers create larger openings for gardens and views from the swimming pool while private areas have slightly turned louvers that allow for more privacy and less sunlight. Spaces such as bedrooms have the option of regulating the percentage of opening, making it an adaptable, breathing façade. The louvers are given a polished wood finish to give a residential vocabulary to the tall building.