A sustainable eco-friendly home in Noida - Anahat by Ant Studio.
Surrounded by agricultural land and horse tables, Ant Studio's Anahat merges with the environment, yet profoundly stands out.
Beyond a wide gate at the edge of the city, an avenue of large trees opens up. The singing birds and rustling leaves soak the noise of urban life upon walking inside. A distinctive built form reveals itself slowly, peeking in from behind the large canopy of trees and announcing itself with a composition of varying geometric volumes. Opaque shades of white compliment the transparency of glass, defining the visual vocabulary of these volumes.
“The name Anahat means from the heart”, recites principal architect Monish Siripurapu, for whom this house was an imaginative dream project; a spatial experiment transcending conventional boundaries of the built environment.
“The whole idea is to connect the building to Earth, and bring in this beautiful light” – Ar. Monish Siripurapu
Location: Sector 126, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Plot Area: 47750 sq. ft.
Completion Year: 2021
No. of Bedrooms: 5
While Ar. Monish’s intent to blend the building with the landscape feels soft upon arrival, the built form literally and figuratively connects to earth in a radically experimental yet logical design demeanor. He goes on to passionately describe the design process behind this built canvas, with the faint neighing of horses in the background giving the occasional affirmation.
A straight stretch of the Bandh Road defines the edge of Noida, disconnecting the corporate city buildings from the vast spread of agricultural land, where Anahat sits. This is where Siddhant Sharma, a polo player by profession and one of the four members of the family, nurtures and trains his horses. The layout of open spaces and placement of horse stables allow sufficient area for the paddocks and separate them from the building footprint. This also enables interaction and congregation.
EMERGENCE OF A RADICAL FORM
A deep-rooted belief in sustainability led to the initial decision to integrate an upper floor over the renovated existing structure, instead of building a new one from the ground up. The placement of the swimming pool on the site protects the horses from the pool and the building. It also creates an experimental intervention connecting the building to earth, translating to an organic form.
The structure curves and places itself on top of the contrasting clean geometry and traditional vocabulary of the existing house. Punctures in the form of courtyards, skylights, and large windows bring in natural light from all directions throughout the day, adding to the variance in spatial experience inside Anahat.
THE SUNKEN CENTRAL SPACE
The essence of the house is expressed in the central dining and living space arranged in an open floor plan layout, serving multiple purposes. This simple design decision psychologically enables family members and guests to assemble and settle down, encouraging slow and relaxed living in this family home.
Visually, this sunken space also allows vision to expand into the central landscape and bring natural light in abundance. Ar. Monish occupies the living room and describes the characteristics of the large central space that is well ventilated and de-cluttered.
As the architect takes a pause from passionately explaining the spaces of this home, he points towards the background which highlights his presence. A dreamlike sculpture is stood there, consisting of several terracotta tiles that reveal its structural glory the longer it’s looked at. This innovation plays the most loveable and fascinating character in the cinematic-built landscape of Anahat.
MATERIALITY – INTEGRATING VERNACULAR WITH THE MODERN
The juxtaposition of materials is a subtle yet careful relationship between traditional vernacular materials and sleek modern elements. This eclectic palette in a minimal setting transforms every space into a warm surprise, giving Anahat its personality. There is a contrast in materiality, yet a rhythm in all spaces on the ground floor and upper floor. The architect thoroughly explains the spaces and materials on both the floors, as the afternoon light from the exterior skin of the upper floor performs its part.
Anahat is an innovative masterpiece in the field of architecture and the built environment as well as a case study in imaginative building design. It is a recipe consisting of both the past and the contemporary as ingredients, utilised in perfect ratios.
Ar. Monish intends for the space to have a dialogue with nature and seek light. A reflection on promoting sustainability and minimal waste generation throughout the design process, this Ant Studio project radicalizes critical regionalism in the current Indian landscape.
To watch the full video of Anahat and access a detailed E-Book of the project, visit here.
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BEHIND THE LENS
POV: THE BUILDOFY TEAM AT ANAHAT
February 7, 2022 - SHOOT DAY
Jaidev from Team Buildofy had the privilege to visit Anahat and interview Ar. Monish as part of the documentation process. He says:
"Visiting Anahat was surreal. It reminded me to look around and acknowledge slow living, from the point of view of not only a guest but also an observer. The sunlight here is equally an important member of this home. It is dynamic, moody, and reflective, yet constantly present. The sounds of the living are ambient. You find yourself nodding your head in agreement when Monish describes Anahat as a limitless representation of the heart."