Text: Himanshu Burte
We expect relatively sustainable buildings to look ‘different’. Khadke house (4000 square feet,six bedrooms), designed by Girish Doshi for Pune’s composite climate with its hot-dry summers, looks like any other elegant contemporary house designed by a very skilled architect. Built for a joint family that had earlier lived in a traditional wada in the old heart of Pune, it is designed like a wada but also has the usual modernist characteristics- white walls (inside and out), a simple cuboidal form, and the very contemporary accent of polished wooden elements in windows and related elements. These are not automatic markers of sustainable form. And yet, this building is actually much more sustainable than most others.
There are two innovations at work in the house. One is related to construction technique that saves energy intensive materials in the masonry and RCC work. Another is about inducing ventilation using wind towers.