Name: Minaret House
Architects: Chaukor Studio
Location: D-11, Sector 128, Jaypee Wishtown, Noida
Area: 8000 square feet
Team: Nilesh Bansal, Tejeshwi Bansal, Manisha Nimish and Tarini Sharma
Structure: EBI India
Acoustics: Edge Acoustics
Photographer: Mohammad Javed
Minaret House is an emblematic symbol of the fusion of adopting modern technologies, while adhering to traditional ideologies. Situated in the urban context of the National Capital Region, the immediate vicinity of the house is shrouded in high density residential units, replicated in form and typology, therefore defining a specific architectural language. Within the realms of this urban scenario, the site of the Minaret House is adjacent to an expansive golf course in a proposed development scheme.
Since the area continues to see a rise in construction and related activities, it became truly important that the design of the Minaret House involve careful consideration of the context. Since it would be the first and only residential entity built in this planned development, its defining presence amassed immense value and even responsibility, as a prelude to the subsequent constructions which would follow with further development.
In the urban day scenario, architectural heritage is inexplicably losing its significance in many arenas gradually. While considering the design of the Minaret House, it was felt that adopting and reinterpreting traditional architectural principles would be an ideal means to propagate its revival, even in an urban context. The extensive heritage architecture that gives a glimpse into the history and growth of architecture in India also offers valuable defining lessons about the formation and evolution of physical spaces, and this has been one of the guiding principles in the design of the Minaret House.
For instance, effective climate based architectural solutions have been generated in the centuries past, as these issues have been confronted and combated with in examples from historic buildings. There innumerable construction technologies, vernacular implemented, which have bettered the strategy of passive cooling of interior spaces in hot, dry climates. Similarly, in the design of the house, a natural ventilation system has been employed, which is, the Minaret. The Minaret, or wind tower is a design element which is based in historic architecture, and its use has been marked centuries ago, especially in the various regions with deserts and arid climates across the world. Notably, the Egyptian civilization was among the earliest to have adopted this solution to a physical form, based on their observation of the related phenomenon.
The Minaret, that it, the wind tower, has been designed herein with central integration and the façade which is exposed is directed towards the southwest side. Therefore, this exposure causes the air inside the tower to hear up quickly. The induced negative pressure at the top then causes it to rise and be expelled outwards, which thereby causes a continuous flow of air inside the house, leading to passive cooling.
Additional measures include large fenestrations which face the green terraces located in the front of the house as well as the golf course, which is at the rear. This allows cross ventilation, and all peripheral habitable rooms of the house are thus kept cool. These design solutions effectively help in lowering indoor temperatures, and therefore, reduce energy expenditure.
The orientation of the building, accorded with reference to the solar conditions, has helped in reducing heat gains, despite the external weather. Design techniques such as intricacy of façade are not aesthetic dependent decisions, but have been employed to inter-shade the exterior walls, also an aid in the reduction of heat gains.
The traditional architectural ideology is not restricted to the form and elements alone. It has been adopted in the character of the house, as depicted by the planning implemented in the placement of the public and private zones, the arrangement of the functions and the demarcation of the circulation through the house, eventually morphing into varying spatial volumes. The idea is to involve design elements and patterns in planning which contribute in inducing curiosity and encouraging uniqueness in spatial experiences.
The Minaret House is a derivation in design, and has taken into account the civic context, the urban morphology and architectural language, traditional examples and elements which have been translated into a contemporary unit, which exemplify the social and cultural realms of the region, and idea a holistic application of architectural prowess.
With their message in architecture blemishing ‘Regenerative Architecture’, which is defined by them as a combination of traditional methodologies and modern technologies. The term ‘Regenerative’ describes processes that restore, renew and revitalize their original source of energy and materials. Create sustainable systems that integrate needs of society with integrity of nature.
Their practice, as indicated by this example, believes in the generation of holistic building habitats. Evolving from traditional lessons, their designs include further subtleties, and rooted in technologies which suit the present day. The aim is to create ecologically sensitive and sound spaces and elegance in building environments.
-Devashree Vyas, Volume Zero.