Terracotta Jaalis

Terracotta Jaalis in Modern Design

A jaali is a traditional perforated screen or lattice used as facades, windows, partitions, and aesthetic elements in buildings. Jaali helps modulate air, light, and heat. 

Made from natural clay, a renewable resource, Terracotta jaali reduces environmental impact and adds elegance and an earthy feel to modern designs. 

As modern terracotta jaalis are trending, let us explore more about them.

Better ventilation and air circulation

The perforations in the terracotta jaali allow air to pass through, promoting a constant flow that helps regulate indoor temperatures. It reduces the direct heat entering the building, minimising heat gain and resulting in a cooler indoor environment. In hot and humid areas like Chennai, it is an ideal choice.

Thermal control

Terracotta jaali can absorb and radiate heat, which helps in maintaining stable and comfortable indoor temperatures. In Chennai’s hotter areas, terracotta jaalis act as natural coolants, absorbing excess heat, while in the cooler regions of the city, they radiate stored warmth, maintaining a balanced indoor climate.

Lighting control

Depending on the orientation and placement of the jaali, we can optimise incoming sunlight for natural lighting in a space. The patterns and perforations help diffuse the excessive sunlight that may cause glare or discomfort, a common issue in sunny Chennai.


In close-knit urban areas like Chennai, the need for visual privacy without compromising on natural lighting is higher and often requires strategic design. Terracotta jaali is the best option to strike a balance between both. The perforations in the jaali allow daylight to enter while obscuring the view from the outside, perfect for Chennai’s densely populated areas.

Aesthetic appeal

Jaalis are permeable surfaces that can be facades, partitions, windows, or wall accents. Different terracotta jaali design patterns filter the light in distinctive ways, casting shadows at different angles on surrounding surfaces throughout the day. It creates an interplay of light and shadow, adding a dynamic and artistic dimension to Chennai’s modern spaces.

Durable and cost-effective

Terracotta jali can withstand high pressure and is very resistant to chipping and breaking. It has high durability as it is fire- and water-resistant and immune to bacteria and mould. These jaalis do not undergo discolouration even in harsh sunlight and rain with minimal effects. They reduce the energy and cost needed for maintaining comfortable and well-lit indoors. Terracotta jaalis are easier to install and maintain, as well.

Terracotta jaali is a multi-functional and versatile design element- by adjusting its placement, positioning, perforation patterns, and thickness, we can achieve environmental control for different spaces as needed.

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