Himanshu Patel, Founder, D6THD DESIGN STUDIO, Ahmedabad
Himanshu Patel is an ardent architect from M S University. His Ahmedabad based d6thD design studio promotes the use of locally available materials, traditional building techniques, culturally and climatically relevant building design. d6thD means The 6th dimension to “feel good.” d6thD is passionate about design, but driven by ideas rather than personalities. They are interested in exploring the ways in which spaces can create experiential happiness. d6thD visualises the practice as a sheltered and collaborative place for reflection, where a community (including clients and other collaborators) can reflect on how to make life happy and feel good through architecture.
A Project by Himanshu Patel: CARESSING MOTHER EARTH
Aaranya an agriculture farm stay is located in rural settings at the edge of Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary, Gujarat. There is the longer surface of cottages facing north-south direction in order to minimise heat gain and maximise cross ventilation and airflow from adjoining agricultural field. With the objective to minimise its visual impact and response to its earthquake-prone area, the scale of the building has been kept so grounded.
The twin cottage plan with the hip roof is intended to help offset the heavy rainfall in monsoon and heat in summer, native to this region.
At a glance from the front, the sloping roof looks like it unites the earth and sky. Externally, the elongated tiled roof forms a distinctive presence yet blended into the landscape, while internally; it shelters the entrance foyer and secures the visual privacy of the bedroom. In the near future, the entire roof will be covered in creeping plants emerging from the punctured roof and spread on the tiled roof. When the roof will be fully vegetated, the building will virtually disappear. One feels a psychological transformation in one’s inner space as soon as one experience chirping birds and the smell of the flowers at this space.
Cottages were carefully designed as if planted among the existing mango trees. Front yard has a mango tree defined with the natural bio fences constructed of shrubbery acts as a transition space between the more private cottage bedroom and the open farm area.
Inbuilt sit out at foyer along with twisted sandstone column below roof adds drama into the welcoming gesture. This space is creating a refuge for contemplation. It also allows guest for an intimate interface with the outdoors where you actually wouldn’t need a book. Building form allows one to instinctively experience the psychological assurance of security on the one hand and the exhilaration of exposure and proximity to nature on the other.
Once the guest is in the cottage, he is cosy and protected. He has everything he needs, as in a womb.
The bathroom has a dry and wet area separated with a small buffer space having stained coloured glass panel on one side and waste glass bottle wall on the other side. Vivid coloured daylight appears in the bathroom through that buffer, fills up space with joy and excitement. The Natural skylight from the dome above; lit the shower space and that makes the bathing experience more refreshing.
The old construction techniques using rubble stone packed foundation, load-bearing exposed natural sandstone walls, the brick dome with china mosaic on top and clay tiled roof are not only cost-effective and time tested but architect’s methodology to create a job for local villagers as a beginning step of social sustainability and shared happiness.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the cottages remain true to its context and testifies itself to the norms of vernacular architecture.
There is an element of vulnerability certainly during an evening spent on local wooden charpai (bedstead) under the stars, listening to the wind rustling in the mango trees and the distant call of a roaring lion but more than that, it brings a humbling awareness of one’s place in the world and harmony with the Earth. This can happen only when we are able to connect to our roots to Mother Nature.
Architect: Himanshu Patel
Design Firm: d6thD design studio, Ahmedabad
Location: Gir lion sanctuary, Gujarat
Client: Nishant, Dhanaji
Photographs: Inclined Studio
Completion: January 2019
SR Material Poetries
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