Urban House hosts a vivid play of light and shadows | Dipen Gada & Associates

What constitutes a beautiful house? I believe every house is unique to its natural setting, challenges the notions of domesticity and ideas of aesthetics as perceived by its architect. Embedded in all of it is a strong philosophy that lends it. It’s distinctive character and language. The same applies for this house as well. This is an urban house, a typical modern residence which has responded to the climate and site. It offers privacy to the users without having the typical response of being inward looking.

On the contrary it is in fact an outward looking house.  One of the USP of the project would be that it connects well with the most playful element of nature – the sun through its dynamic perforated screen that animates the spill out spaces with playful shadows throughout the day. The site situates itself in a dense commercial area of Baroda with a busy road and heavy flow of traffic on one edge on the plot.

Urban House hosts a vivid play of light and shadows | Dipen Gada & Associates


We wanted to create a very bold and minimal look to the house form the outside. Wanted to lend it a character that doesn’t make it look like an apartment. The elevation on the south thus sees a latticed red granite screen with artistic perforations at level 2 and 3.  Breathing green pockets in the form of beautiful terrace gardens are placed at level 1 and 4. The same element of the granite screen is repeated on the north façade at level 3. It is further complimented by a body of exposed concrete work casted in a rhythmic fashion like that of a corrugated sheet.

Ground floor

The client was keen on taking advantage of the fact that the plot lies in a commercial zone, thus proposing a large chunk on the south side facing the road for a generous size of showroom. Behind which is a bay that fits servant rooms. Entry to the main house happens from the internal society road on the north. The entrance foyer situates itself in the centre with the lift and staircase mass on the North west and a car park on the North east. The entrance foyer is a meticulously crafted double heighted atrium that radiates calm the moment one enters the house. The traditional concept of a jharokha has been designed with a modern touch and placed in the foyer. It is a stone body curated out of beige sandstone offering a visual connection with the first floor.

The journey upwards through both the staircase and the glass lift is an experience in itself. The subtle pastel greens rendered on the rcc walls of the lift, create a tranquil mood for the journey upwards.  The glass in the lift and the circular punctures in the wall allow once to enjoy the display of numerous art works as one moves up. It leads to an entrance foyer on each floor. Each of these foyers have been assembled in interesting ways to act as an introduction to each of the floors. Intriguing artworks help hide the electrical DB’s behind.

First floor

From the foyer area one enters into a central linear space, 16′ wide. It holds a family area and a double heighted dining space placed along an axis directly opening up into the terrace garden on the south. The South – East corner accommodates Kitchen, maharaja’s kitchen and other utilities. To the South – west there’s a room for the grandparents. All spaces, kitchen, dining and bedrooms face the terrace garden. To the North – East is a small formal living with glass windows that help build a visual connection with the entry foyer below.

Second floor

On the second floor, we have planned two bedrooms – a master bedroom on the South West and a daughter’s bedroom on the South – East. There is a large pooja space on the North – East corner with huge glass openings that frame the immediate greens around. The central seating area connects to the dining space below on one side and a double heighted tranquil zen garden like spill out on the other side.

Third floor

The third floor has yet another master bedroom on the South – West and a kid’s bedroom on the South – East, both enjoying the play of light and shadow offered by the latticed screen. A guest bedroom is tucked to the North- East side of the floor plate. An elliptical cut out in the slab offers visual connection with level two below. A stunning light installation on the ceiling adorns this space and adds interest to the ambulatory.

Fourth floor

On level four, we have planned a multipurpose area that is interconnected with a home theatre for gatherings. It is further extended into a large terrace garden on the south side. There is a tiny terrace garden to the North as well along with a gym, spa and a toilet with all modern facilities which we like to call a ‘fantasy toilet’. Unlike other bathrooms in the house, we generally like to propose one common bathroom in our projects which could be used by all occupants and modern facilities like the jacuzzi, sauna etc could be accommodated there.  The interiors for it are done in Travertine lit by mellowed lights which provide a very refreshing vibe to the space. 


Section of the house explains how each floor is connected to the floors above and below through either double heighted spaces or cut-outs in the slab. While it builds visual connection through the floors, it also allows for a really good air circulation throughout the house.

Plot layout and challenges

The plot is a fairly longitudinal and narrow piece of land with a total area of roughly 7,200 Sq.ft. As we began to design it, we saw several challenges that needed to be addressed. Owing to the fact that it was a compact site and the clients had elaborate requirement for 6 bedrooms, a retail space on ground floor along with other facilities; and no compromise on the quality of air, light, privacy and sound control, we only had one option – that was to build a tall house. With this comes the first challenge of not making it look and feel like and apartment but one like a humble residence, while establishing a nice internal visual connectivity between all the floors.

Fact File

Designed by: Dipen Gada & Associates

Project Type: Residential Interior & Architecture Design

Project Name: Aarti Villas

Location: Vadodara, Gujarat

Year Built: 2023

Duration of the project: 3 Years

Plot Area: 7265 Sq.ft

Built-up Area: 16200 sq. ft.

Principal Architects: Ar. Ishank Patel, Prashant Gujjar & Dev

Team Design Credits: Vishal Jani & Prakash Prajapati

Photograph Courtesy: Tejas Shah

Products / Materials / Vendors: Lighting – plustec / Sanitaryware – Kohler, Hansgrohe / Facade Systems – ACP sheet with CNC work / Windows – High Tech Alluminium / Flooring –Nexion, Italian Marble Kitchen – Makwana, Niarali / Paint – Asian Paints, ICA / Hardware – Hafele

Consultants for the Project: Civil – Bharat Mistry, Bindya / Interior Designers – DGA / Landscape Architects – Brijesh / MEP & HVAC Consultants – Chirag Electricals and Om Engineers / Structure Engineers –Anil Mistry / Lighting Designers – DGA

Firm’s Website Link: Dipen Gada & Associates

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