Client: Mr. Veer Vijay Singh
Location: Hanuman Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Site Area: 4700 sq.ft. (430 sqm)
Built-Up Area: 8000 sq.ft. (740 sqm)
Status: Completion 2019
Design Team: Kamal Malik, Arjun Malik, Ketan Chaudhary, Payal Hundiwala, Soumya Shukla, Neha Kotian.
Photography: Fabian Charuau, Bharath Ramamrutham
Structure: GES – Global Engineering Services
Plumbing: GES – Global Engineering Services
Electrical: GES – Global Engineering Services
HVAC Consultant: Coolair System- Daikin
Rain Water Harvesting: Mungekar and Associates
Landscape Consultant: Malik Architecture
Structure And Civil: Angira Interiors– Naresh Suthar
Glazing: Angira Interiors– Naresh Suthar
Stone Facade: Angira Interiors– Naresh Suthar
HVAC: Coolair System – Javed Shaikh
Plumbing And Firefighting: Angira Interiors– Naresh Suthar
Electrical: Vespl-Vora electric service
Interiors & Carpentry: Angira Interiors– Naresh Suthar
Malik Architecture is an award-winning Mumbai-based multidisciplinary design practice with over 47 years of experience. Their practice has from its inception attempted to develop a contemporary design syntax for the Indian subcontinent, by approaching architecture as a synthesis of “ecology” and “spirit”.
Ecology implies a seamless, cohesive and holistic approach to design. This is achieved through the assembly of a group of highly motivated and evolved specialists in different disciplines.It is about creating lasting relationships that become so deeply intertwined, that the whole ceases to be a sum of its parts, and instead becomes a living, breathing organism in itself.
Luis Barragan said that “Architecture is the spatial execution of spiritual decisions.” For us, Spirit implies balance, understanding and tranquility.
Their work draws inspiration from nature, not through only its physical forms, but through its principles and processes. They have also tried to resurrect the Indian artisan, as well as cultivate the use of local materials as a corollary to encourage sustainability. This is exemplified by our works that incorporate load-bearing brick masonry, stone masonry, exposed concrete, and most recently, the innovative use of structural steel.
Their diverse, dynamic, and radical portfolio of works includes Residential, Commercial, R&D, Healthcare, Hospitality, Educational, Cultural, and Institutional as well as master planning projects.
Rajasthan is synonymous with sandstone as a building material but sadly, over the last few decades, this material has been reduced to a ‘cladding ‘medium and its potential as a robust and sustainable structural element has not been explored.
The house in Jaipur presented us with an opportunity to explore and evolve a method of building that has been prevalent in traditional buildings for centuries. We laid out a simple brief: no material other than stone should be used for construction.
The traditional method of load bearing construction relied on the impermeable thickness of walls. This was reengineered to develop a hollow interlocking structural wall system that creates a more effective thermal break, provides space to integrate services within the wall cavity, and effectively reduces the material consumption by 30%.
Floor systems alternate between vaults and large single span stone pieces. Every building element from the basement raft/retaining walls/lintels/door and window jambs/reveals/stairs/screens etc has been made from stone blocks, either from the quarry ( superstructure elements) or excavated from the site ( substructure elements).
The house is arranged around a narrow courtyard that extends into even narrower slits and fissures as it weaves its way through the house, essentially drawing on the proportions of voids and interstitial spaces of traditional dwellings as a method to counter the effect of the harsh summer sun.
Large front and rear facing glazing is shaded by deep overhangs and operable, hand-cut stone screens to modulate light, privacy, and views.
Quarry: Hard sandstone ( Jodhpur stone) is quarried 45 mins away from the site.
At our request, the quarry foreman reverted to the “ splitting” stone technique using traditional stonemasonry tools instead of the high-yield gangsaw extraction that is machine intensive and eliminates the natural stone grain. Splitting the stone mobilizes the human touch, limits the processing, and retains the natural Earth imprint of the stone.
Craft + Engineering: Stonemasons from the surrounding villages have worked stone with their hands for generations. The accumulated knowledge of the past along with the theory of Engineering created an interesting and often contradictory overlap of intelligences that was most often resolved by the Head Stonemason, including identifying the optimal size of stone that could be carried and laid by 2 masons with minimal mechanical assistance ( unlike brick, there is no Standard stone size).
The purview of Craft, often limited to embellishment, artifice, and object, was expanded to the building scale. Easily consumable symbology is supplanted by the primal and essential deployment of material resource and craft in a space that is both Ancient and Contemporary.
Thermal Performance: Approximately 5-7*C variation can be observed between the exterior and interior. This is due to the thermal mass of material and the “cavity” construction.
Dry Stone Construction: A minimal amount of steel such as tie-rods and shear pins reinforce the stone for seismic performance. Lime mortar is used only to seal the exterior joints.
Project cost: Prior to finalizing this construction method, and owing to a limited budget, a detailed comparison between the “All Stone” method, “Reinforced Stone”, and “Conventional” Structure ( i.e. R.C.C. frame, Civil infill, exterior stone cladding, internal plaster, and paint) was prepared. The proximity of the material and skilled stonemasons, reducing the number of agencies on site, etc, it was concluded that building in stone was actually cheaper than the conventional alternative.
Time and cost was reduced due to the method of quarrying, which also gave the project a balance between natural (Earth imprint) and smooth handmade finishes.
Prolonged lifecycle and recyclability of a stone structure: By focusing on a single building material that requires negligible processing between the quarry and its final application on site, and has a low embodied energy; the usage of other higher impact materials has been reduced or eliminated from the project.