Jaalis or lattices are a common feature in traditional Indian architecture. During the 16th century, the Mughals used intricately carved marbles to make jaalis or lattice screens. However, in recent times, designers have been experimenting with materials like wood, metal, brick, and even reinforced concrete. Along with lending an artistic touch, jaalis make a space more comfortable in terms of controlled natural light and ventilation. There are several reasons to add jaalis to your home. Here are a few of them:
Combating warm summers: Lattice screens or jaalis are an ingenious architectural solution to combat hot summers and harsh sunlight. Historically, they were developed as a response to battle the local climate. Small or large perforations in the screen allow for controlled sunlight, resulting in pleasant interiors. One can use these versatile, energy-efficient screens in partition walls and fenestrations. The size of the perforations can be customised to manage the desired intensity of light.
Stimulating air flow: Lattice screens facilitate ventilation and, thus, reduce heat accumulation during the daytime and allow for a soothing breeze. As wind gushes through larger to smaller apertures, its velocity increases, improving the efficacy of the wind. Just like the air conditioner, the lattice screens also help in cooling the air as it passes through smaller perforations.
Privacy, of course: By playing with the slits (apertures), in terms of their angles and placements, and how much light they let through, jaalis allow one to see what is happening outside without offering glimpses of the inside. These perforated screens are often used on façades, railings, and even as ventilators to provide privacy. This way, one can make the most of natural air and light while shielding views.
For adding drama: Jaalis bring in patterns in many different ways, elevating the décor of any space. For example, by using perforated screens in the façade, an interesting interplay of umbra and penumbra can create striking patterns. Similarly, inside the home, patterns add visual interest without external décor. One can choose designs that work for both contemporary and traditional décor.
Divide and unify spaces: A jaali partition is a great way to connect and demarcate different home areas. For example, if the foyer opens right into the dining table, a jaali helps shield direct views and, yet, keep an eye on who is entering the home. One can opt for fluid and portable jaali screens or fixed ones for this purpose. Latticework lends ornamental beauty to a space or building, bringing a harmonious balance of playfulness and privacy. So, go ahead and adorn your home with one.