The site is part of a developed housing community in the outskirts of Bangalore. The city has very pleasant weather, almost round-the-year, which we tried to bring into the home through natural light and ventilation. Its surroundings being rather unremarkable, the USP of the house needed to, thus, come from the house itself. Massing of the building was important and simplicity essential.
A free-flow of spaces into one another and in-and-out of nature is the highlight of the house. Inside, the living spaces look across the water court to the large volume of the dining area and further to catch a glimpse of the master bedroom on the first floor. Indoor and outdoor spaces are seamlessly connected across greens and blues, through stone and glass and across different levels. One is always part of the house in its entirety as the edges of disparate spaces are subtly blurred. Amidst the lush green outdoors, this transparency among spaces, the multiple balconies and courtyards help one enjoy the beautiful Bangalore weather.
The design of the staircase evolved from the concept of connecting to the soil. The staircase springs from a solid granite base with steps carved into it while the rest of the flight complements it by virtue of its minimalistic design – a unique combination of solid and sleek – giving way to a truly contemporary stairway. This is set against a screen of slender vertical fins that continue to form the skylight above. The modern design and traditional stone, the rooted base and lofty flight make it quite a vivid combination. A bold red handrail and expressive sculptures add drama to the staircase. To the outsider, the view across the water body is enigmatic as the fins reveal ‘hit-and-miss’ glimpses of the inside, making one look twice!
We were thrilled to employ locally available Sadarahalli granite and have tried to use it in various finishes and combinations across the home.
Along with the antique door we have also used a delicately carved wooden pillar with fascinating proportions. It was fixed onto a carved granite base in an off-centre alignment in the dining room along the corridor. Along with the solid wood dining table and bench it lent warmth and character to the space while the modernity of transparent acrylic chairs and a larger than life wire-frame chandelier complemented traditional gestures.
The interiors and furniture pieces were planned to be simple and fuss-free, looking effortless in its place. Black seamless mirrored units are combined with hand-carved wooden tables, sleek console tables with folk-inspired rugs, minimalistic sofas with graphic art printed cushions... The combination of these elements was designed especially for our client, given his background and lifestyle, to encompass an ideal balance of modernity and tradition.
The elegance of the design of this home lies in its simplicity. The freedom we had while designing was liberating. We thought of it, as always, like idealists (it’s as if we never learn!). As architects we are often disheartened by practicality and have learnt to fight for our way around it. But the brilliant structural consultant on the project has made a whole lot of dreams extremely real! The entire process in designing and building this humble home has re-instilled in us an unabashed design philosophy.