Urban Green Home
Ira Gosalia, Phx

Urban Green Home

Architecture BRIO as Architects

The Urban Green Home is located on the 3rd and 4th floor of a newly developed apartment building in a dense urban neighbourhood of Mumbai. This part of the city has seen many bungalows transforming into narrow apartment buildings. These building seem to almost hug each other shoulder to shoulder.

The earlier suburban quality of bungalows surrounded by green has mostly been lost in this transformation. Therefore a large part of the process of designing the apartment was about redefining the relation of the interior spaces with the outdoors. Along with the architects of the building we decided to include a courtyard in the centre of the duplex apartment.

Caption

Urban Courtyard

The client could have easily chosen to maximise the floor area, but declined to do so. Instead they agreed to opt to dedicate a large portion of their home to an outdoor space. In a city where new apartment buildings are designed mostly as glass towers, without balconies and limited possibilities of opening windows, this was a wise decision.

So the courtyard became the central element of the house. It wasn’t an actual courtyard in its true sense. Because by definition a courtyard is a space that is surrounded by rooms but that is open to the sky. Obviously in the middle of an apartment building you are not able to accommodate  an open to sky courtyard. But we wanted to find a way to could re-create the sense of a courtyard and it’s qualities. Introduce light, ventilation, a social interactive space and visual transparency and connectivity across the house. Therefore we asked ourselves how we could redefine a courtyard within an apartment building in a dense urban neighbourhood.

photo_credit Ira Gosalia, Phx
Ira Gosalia, Phx

An Anchor in the House

So after we established this, most of the dialogue was around this one space. How would it act as an anchor to the house? Instead of placing a double height outdoor space on the side, facing the street, (what usually is done), here we placed the courtyard in the centre of the plan.

The double height courtyard greets you when you enter the Urban Green Home. The variations in shades, textures and tones of the stone floor washes this space in greenness. Grasses intersperse along with a tall fiddle leaf fig plant in the central space. Since the apartment is located on the third and fourth storey of the building, it also benefits from being at the level of treetops. The courtyard and verandah space therefore extend the green visual element beyond to the tree.

Caption

Open Plan

We envisioned the common areas of the lower level of the urban green home as a more fluid space. Spaces extend into each other visually. However it is not a complete “open plan” layout. Instead we wanted to avoid revealing each space completely at first glance. By arranging the floor plan in such a manner that there is never a full overview of the apartment, it creates a sense of curiosity of what lays beyond. 

The upper level contains a series of rooms that open up to a central family room, which in turn overlooks the double height courtyard. Therefore the courtyard really anchors the house. Steel framed windows surround the courtyard. They make the two levels speak to each other, and appear the house as one cohesive unit. 

Caption

 

Project Spotlight
Product Spotlight
News
ZAV Architects leverages the “grandmother’s” circular economy approach in design of Dr. Beski Science Foundation
19 Jun 2024 News
ZAV Architects leverages the “grandmother’s” circular economy approach in design of Dr. Beski Science Foundation

Iranian architectural office ZAV Architects features in Archello’s 25 best architecture firms... More

Hyperboloid Green Ark pavilion forms heart of Meise Botanic Garden greenhouse complex
19 Jun 2024 News
Hyperboloid Green Ark pavilion forms heart of Meise Botanic Garden greenhouse complex

Meise Botanic Garden, one of the world's largest botanical gardens, recently inaugurated the Green A... More

Six Bricolage Houses: An inventive model for urban renewal and housing design in Nantou, Shenzhen
18 Jun 2024 News
Six Bricolage Houses: An inventive model for urban renewal and housing design in Nantou, Shenzhen

ARCity Office embarked on a project that would establish a new typology of “bricolage architec... More

BYRÓ architekti’s charred wood-clad garden pavilion in Prague reimagines the mundane garden shed
17 Jun 2024 News
BYRÓ architekti’s charred wood-clad garden pavilion in Prague reimagines the mundane garden shed

Prague-based BYRÓ architekti has completed a small and contemporary charred wood-clad garden... More

25 best outdoor furniture manufacturers
17 Jun 2024 Specification
25 best outdoor furniture manufacturers

Outdoor furniture, crafted for patios, decks, balconies, gardens, and other open-air spaces, is typi... More

Landscape Forms & Urbidermis: Partners in Modern Urban Transformation
17 Jun 2024 Sponsored Articles
Landscape Forms & Urbidermis: Partners in Modern Urban Transformation

Landscape Forms, the official and long-time partner of Urbidermis in the USA and Canada, works close... More

31/44 Architects designs London house filled with architectural character
14 Jun 2024 News
31/44 Architects designs London house filled with architectural character

31/44 Architects designed “Six Columns” as a home for studio co-founder Will Burges. Sit... More

Benthem Crouwel Architects transforms Amsterdam office tower with an innovative wooden extension
13 Jun 2024 News
Benthem Crouwel Architects transforms Amsterdam office tower with an innovative wooden extension

District West in Sloterdijk, Amsterdam is currently undergoing a transformative redevelopment, conve... More