A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.

A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.

  • © PAVITRA SRIPRAKASH / A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.
  • © PAVITRA SRIPRAKASH / A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.
  • © PAVITRA SRIPRAKASH / A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.
  • © PAVITRA SRIPRAKASH / A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.
  • © PAVITRA SRIPRAKASH / A Pet Paradise / Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd.


The clients are pet lovers and avid star gazers, and provided us the following brief “The garden is the focus, with a paradise for our pets, the house should feel incidental.” The home owners have a dozen pets, which are mostly rescued and rehabilitated dogs that freely roam and relax around the home and gardens, following the light and shade provided by the architectural detailing.

The design of the home reflects the passion the owners have for their rescued animals. The focus is on providing an easy indoor and outdoor atmosphere for these animals which are often injured or convalescing. At the end of their stay, the dogs are either given up for adoption or stay back in this house permanently. Currently there are a dozen of them on premises and about 60 that have been treated and re-homed after their stay in this sanctuary-like premises.

The major component of the site is an extensive component of an organic garden, which is the main landscape element. The courtyard home is part of this setting and envelops a swimming pool as the central feature. All the interior windows frame the elements of the garden and capture glimpses of the landscape, making it part of every internal space.

The East facing Main Door is flanked by the decorative ceramic fretwork to give the front façade a porous, airy and open look. Knowing that the dogs like to stretch in the sun in the early hours of the day, the design included shaded yet sunny zones along the east creating sun drenched patios in front of the house. This area is a favorite for morning coffees and sun sessions by the owners and pets alike. The homeowners were very particular that the swimming pool was shaded throughout the day to allow for poolside lounging during summer afternoons. The final design massing allows natural sun light between 10AM and 12PM, to slightly warm the water, maintaining a comfortable temperature for swimming through the year.

As the clients are avid star watchers, they were particular that a star-inspired element was part of the design. The design concept projects a reflected the “Orion Constellation” on the bottom of the swimming pool (In Yellow Star glass tiles) in order to ensure this.

Local influences – While the entire architecture strives to be very contemporary with straight lines and clean geometry, there were many local influences that root this home in its geographical context of South India. The traditional Padi-pura of Kerala has been re-interpreted in order to form an entry framing a 2.5 story formed concrete wall with triangular openings. The concrete itself is planned with translucent elements that bring in light to the interiors through the day and emit light to the exteriors at night. Reuse of material – The main door has been made out of the wood that was used to create the shuttering of the exposed concrete.

Color Palette – White and gray form the primary color palate with accents of terracotta as well as rich aubergine that forms the backdrop for the graded aquamarine/teal pool. The fish scale tiles on one side of the pool, and the furniture in the main living room of the house along another side of the pool are color coordinated to emphasize the water element of the landscape in the house.

Light and Shade – Light play is an important element for the home and has been done through the usage of architectural concrete elements on the eastern façade in combination with the more organic fish scale ceramic tiles. Both filter light and provide a different shaded pattern - straight-line elements from the concrete and the curvilinear shadows from the fish scale tiles. The home owners say they love spending their mornings drinking tea in this area as the shadow play is unique and different depending on time of day and season – there is a remarkable experience upon every waking day in this home.

Rat Trap bond – Cost effective local construction techniques include the Rat Trap Bond brick which forms an interesting texture on the façade. In order to display this feature, the exterior façade has been left un-plastered. This bond also forms an air-gap that provides thermal insulation and cools the rooms in the hot humid climate of Chennai. Rain water Detailing – Drip mold details have been carefully planned within the exposed concrete roof slab extensions to ensure that the exposed brick walls are protected during the monsoon.

Local elements such as the Athankudi cement tiles, clay roof tiles and ceramic fretwork tiles along with the exposed granite columns are all sourced from the art belt between Chennai and Tanjavur to add a local Southern flavor to the aesthetic. The texture and the coolth from the Athankudi tiles are enjoyed by the dogs during the hot season.

Pet friendly detailing - the flooring materials were all chosen to provide grip for the older dogs on the ground floor. The first floor has ‘cooler’ floor finishes like the Athankudi tiles and Kota floors for their comfort. Further most spaces that require free movement have a specialised doggy door that allows for the dogs to go from the home to the garden easily.


Extra Info

CLIENT: Private
PRINCIPAL DETAIL: Shilpa Architects Planners Designers
PRINCIPAL DESIGNER: Ar. Pavitra Sri Prakash
CARPENTRY: Stone Lotus
LANDSCAPE CONSULTANT: Shilpa Architects Planners Designers
PROJECT NAME: A Pet Paradise
BUILD AREA: 4000 Sq. Ft.
SITE AREA: 14400 Sq. Ft.
DESIGN TEAM: Shilpa Architects Planners Designers
Construction territoryYEAR OF COMPLETION: 2015
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ar. Pavitra Sriprakash