The Toda Mangra House occupies a constricted footprint in Rajsamand – a small town in Rajasthan with a rich cultural heritage and availability of skill for working stone. A response to the climate, the programme and the aspirations of the clients, the house is an articulate work of architecture that neither makes rash moves to stand out in the context and nor submits to the norm.
Seeking an identity for itself, the eloquent square plan of the house is organized in fluid and multi-functional spaces as the idea of a singular central court in the arid plains is fragmented and re-organized as a set of courts that buffer the internal spaces. While the external wall creates a seeming separation from the street, the house starts responding to the intricate fabric of its context as one moves to the floors above.
The complex section shows the breaking-down of scale as one approaches the corner of the street. The volumes thus created within allow controlled light to infuse into the core usable areas also vertically connecting the spaces within. The rough dark stone of the envelope is balanced by the smooth, polished marble of the interior space – a stone that reflects the limited light allowed in.
The role of contemporary architects to impact the suburban and rural contexts has been limited especially in projects with modest budgets and demanding aspirations. By creating a complex set of spaces within a simple cuboidal volume, Ar.Girish Dariyav Karnawat has ensured that the Toda Mangra House reacts to both – its astute architectural logic and its contextual obligations representing the potential of architectural thinking in designing for peri-urban contexts and therefore, the Toda Mangra House in Rajsamand is a citation project in The Merit List.