Albert Angel


“The notion of buildings that speak helps us to place at the very center of our architectural conundrums the question of the values we want to live by – rather than merely of how we want things to look.” –De Botton


Our concept is directly inspired by the site, its contextual history spanning thousands of years from nearby Devil’s Dyke to the Roman theater of Verulamium. Our design honors and combines this history with the millennia-old Hindu science of Architecture called Vastu Shastra. “Vastu science considers Earth a living organism, which is embedded in space and a part of the cosmic, living body of the universe. When we initiate a project to place a structure in Earth, it is important that we honor Mother Earth by giving attention to how and where we place the structure.” Our structure honors this principle and conjures with the forces of nature to create a house that is balanced and harmonious, attracts positive energy, and enhances prosperity and abundance.


The design of the house is organized according to the principles of Vastu Shastra where the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space are translated into Architecture. Each of these elements is associated with a particular direction (earth, southwest; water, northeast; fire, southeast; air, northeast; space, the central area). The interplay between these elements and the directions affects one on every level of existence. The Vastu grid is divided into nine equal parts. The center ninth quadrant is the Heart of the House (Brahmastan) and is open to the sky. Each quadrant has a prescribed recommended function making a subtle but profound impact on one’s daily life. For example the southeast is under the influence of the Fire element, which is heat that activates energy. This area is ideal for kitchen, dining, entertaining. The house is also a celebration of its astounding natural surroundings. Nature is weaved into the interior with open-air courtyards and indoor planters. The roof is a patchwork of green spaces accessible via a ramp to the East and a private staircase from the man cave. These elevated green spaces offer breathtaking views of the lake, and contribute positively to the biodiversity of the house, the site and beyond.

Type: Competition