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Avaasa- Looking into a real-estate opportunity

Project Type: Urban Housing

Location: Patna, Bihar, India

Design Team: Tunisha Mehta, Divya Singh, Shubha Pal

Home to a retired airforce employee's family, on a piece of land they recently bought, is located in Patna, Bihar. We were delighted to get an opportunity to design a duplex residence entirely customised for the client's family. As opposed to having a bespoke duplex for his family, he requested us to design a typical unit to house his own family on one floor and the rest to rent out when he approached us with his small 1600sqft land. Initially, we thought it was pretty stingy of them, but we were nearly not as calculative as we were judgemental of our client.


As architects, sometimes we only tend to think of our work as a piece of art and function for our portfolio's glamour and not as a work of economics. Having retired from his airforce job, the client wanted a source of passive income for his family. This gave us an essential insight. That middle-class bourgeois, although aspirational in its taste, is constantly looking for a source of passive income from their private real estate. Anyone with a bit of real-estate shrewdness and work around the numbers will understand what my client is doing is plain genius. Here's why. Learn How our client used his privately owned land to generate a profit of 450% in 10 years.

The client, too stringent about not wasting a single square foot, loved arches and terracotta. Taking these cues of the economics, aesthetics and program they were looking at, we turned their property into a 2 bedroom apartment on the ground floor, 3 bedroom apartments on the first and second floor each. The foundation and structure are provided for future vertical expansion as per his request. We translated their brief into a carefully balanced design of massive arches with its elevation clad in terracotta tiles. The context of the house was set very tight, with buildings flanging both sides too close to the boundary.  We designed the house to allow as much natural light inside the house as possible; all the bedrooms open into balconies, and the living areas are well lit through large windows.


The house will be constructed with CSEB (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks) and a concrete framed structure with strategically placed openings for cross-ventilation. CSEB are mud blocks prepared by compressing gravel, sand and cement together and whose embodied energy( 1,112.36 MJ/m3 ) is four times lesser than that of a country fired brick (4,501.25 MJ/m3). 

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