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  • Writer's pictureKishan Thakkar

Beton Brut Residence | The Grid Architects

Project description

Project name: Beton Brut Residence

Location: Ahmedabad

Architect: The Grid Architects

Area: 11559 ft²

Year: 2022

Photographs: Photographix

© Photographix

The Beton Brut Residence, designed by The Grid Architects, is a stunning example of neo-brutalism. It is a monolithic concrete home located in Ahmedabad, India, built for a small entrepreneurial family with a strong creative streak. The family required a home that provided spaces for individual pursuits and family gatherings, but that also protected them from the harsh sunlight and heat.

© Photographix

The Grid Architects managed to create an abode that brought the family together while also leaving enough space for their individual personalities to thrive and bloom.

This home was designed to resemble the imagery of an Indian woman shielding her head and face from the sun with her pallu or odhani. This inspired the architects to create a home protected from harsh weather, which is characterized by bare concrete, geometric shapes, a monochromatic palette, and a monolithic appearance.

© Photographix

One of the most beautiful aspects of this approach is the combination of two very different concepts: a brutalist expression and an emotive inspiration. Using both Indian elements and traditional Indian typologies as soft touches, they infused 'brutal' elements into the interior design. In spite of the home's strong and assertive appearance, it also has a soft and emotional core.

The plot faces southwest, so the garden was placed on the west to control the sunlight coming in from the southwest. Following the finalization of the floor plan, the challenge was to control heat and sunlight entering the structure. The concept was tested by analyzing the sun-path.

The architects used the corners of the rectangle as a starting point for the structural design of the canopy and, after carefully slicing and staggered the structure, strategically erasing the bottom portion of the resultant cantilevered portion in order to create the canopy. With deep overhangs, the window fenestration was protected from sunlight and the walls were protected from heat gain.

© Photographix

As a result of the skewing, three layers of cantilevers were created, with terraces under the canopy, as well as pockets large and small that could be used for plantings. Therefore, a large portion of the enclosed spaces are covered in lush vegetation.

Throughout the home, the central landscaped court can be seen from the formal living room, the dining room, and the bedroom of the senior couple. There are two additional bedrooms upstairs, each with an ensuite bathroom and a walk-in closet. Living spaces are all connected to terraces or gardens, which keep occupants in constant contact with nature.

© Photographix

In contrast to the concrete envelope, the Beton Brut house liberally combines Indian elements to soften its imposing presence. The home is infused with Indian essence by reclaimed panels and brackets from old Havelis, mandapas, old vessels, and carved panels depicting gods and installations showing hand mudras.

Jharokha is mounted on a soaring living room wall, through which you can view the room from the first floor. In addition to being functional and comfortable, the furniture is simple, clean-lined, and does not disturb the architecture in any way.

© Photographix

This house is characterized by its honest and pure material palette, which allows the beauty of each material to shine through without being masked by cosmetic overlays. Both the architectural narrative and the interior narrative revolve around grey concrete, the central component.

As the shuttering used to cast the slabs and walls leaves a beautiful texture on the gray expanses, they are beautifully complemented by timber imprints. A beautiful balance between simplicity and richness is created by combining sandstone and Kota stone with sunlight, teakwood, and teakwood furniture within the interiors.

© Photographix

Light plays a crucial role in architecture, and it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is. There is no doubt that natural light can create a feeling of positivity and wellbeing. Additionally, it gives the building a sense of depth and dimension. Light played an important role in creating a sense of harmony and balance at the Beton Brut house. By carefully studying the sun's path, the architects strategically positioned the fenestration to reduce heat gain and sunlight. In addition to providing the occupants with a constant connection to the outdoors, deep overhangs, terraces, and cantilevers enhance the play of light and shadow.

There is no doubt that the Beton Brut house is a fine example of how architecture can be a reflection of the personality of the family. The client, a small entrepreneurial family with an appreciable creative streak, desired a house that would provide space for gatherings with the family as well as individual activities. In order to meet this brief, the architects incorporated places of congregation and solitude into the spatial narrative. Consequently, the family's home brings them closer together while also leaving room for each individual to flourish.

© Photographix

As an example of brutalist architecture's beauty and elegance, the Beton Brut house is an excellent portrayal of the aesthetics of the period. Using raw concrete as the main construction material and taking inspiration from a traditional Indian image, the result is a home that is both assertive and soft.

Combining the staggered structure and strategic placement of fenestration with the use of light as a design tool, creates a sense of harmony and balance, as well as a constant connection to nature for its occupants. Incorporating Indian elements into the aesthetic articulation softens the weight of the concrete envelope and makes it feel more Indian.

Using a palette of materials that is ruled by honesty and purity, the beauty of each material is beautifully emphasized, resulting in an environment that is elegantly balanced between simplicity and richness.

© Photographix

As a whole, the Beton Brut house can be considered an excellent example of modern architecture, and even better, it can be seen as a great illustration of the way architecture can be used to reflect the personalities of its inhabitants.


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