Project Description

The structure of the house is designed as three parallel loops of sheer concrete clad with vanilla stone walls, which climatically mitigate the heat gain from the harsh southern sun, creating a largely impervious facade, as required in the client brief. This void/court cuts through the sectional width of the house- becoming a programmatic connect for the family and public spaces- and allow for breezeways to keep the spaces well ventilated.

Fort house crop 2
India political map
Proposed andhrapradesh state map
Cover photo 01 spa hyd 0013
Cover photo 03 spa hyd 0011
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Hyderabad city map
Section photo monatge 01a

Building Details


New Building

1,115 m²


Single owner residence


1500 m²

1500 m²

1200 m²

615 m²

not applicable

INR 1,95,00,000

INR 13000



Project Team

sP+a (Sameep Padora & Associates)


SARK Constructions

Facet Engineering Pvt Ltd

Sameep Padora

Sameep Padora is the principal architect and founder of sP+a, a Mumbai based architecture studio engaged in projects of multiple scales, all framed within a larger interest in history and typological research. Sameep completed his undergraduate studies in Mumbai in 1996 followed by post-graduate studies at Cambridge, where he received a Master's Degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 2005. Sameep lectures at various forums and was one of 6 international design firms invited to speak at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 2011. He also is a member of the Academic Council at the School of Environment and Architecture (SEA) In the recent past his practice was selected to receive The World Architecture News, WAN 21 for 21 Award for 21 Emerging International Practices for the 21st century and has been a Nominee for the BSI Swiss Architecture Award 2014. His Lattice House project was a winner of Wallpaper Magazine’s house of the year in 2016. In 2015 the studio’s projects were a basis for a travelling solo exhibition entitled Projective Histories shown at the Somaiya Center for Lifelong Learning in the historic Fort precinct in Mumbai. He also heads sPare a research arm of his practice that currently has a traveling exhibition entitled ‘In the Name of Housing’ featuring a documentation and analysis of historic housing types within the city of Mumbai.

Arkk Consultants Pvt Ltd

Climate Analysis

The Fort House is located in Hyderabad, which has a sub-tropical semi-arid climate. It is classified as a tropical very dry forest biome. Average temperatures are around 26 degrees, with a maximum of 39 degrees and minimum of 15 degrees. Average precipitation is about 800mm between June-October.

Hyderabad climate graph
Windrose hyderabad

Design Approach

The Fort House perfectly combined climatic and programmatic approaches. The series of stone walls, rapidly rising from the south face provided both privacy and solar heat gain protection.

The site was featureless and topographically uniform, unlike most plots in the Jubilee Hills area. The south facing road provided a perfect opportunity to orient the main courtyard towards the North-east ( prevailing wind direction ), while protecting the southern regions of the house between the large stone clad walls. Given the relatively gentle breezes, strategic openings in these monolithic walls, create breezeways, passively cooling the interiors.

The 3 parallel stone clad walls shield the house and its occupants from the glare of casual passers- by and the harsh sun. The courtyards thus oriented inwards and away from the road side, are created at each level to create ventilation paths through the house, passively regulating the temperatures within
Site axo 140329
Ground floor plan


Special Feature

The walls act as naturally shading devices for the large openings. Cost implication: nil

Ground water recharge by not hard paving the entire plot, providing

Passive strategies like walls shading the open courtyards coupled with cross ventilation for all community spaces, minimum porosity in areas of maximum heat gain by reducing openings, and creating breezeways by aligning openings to catch the prevailing breezeways.

not reviewed

Increased green cover by having green courtyards at many different open levels, reducing overall heat gain, using natural stone cladding to avoid voc emissions of paint and other surface finishes.

not applicable

Building Material

RCC frame, post tensioned structure


Concrete and blockwork with natural stone cladding, UPVC door frames with glazing

UPVC and glass

natural stones- marbles and limestone

not applicable

rcc with ips waterproofing

not applicable

Energy systems

LED energy efficient lighting by Artemide, Delta Lights and Osram

Osram led strip lights

only for service areas

high wall splits


not applicable

not reviewed

Lessons Learned

How large a role the response to climate plays in the architectural design of a project. By shading the south faces,the heat gain was reduced and by providing strategic openings, the prevailing breeze was channelised in naturally cooling the house with almost no energy consumption. The use of natural stone on most surfaces also helped keep the temperature in control, reducing the need for airconditioning even in the summer months. The precise height to width ratio of the intermediate courtyards also maximized the use of outdoor spaces for most parts of the day.

The owners were really satisfied with how well the house responded to the climate and programme simultaneously.