The client of Samira Rathod, the principal architect and founder of Samira Rathod Design Atelier, had only one demand for their home — that it remain cool naturally.

Taking up the challenge, Samira used various architectural designs to maintain a low temperature in the house located in Bharuch, Gujarat, which took around five years of sketching, drawing and experimenting to complete.

“The client wanted a ‘cool’ house metaphorically and literally, so that is what we delivered. We used the direction of the winds, design, and cooling materials to lower the heat of the house,” she says.

The land on which the house was to be constructed did not have a view, so Samira decided to make the house an introverted one, with all the views opening inside rather than outside.

The architect also created a channel running across the northeast and southwest directions, so that the Bharuch wind could pass through the house.

Additionally, the house is built on a track-like design with rooms on either side of the house, and there are courtyards that help the wind circulate.

To cool the wind passing through the house, the architect built a waterbody on the south side of the house.

To combat the heat, the house utilises 18-inch thick external walls and a soothing lime plaster interior, effectively keeping the rooms cool and breezy.

To make the house sustainable, they used upcycled wood for the interior and solar panels for energy and installed solar geysers.

With all these efforts in place, Samira was able to reduce the temperature of the house by 10 degrees Celsius.

“After the house was complete and ready to move into, I was concerned that all the thermal ideas that I used are on the test now. It was peak May and was burning outside. But inside, the house remained cool,” says Samira.