Excerpt: Jungalow 2, a residence designed by Neogenesis + Studio 261 was conceived as three separate units completely self-contained, functioning distinctly yet seamlessly allied, where the well-knit extended family would be happily cohabiting. The building comfortably sits on the west while opening up the remaining plot to become a common space and forming contiguity with the entrance.
[Text as submitted by architect] Standing among the open fields on the outskirts of Surat, ‘Jungalow 2’, as they call it, is an outcome of the designer’s sensitivity towards nature and sustainability. The designer’s earlier project, ‘Jungalow, has a generous amount of plantation incorporated throughout the building, lending it a verdant feel despite the project’s urban setting. Their same instinct to connect spaces more closely to nature is what made ‘Jungalow 2’.
This extrovert abode belongs to an agriculturist family. They came up with the concise brief that their new home should have three separate units completely self-contained, functioning distinctly yet seamlessly allied, where the well-knit extended family would be happily cohabiting.
The building comfortably sits on the west while opening up the remaining plot to become a common space, forming contiguity with the entrance otta. The residence is conceived as a singular unit of three adjunct homes with staggered massing and a diverse otta. Each Otta, integrated differently, is what gives it identity and individuality.
The layout prioritizes open spaces with fewer separations and encourages communication. The four-bedroom abode is well-connected to greens and terraces. The bedroom on the uppermost level sets a stage to gaze at the open farmlands.
The pooja, an inimitable element, is a free-suspended RCC wall hanging from the slab above, which acts as a divider at the entry while the concave portion houses the pooja. The material palette is carefully curated to exhibit the physicality and textures in their honest form to keep the overall look earthy and to pair up with the naturality of the flora.
The house is clothed with materials such as earth bricks, exposed RCC, mandana stone, reclaimed wood, metal, and glass. Mandana limestone is used as a flooring material (owing to its palpable benefits over sandstone) to minimize glare, keeping in mind the climate of Surat. Earth brick, made of compressed soil mixed with Mandana stone dust, was sun-dried, minimizing the carbon footprint. Earth-brick, exposed RCC slabs, lime-plastered walls with finished ply, and reclaimed wood keep the interiors timeless.
A keen eye was provided to the detailing of elements to revive the local artistry and fading techniques.
The sense of being wrapped in greenery is further made apparent by a courtyard, skylights, and large openings. The pivot windows and the Mandana louvers provide the least barrier as they visually allow one to extend into the greens. Shaded porches, breezy courtyards, and green terraces cater to a comfortable ambiance with great habitation potential. The skylights elegantly render the exposed brick and RCC walls with the golden radiance of the transitioning sun’s movement.
Furniture and light fixtures are custom-detailed to complement the space. Only the obligatory furniture pieces are crafted to make a home appear spacious without devaluing comfort. Landscapes are designed keeping in mind the earthy materials for which xerophytic and related species such as rubram grass, rhoeo, and terminalia are favored.
The image of the home is traditional yet contemporary, big yet grounded, and three yet one, which fine-tunes the architecture to achieve an innate presence in the lush backdrop.