The 18 Screens house by Sanjay Puri Architects is a large family home inspired by the traditional Indian courtyard house but in a more contemporary context, responding to both climate and location.
Located in Lucknow city in India, a locale with a rich heritage and numerous 18th century buildings, the site of the home lies along a busy arterial road and is on the peripheral edge of an extensive plotted development for private homes. This peculiar location as well as the 35° C temperature of the lengthy summer months informed the notable design of the home. To tackle the intensity of the sun as well as privacy concerns, perforated patterned screens feature prominently along the facade of the home while a large central courtyard facilitates cross ventilation through its internal volumes.
The extensive requirements of the 6 bedroom house are interspersed with sheltered open terraces and landscaped gardens around a 2 floor high naturally ventilated courtyard. Patterned screens derived from traditional Indian architecture and the famous Lucknow ‘chikan’ embroidery sheath outdoor seating areas for each room on the south, west and east sides. These screens provide shelter from the sun, create different light patterns throughout the day and mitigate traffic noise from the busy arterial road on the southern side.
Large glass windows on the northern side allow indirect light to infuse the internal spaces of the house. Varying volumetric proportions with differing sectional spaces create an individual identity to each living space with the courtyard cohesively integrating them together. Built almost entirely in raw concrete, a natural palette of sandstone and wood with muted colors, vivid Indian art and landscape are brought together in different compositions in each of the internal volumes.
A large garden on the north penetrating up to the internal courtyard between rooms has partial shadows at most times of the day allowing it to be used in the extensive summers too. A series of experiences are created in this house that by its design facilitates natural ventilation and sunlight within and is simultaneously contextual to the location, sun articulation, tradition, culture, and social aspects.