This Light-Washed Vadodara Farmhouse Is An Ode To Living Harmoniously With Nature

  • 4 Mar '24
  • 6:12 pm by Rashmi Gopal Rao

Nestled amidst a sprawling plot of 43,600 square feet, this farmhouse epitomizes the symbiotic connection between man and the environment.  The site is located on the outskirts of Vadodara near a village named Aampad. The central ethos of this space designed by Vadodara-based Dipen Gada Associates is the celebration of nature.  “One of the most interesting aspects of this house is that it is both an inward as well as an outward-looking home at the same time,” says Dipen Gada, Principal Designer of Dipen Gada Associates.  This stunning feature has been made possible through design elements like dynamic perforated screens and courtyards that not only create an interesting play of light and shadows throughout the day but also seamlessly bring the outside in.

The tall concave wall at the entrance whose contour leads to the concealed main door serves to provide an element of intrigue in the overall design (Image Credit: Tejas Shah)

Country House With A Touch Of Earthy Chic

The house is surrounded by a picturesque garden with a small orchard located on one corner of the site. According to Gada the client is a prominent real estate developer, “The client approached us with a very lucid requirement of building a second home where his family of four could unwind and relax in the lap of nature,” says Gada. “This is our second project with the client and hence there was a very good rapport which allowed for smooth execution and pace,” he adds. The plot, which is a quadrilateral piece of land with an orchard was commissioned to create a second home with two bedrooms, living areas, kitchen, and dining areas.  This gave the design team plenty of room to work around the plot while limiting the house to just one floor.  Given that it was a farmhouse, there was a conscious effort to infuse a countryside character into the house which explains the generous use of bricks, Mangalore tiles, and a sloping roof.  Indigenous materials like cane, lime plaster, brick courtyards, and terrazzo add rustic charm to the space.  The house is rooted and complements its natural surroundings due to the use of these natural materials. Needless to mention, these materials are also easy to upkeep, making the maintenance of the home easy. 

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The foyer space casts antique jalis as the main design element and is complemented by the solid wood console from Lakkadharra. A carved door serves as the backdrop for the bar space which has been furnished with high chairs crafted in warm tones by Hanuzzi (Image Credits: Tejas Shah)

Perforations And Jalis Allow Natural Light Into The Home

A key distinguishing characteristic of the house is the ample use of perforations and ‘jalis’ whose patterns were finalized after much deliberation and thought. “The tall concave wall at the entrance whose contour leads you to the main door adds the right amount of surprise and intrigue, especially with the engaging sciography it renders on the cobbled floor,” adds Gada. The foyer space at the entrance with cast antique jalis is unmissable.  All the rooms of the house, the living- dining, and both bedrooms open into a semi-covered courtyard with the brick jali to serve as an open space on one end.  This blends the indoors with the outdoors effortlessly. It is interesting to note that the jalis have also been incorporated into spaces like the bathroom wall and furniture pieces like the solid wood foyer console sourced from Lakkadharra. The effect is a plethora of light patterns, silhouettes, and motifs throughout the day.  Apart from enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the space, these jalis play a key role in the cooling and ventilation of the entire structure.  

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The minimalistic dining space borrows hues from nature with its earthy palette and has chairs from the Wooden Story which perfectly pair with the cantilevered table. Jali work on the wall at one end of the bathroom is yet another distinguishing feature of the design. (Image Credits: Tejas Shah)

Central Focal Point For The Minimalistically Styled Spaces

The entire house has been constructed in an ‘L-shaped’ plan to divide the public and private spaces into separate wings. There is a central courtyard-like space that encloses an inviting pool. This space is demarcated by a tall frame made of exposed brick. “An ambulatory on either side covered with a sloping roof enclosing a stark blue pool amidst the verdant greenery combines functionality with aesthetics,” says Gada. This ambulatory serves to connect to all the rooms on the other end. Thus, even though one is inside the house, there is an eternal connection with the outdoors at all times.  

All spaces have a muted monochromatic character occasionally accentuated by pops of colour in the form of artwork and upholstery.  The living room blends tradition and modernity with the wood beam rafters on the ceiling. The sofa, chairs, and coffee table from Studio Works in tones of sage green and beige, and the decorative light fixtures from The Wicker Story make for a study in the use of natural colours. The contiguous dining room mimics the colour scheme of the living area and has chairs from the Wooden Story which perfectly pair with the cantilevered table.  


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Tall frames of exposed brick serve to demarcate and set the boundaries for the swimming pool (Image Credits: Tejas Shah)

The small yet impactful bar space has a carved wooden door as the backdrop which adds an organic touch to the space.  The high chairs crafted in warm tones for the bar are by Hanuzzi while the overhead elegant pendant lamps have been sourced from FabIndia. The bedroom is a fine example of bringing the outdoors inside as it uses large glass partitions that also give the room an open and airy feel. The earthy colour palette borrows from the hues of nature – with notes of beige, green, and brown that allow seamless integration of the exterior with the interior. The benches from Dtale Modern add a layer of seating in the bedroom and the pendant lights from Chennai Chairs add a nice rustic touch.  The seating and console from BESO tie all the elements together. The design of this farmhouse is an ode to the concept of living harmoniously with nature and makes a compelling case for sustainable design choices.