Lush Gardens Soften This Rugged Stone Residence in India

House of Secret Gardens in Ahmedabad is a monolithic home interrupted by cooling gardens and pools.

When tapped to design a private residence in Ahmedabad, India, SPASM Design was inspired by the Dhrangadhra stone found in nearby quarries, which had been used to build many of the ancient buildings in the region. "The cellular structure of this sandstone holds intermittent microscopic air gaps, acting as an insulation panel itself," says the firm. "This led to the idea of cladding the entire body of the house as a monolith." 

From there, they designed the 14,000-square-foot house in the shape of a cross, then surrounded it with several gardens to aid in ventilation and foster a seamless, indoor/outdoor feel, which led to the project’s name: the House of Secret Gardens. 

Wood accents are used throughout as a counterpoint to the texture and cream color of the Dhrangadhra stone. This material mix starts at the entry. 

"In Ahmedabad, we find the light very sharp and harsh at times," says SPASM Design. Strategic shading is ensured with the slatted roof treatment.

Stone stairs on the perimeter of a main courtyard ascend to a rooftop garden. Large windows on the other side of the living area overlook an enclosed water feature with a statue of a monk.

"A long search for an appropriate emotion for the water body ended in the commissioning of a life-size sculpture of a pensive monk in Beslana stone, gingerly poised on the water’s surface as if levitating," say the architects.

Expansive glass doors open onto the main courtyard. 

Water features pepper the gardens throughout.

Gardens surround the stone facade for a softening effect.

Some of the stone on the facade was broken by hand for textural contrast and utility. "Rough cuts perpendicular to the building face cause incident shadows, hence cooling the face and creating an ever-changing rhythm of shadows and light," describe the architects.

A roof of horizontal slats filters the harsh light and creates moody shadows.

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Wood encases a living area to provide a sense of enclosure between two expanses of glass.

Wood stairs and walls warm up the double-height volume of the stairwell. Custom artwork can be found throughout the home.

Brass accents at the stairway and in a custom display unit.

Marble slabs adorn the wall, and bespoke lighting illuminates the table in the dining room.

More by SPASM Design: A Modern Home in India Evokes Emotion With a Giant 4-Ton Rock

Project Credits:

Architecture: SPASM Design (@spasmdesignarchitects)

Builder: Mahir Builtcon

Structural Engineer: Ducon Consultants Pvt. Ltd

Landscape Design: Kunal Maniar & Associates

Interior Design: SPASM Design


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