Architect Sanjay Puri crafts a sculptural, energy-efficient desert home in Rajasthan

An arched envelope surrounds core living areas, protecting the home from the harsh desert climate.
Architect Sanjay Puri crafts a sculptural energyefficient desert home in Rajasthan
Dinesh Mehta

In a typical residential community in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, a striking architectural vision captures the attention: curved wave-like walls, lines that rise and fall, graceful arches and scalloped edges come together to create an arresting built-form. Welcome to Mirai The House of Arches, Sanjay Puri Architects’ latest residential offering—a climate-appropriate, contextual response to the desert region’s aridity and heat. The sculptural home stands on a small, 622-square-metre corner plot within a gated community. The south and the east do not afford much openness, and will see development in the future. The remaining two cardinal directions, however, front the road junction, and enjoy more open, green spaces dotted with existing trees.

The organic flavour of the arched envelope trickles into the drawing room with its gently rounded furniture (from Mozaic, Mumbai) and pendant lights (from Olie, Bengaluru). Danish Cream marble unifies the narrative of the public zone, amplifying the seamlessness of the programme.

Dinesh Mehta
Dinesh Mehta

An Expressive Envelope

The architectural formalisation is the outcome of a pursuit for comfortable living in a region that experiences an average temperature in excess of 40°C. The summer months, obviously, are even more searing. To mitigate the effect of such a climate, a simple programme was wrapped in a skin of shear walls that was then strategically punctured to aid passive cooling and, consequently, a comfortable internal climate. 

The terracotta coloured arched skin that envelopes the home creates interstitial spaces, sheltered from the region’s harsh climate. Outdoor Furniture from I.EVO, Jaipur, provides a comfortable perch to enjoy the surroundings.

Dinesh Mehta

Degrees of openness: the enclosed space extends to a pergola, which, in turn, sequel into an open balcony.

Dinesh Mehta

Also read: Inside a rustic jungle retreat set close to Rajasthan's Sariska Tiger Reserve

“A curvilinear punctuated envelope surrounds the house creating interstitial semi-open spaces all along the perimeter with deeper recesses on the garden-facing sides,” reveals AD100 architect Sanjay Puri, who led the design with architect and spouse Nina Puri. “This envelope reduces the heat gain substantially whilst providing sheltered open spaces around the house to each room.” The beautiful terracotta colour of the envelope roots the structure to the place more deeply.

Large arched openings allow the eye to travel freely, amplifying the sense of scale. A wood-and-metal staircase takes you to the upper levels

Dinesh Mehta

A waterbody positioned at the extreme end of the entrance corridor, opposite the door, creates an arresting visual point for the visitor as they step into the home.

Dinesh Mehta

Engaging Interiors

Mirai serves as home to a three-generational family unit. Its spacious interiors comprise three levels with two living rooms, four bedrooms, a gym and a study, in addition to other mandatory functions. Sectionally, a play of heights—“bedrooms of a single volume, dining area of a double volume and a living area of an intermediate 1.5 volume,” says Sanjay—keeps the spatial experience interesting and engaging. 

The interior ornamentation of the dining room—a wall-mounted rug by Jaipur Rugs and the lighting installation by The Wicker Story, Hyderabad—toes the rich, understated line set by the shell of the home. 

Dinesh Mehta
Dinesh Mehta

Also read: This serene Jaipur home has the spirit of an ashram

Thanks to the home’s protective ‘shield’ and large windows, the interiors forge better, deeper connections to the outdoors and are lit by indirect natural light minus the heat. Like the building’s skin, the internal walls, too, are punctuated by generously-proportioned arched doorless portals to different functions, infusing connectivity into the layout. In conjunction with these strategies, the orchestration of spaces—enclosed volumes extend into semi-enclosed spaces, which, in turn, spill into the outdoors—renders an environment that is light-filled, airy and cool.

Dinesh Mehta

The hand wash area just outside the powder room. The backdrop of flamed granite strips gives it its own identity.

Dinesh Mehta
Dinesh Mehta

For Mirai’s 920-square-metre interiors, Nina Puri rightly let the architectural volumes lead the spatial dialogue, keeping the treatment restrained. The room shells are monochromatic and neutral, with material textures lending a subtle energy to the narrative. Dominated by organic elements, ornamentation, again, is commensurately toned down, toeing the line of ‘just enough’.

The neat, contemporary home office.

Dinesh Mehta

An eye-catching textile artwork from Morii occupies centre stage in this bedroom. Its vibrant colours energise the composition of painted walls and the understated, clean-lined furniture.

Dinesh Mehta

Also read: This cozy, eco-conscious villa in Uttarakhand grows out of the Himalayan hinterland

Fundamentally Green

While the design itself generated energy-efficient spaces, Mirai also paid special attention to materials and labour in its construction. Local craftsmen and contract labour from the immediate vicinity have built this home using locally sourced bricks, sandstone and lime plaster. Water is conserved and harvested, and so is solar energy.

The ceiling with its series of vaults and the wall detailing echo the arched envelope, creating a cohesive narrative in the bedroom. The light fixtures are by Olie.

Dinesh Mehta
Dinesh Mehta

This home is undoubtedly a visual statement, but not a hollow one. Its sculptural form is a response to the context, both of place and climate—making the beauty of Mirai House of Arches more than skin deep.