This residence multitasks as a house for an enterprising family of four, Dr.Achi Ashok, a leading gyneacologist in the city, Mr.Ashok Arunachalam, the founder and MD of a multispeciality hospital in South-East Bangalore, their two sons, Rahul, a medical student and Rakshit an engineering student, both aspiring musicians too.
The house is organized in overlapping spatial categories split into three levels. The materiality is arranged in crisp clear planes that are articulated in italian marble, local hardwood and concrete. While the materiality of the opaque surfaces is highlighted as light picks up the various textures of these different planes, transparency within the residence is achieved by a combination of skylights and pockets of gardens, through reflections and modulated natural light. The project is a confluence of notions of nature, culture, family and modernity.
Challenge 1 When the clients walked into our office, they had a design for which construction had progressed until the foundation stage. Since they were not in sync with the previous planning, they wanted us to take over and compelte it with relevance to their requirements. So it was indeed a challenge to work on an already existing foundation framework and manipulate it to suit a new plan with brand new spatial definitions.
Challenge 2 The couple being busy and successful entrepreneurs, a huge part of the challenge was to engage with them in multiple productive discussions and thoroughly understand their requirements from their cultural and social perspectives. These discussions greatly influenced detailing of the project.
So, What did we conclude?
The challenging brief demanded a high level - idea based, quick design concept that would reflect their strong sense of culture and social life. We also had to draw on a relevant, practical implementation plan for the project to get it executed within a realistic timeframe.
Since the part of the basement retaining wall and foundation was already constructed, our first interference was to carefully study the structural drawings and establish the stability & quality of strucutre that had been built so far. Once the stability of established satisfactorily, we moved on to redesigning the plan within the existing structural framework.
1: The Tilt : Since the site was a corner plot facing the north and the west, flanking two main roads, our idea to tilt the shell was just what the corner needed. Our form presented a dynamic corner as one approached it from either ends of the road
2: The Triangular Pockets : The tilt led to many triangular pockets around the periphery of the plot as the tilted planes met the perpedicular boundaries of the plot. These pockets began dictating our design of the spaces within the hosue leading to a continuous dialogue between the inside spaces and these outdoor pockets.
3: The Envelope : The Northwestern facade will experience heat and light. We proposed an envelope that would wrap this facade at chosen sections of the facade to reflect the harsh heat away and also something that would offer washed lighting within the room. We designed a facade that would define an elegant, contemporary and new external aesthetic.
The entire planning in the ground floor was sequential. The sequences from entry at the gate to the exit at the kitchen services was designed and developed as a sequences of experiences, pause, layering, light and greenery. The scale of various spaces has been contained both 3 dimensionally and 2 dimensionally to ensure a horizontal and a vertical visual connect through the various floor plates.
The whole of the interior layout of spaces has been planned around the spiritual center of the house - The temple. We modelled it after the traditional easthetics of the South Indian Temples, with classic temple stone and brass embellishements. The minimal and contemporary carvings on the Teak wood doors and partitions add little details delivering a subtle yet strong resemblence to a traditional south Indian decor.
The Lounges : The house has a series of Lounges at various levels, each with its own definition of function. While a small welcome lobby flanks the main entrance to the house and is meant for quick conversations with visitors, the adjacent main lounge spans over 500sq.ft and opens into a reflective water pool for the more formal guests. The family lounge tucked on the first floor with its simple pastel decor is meant to be calming and also overlooks the main lounge and the temple from above rendering an instant visual and spatial connect accross the entire house.
The bedrooms : The house has 4 main large bedroom, each done up to suit the personality of the different inmmates. The master bedroom on the first level is kept minimal with sliding walk-ins and is finished with laquered glass shutters that subtley reflects light within the room. The island bed, mirror polished italian marble floor combine with a rich textured veneer ceiling to render a contemporary decor for the master. The bedroom for the two sons have decors to suit their personal tastes. Rahuls, a heavy wooden and white decor, rich and formal at the same time. Rakshits, A Lighter and a more playful decor with hues of blue, grey and warm browns.
The Gardens: Almost all spaces in the design open into their own little outdoor nooks. Each of these nooks have been painstakingly detailed to give the inmates a unique experience. While the formal living opens into a large reflective water pool with its own glass deck, the welcome lobby opens into a triangular garden with grey stone benches and sculptedaccessories over lush green lawn. The kitchen and the dining open into an outdoor double height garden, which also doubles up as a kitchen garden and a great space for barbeques.