This House Effectively Illustrates Contemporary Vernacular Architecture Located in Gujarat

The Ancestral House by D’WELL

Situated in the traditional town scale context of ‘Meta’, this bungalow belongs to a family of a diamond merchant who migrated to Surat city for business expansion.

While the family’s roots are still connected with their native, the brief for architects at D'WELL was to design a house in the ancestral land, for generations to come. Design concerns revolved around the constant quest to translate traditional - vernacular concepts into contemporary vocabulary.


The challenge was an irregular-shaped land with shared walls on three sides and an open front on the West. Hence the intention was to carve out the built and keep it as porous as possible providing a constant flow of light and ventilation. Also, the façade is treated harmoniously with surrounding built mass such that it expresses continuation with the traditional visuals of the place; allowing it to merge seamlessly in the existing streetscape.

The small squares in repetition are borrowed from a very interesting seen pattern on the parapets of the surrounding houses. This same language of intricacy is crafted in metal grills at openings; creating an interesting play of light and shade on surfaces, also ensuring safety.


Setting in motion, the verandah in front is a continuation of traditional ‘Osri’ that maintains the hierarchy of open – semi-open – enclosed space. The living room is designed with a minimal color palette that complements the inbuilt furniture with a feel of traditional Indian seating.

To celebrate the roots of the family business, a dedicated corner is planned as an accountant’s place. This ancestral arrangement holds a true sentimental value to the family. An open light well is carved out at the east corner of the plot to amplify cross ventilation of the house further illuminating the bedrooms with natural light.


Project: The Ancestral House

Location: Meta, Banaskantha District, Gujarat

Design House: D’WELL

Lead Architects: Jhanvi Mehta Shah, Rakshit Shah

Photography: Dhrupad Shukla


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