House 1206, Gurgaon

The courtyard house was built on two adjacent five hundred square yard plots of land in Gurgaon, Haryana. The house was originally built in the mid 90’s by the architect Gautam Bhatia. A decade later, RLDA was responsible for the extensive renovation and restructuring of the house while Gautam worked on the re-design of the surrounding landscape The renovation project involved creating a dual sense of both intimacy and expansiveness within the space as well as through the landscape.

This was achieved through the creation and integration of courts, and courtyards at both the lower as well as upper levels of the house. Water bodies along with verandahs further help create an ambiguous relationship between the inside of the house and its immediate surroundings along with the continuity of a material palette between landscaped areas and interior finishes. There was a great need to introduce natural light into the spaces as well.

The architectural language of the existing structure was retained, to maintain continuity with the projects history. A few new elements were introduced to further articulate the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. The relationship between the existing building and its new re-incarnation is most evident in its spatial reconfiguration and its relationship to the landscape Most notably the living room was expanded by combining two rooms and extending it into the garden. Furthermore, the floor level was dropped so as to make it at one with the garden. This coupled with the large teak wood windows that wrap around the room and the continuity of materiality blur the relationship between enclosure and landscape.

A small courtyard around which the plans hinges further makes a visitor aware of this ambiguity. Plantation too has been judiciously done close to the house to blur the scale relationships between architecture and soft-scape.

From the main entry lobby, the house reveals itself gradually as one proceeds, to the West and North sides, towards an intimate seating area that leads further into either a separate large study to the left, or into the living room to the right. To the East side of the main entry lobby, one moves into the dining room, the kitchen (in the Southeast) and the adjoining patio (that is used for all fresco dining) overlooking a tranquil water pool in the Northeast, The powder room, which gives the appearance of being a small picture gallery rather than a powder room, is located between the study and the living room.

The stairway ascends to the first floor which accommodates three separate bedrooms; a family room with an attached kitchenette; a "puja"/meditation room overlooking the waterfall below; and a court attached to the family room and the guest bedroom.

The stairs to the second floor pause at mid-level to provide a tree-top level perch overlooking the Bauhinia tree in the entry court on one side and the family room on the first floor on the other; a mid-stairs level seating area, with its astern, southern and western orientation, is ideal for soaking in the winter sun from morning to evening.