When it comes to designing a home, the elevation is often the most critical standpoint. We seldom have clients who build homes in Pakistan on acres of land – the norm is to buy a plot of a designated size and construct upon it. The requirements are set, as is the orientation. Thus, form always follows function. The idealistic tendencies of holistic architecture are mitigated, since we need to the best we can with what we’ve got. Space is fixed, as is building circulation. Clients interested in ecofriendly principles may opt for higher end fittings, insulation and imported fenestration – everything else seldom differs from the norm.

Making the house look beautiful and different is pivotal. After all, we do have an aesthetic sense (and reputation) to maintain.

One of our current projects, at AmerAdnan Associates, is a one kanal house in DHA, Lahore. The client wanted a semi-enclosed terrace, which led to the house having a wider front. A growing trend in Lahore is where homes have straight-line forms with overhangs and depressions.

In this design, we opted for interlocking members. Doing so in a horizontal frame, draws the line of vision from side to side rather than up (which is useful when you don’t want the house to feel like its looming over you). Also the difference in levels allows for indirect lighting, which would illuminate the house beautifully at night. The ribbon window was popularized in Corbusier’s time – and it was called the international style for a reason. Even eighty years later, ribbon windows still look undeniably classy.

Of course one has to make sure the actual light within the space isn’t compromised – in this instance, the space behind the ribbon window is a bedroom, which has a full size opening facing the terrace; perfect for diffused light and privacy. AmerAdnan Associates is famous in 3D elevation designing in Lahore for many years.

Every home is customized based on what clients need, as well as their wish list. Privacy, clean lines and indirect lighting were high on said list, which is probably why they were excited about the design. However, this is just the beginning. As materials, color schemes and fenestrations are addressed, the end product usually ends up looking quite different.

But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Variety is the spice of life…no?