Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

PRAIRIE HOUSE

Arch.Lab

ARCHITECTS
Arch.Lab

CATAGORY
Houses

MANUFACTURERS
American Standard, Grohe, XAL, Emcer Tiles, Innovative Komforts, Spacewood, Thermopine

LOCATION
Chandigarh, India

AREA
869 m²

YEAR
2020

LEAD ARCHITECTS
Mohit Vij, Harsimran Singh, Renuka Prashar, Harmeet Singh, Saanya Arora, Pragya Issar

The house is largely a depiction of a fusion of the client’s lifestyle requirements shaped through the design ideology. The clients were a family consisting of three generations (a couple, their parents, and two children) with a simple brief of wanting to be on the same level so that they would be around the young kids and have spaces to entertain their guests additionally.

Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

This meant to have distinct spaces for each generation and yet, integrate them on the same level inside, as well as with the outdoor spaces. Here, we re-interpret the perception of courtyards, basements, and shelters.

Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

The idea of shelter has been translated as a large overhang, trying to complement and extend the shelter of the existing trees on site. The conceptual start was to represent each space as an individual volume and each volume distinct. The design outcome is a play of three distinct blocks, each with an inside-out representation of function through materials namely stone and brick.

Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

There are two courtyards one at the basement level and one at the ground.Spatially, the functions are organized as formal and informal spaces on the ground. At the entrance, the first focal point is a strategically placed water body extending out over a sunken courtyard.

It screens the rear informal spaces as well as brings reflections of light into the entrance space. The common spaces are in one bay and bedrooms in another. Each bedroom has access to an open space – the parent’s room has the front yard, the kid’s room has the second courtyard, and the master bedroom has the backyard.

There is a straight flight staircase in the central space that highlights the linearity of the circulation space.Basement sunken courtyard is placed designed for access to light, and air as well as access to outdoor greens making the gym, home theatre, pool table (recreation), and small living space more breathable.

Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

A connection through the extended steps access to ground floor outdoor spaces and makes one continuous space for hosting get-togethers and events.The first floor has a room for kids for future use and a guest room.

Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

The second floor houses the servant’s quarter at the rear and considering the site is a corner plot, they have an independent entrance on the ground from the side with access from the rear. Living spaces have been provided on the first floor as well that open onto a terrace with an overhang.

Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Prairie House
© Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

This overhang covers all the terraces as a unifying element. The result is intersecting volumes that have been humbled into the earth and wrapped in brick and stone for both an earthy and contemporary vibe, with a shelter in wood floating above that brings out the warmth of an abode.


Prairie House
Front Elevation
Prairie House
Side Elevation


Prairie House
Section A-A
Prairie House
Section B-B
Prairie House
Section C-C


Prairie House
Plan - Basement Floor

Prairie House
Plan - Ground Floor

Prairie House
Plan - Terrace Floor

Prairie House
Plan - 1st Floor