The Courtyard House is located at the edge of a cement plant in Rajasthan, India, where temperatures reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. To battle this extreme heat, the house was designed by Sanjay Puri Architects to take advantage of passive cooling strategies. Built from locally-sourced cement, which acts as a thermal mass, the home is based on traditional Indian courtyard houses that take advantage of daylighting, natural ventilation and plenty of open shaded spaces. Earth berms and gardens also serve to lower the homes microclimate and keep its inhabitants cool.
With this summer seeing record scorching temperatures and blackouts in India, the Courtyard House seems prepared to deal with the high temperatures. Designed by Mumbai-based Sanjay Puri Architects, the home is inspired by traditional architecture, but takes a decidedly modern approach. The large home features a number of private inner courtyards from which all the private rooms are built around a network of deep covered walkways. All of the rooms feature private, covered balconies or patios
that offer a shady buffer zone to protect the interior from overheating. Rooms are oriented to the capture the changing landscape from within, while still enjoying the coolness from the shade.
Rooms and spaces offer natural daylighting from multiple sides and cross breezes ensure that fresh air is always moving through. Built from locally-sourced cement, the materials acts as thermal mass to reduce internal temperatures. Buried partially into earth berms, the relatively constant ground temperature helps maintain cooler temperatures inside the home. The courtyards, earth berms and deeply recessed window create indoor spaces that are several degrees cooler than the outside. Additionally, a solar PV system on the roof works to generate power for use within the home.
Images ©Vinesh Gandhi