; Gurjit Matharoo’s project in Ahmedabad celebrates the Brutalist movement in architecture

Homes

From spatial scale to the play of light and use of material, Gurjit Matharoo’s project in Ahmedabad celebrates the Brutalist movement in architecture with an incredibly modern flair

JAN 31, 2023 | By Gurjit Singh Matharoo
Two double-storeyed rectangular blocks are placed parallel to each other in this space. Between them rests the living area; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri
The curve in the house begins at the entrance and encircles the kitchen to form a utility yard outside; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri
The regularity of Kadappa sand stone-clad boxes is broken by a curved wall in bare concrete that extends along all three axes; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri
The intersecting plane rises up from the verandah to enclose the lounge at the upper level, and turns into a floating curved slab; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri

The house is named “Stripped Mobius” — a pun on the minimalistic approach to the design. We had to adhere to strict Vaastu guidelines that the clients were extremely particular about, and the resultant box-like structure was broken by juxtaposing large sweeping curves onto the composition.

The structure consists of a simple construct of two cuddapah-clad double-storied rectangular blocks placed parallel to each other along the north-south axis. One functions as the guest wing with the entrance, formal living room, guest room and kitchen, while the other includes the private quarters like the master bedroom, parents’ room and bedrooms for the children.

In the basement, the sharp light reflects on the polished floor surface and against transparent glass planes forming a profound juxtaposition; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri

The void between the two blocks plays host to the family living and dining spaces, a temple and large shaded verandahs that open to gardens on the North and South. Simulating a Mobius strip, it enables the removal of strict boundaries between spaces, modulating them into contradictions that work beautifully together — both inside and outside, contained and yet spilled, lofty as well as intimate.

Sunlight streams in from the South to illuminate the dining space; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri

The challenge for large homes is quite similar in our context – generations bound by family business and obliged by ingrained traditional values, choose to live together.

The Vaastu-compliant skylight enlivens the centre of the house; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri

This often leads to the creation of autonomous suites within the house. It was important to simultaneously integrate the requirements of the opposing lifestyles of different generations and provide opportunities for family time, while safeguarding the privacy of individual members.

The rectangular blocks are parallel to each other and oriented along the North-South axis where a temple and large shaded verandahs open to gardens; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri

Located on a secured plot and abutted by large villas on three sides, another challenge was to maintain privacy. There is an increasing paradox in homes as windows are getting larger but end up remaining closed with curtains at all times. A system of brise-soleil and deep shaded verandahs function as natural screens that hide the house from inadvertently prying eyes. They also double up as elements that cast beautiful, intriguing and ever-changing shadows on the outside at all times.

Scroll below for more images from this Brutalist-inspired home!

Both the cladding stone and the Kota stone of the flooring are Indian sandstones—economical, easy to maintain and in line with the grey tones of the palette. Wooden panelling is used extensively on the interior to bring in warmth; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri

 

The door has not been given a frame to add to the spatial aesthetic; Photographs by Jignesh Jhaveri