Baboolal Residence, USA
The Baboolal residence - American dream in Chapel Hill
The Baboolal residence is a net zero house is for a family of four. The main impulse for building this house was their previous frustration with living in a cookie cutter developer house with a lot of wasted space and illogical planning.
The investors decided to build a custom house that would give them openness for family time, while also creating privacy and quiet areas for the parents to rest between shifts and for the kids to have their own spaces. Also, an immediate connection between indoor and outdoor space was part of the brief.
Driving concept for the Baboolal residence was the Japanese principle of "Shakkei" -- borrowed landscape or scenery. The north side of their property is adjacent to a gorgeous grassy meadow which is part of a neighbor's property. This north side is the dominant view from the Baboolal residence, so the view is "borrowed".
For this project, the owners' view is protected as the field will never be built upon -- the meadow is actually the very large septic field for the neighbor's large estate. It's also a butterfly and bee haven in the summer and provides a beautiful and serene view year round. It is also one of the more private parts of the site because there are no houses visible from that side of the house, except in the far distance.
The design encompasses a progression: one enters the house from the south, which in turn opens up into the main living space looking out into the beautiful borrowed landscape view to the north. The entire north wall of the living and dining room has operable glass doors (built to passive house standards for energy efficiency) to create a powerful indoor-outdoor connection.
Other special custom features include a nursery for the kids that they can each access from their respective bedrooms; a spa like main bathroom for the parents; a gourmet kitchen including a swanky little bar; a quiet zone for the parents suite; a private study for listening to old vinyl jazz records and more.
The clients asked for a single story family home for four with two contrasting elements: a very open public zone (kitchen, dining, living rooms, deck and porch); contrasting with a super private wing for the parents and a suite for the kids including a playroom that only they can access through their respective bedrooms.
Of importance is a strong indoor outdoor connection, especially to the view of the meadow on the North side.
Designed by Arielle Schechter, Architect, PLLC, AIA Chapel Hill, NC USA.