Bungalow Medu, Mettupalayam, by Bhogar Studio


Note: The contents below are published as provided by the architect/designer.

Bungalow Medu, Mettupalayam, by Bhogar Studio 1
Bungalow Medu | ©Kavin Lasa Photography

Located in the foothills of Nilgiris, just before the winding ascent to Ooty, Bungalow Medu stands as product of hospitality and cultural fusion. Born out of a collaboration between the architecture firm Bhogar Studio and client Karunya Devi, Bungalow Medu merges tradition with modern.

The concept was of a warm neighborhood café, reminiscent of the client’s grandfather’s home. Drawing inspiration from a traditional Tamil house, Bungalow Medu ingeniously reinterprets these elements in a contemporary context. As one enters from the road through a passageway, they are greeted by a ‘thinnai’ – a raised built in platform with polished grey cement oxide. Adjacent to it, the main entrance maintains a clear axis leading to the backyard café.

The interior unfolds as a series of interconnected rooms and courtyards bringing in abundant light to the display area. The rooms are supported by a 14’ tall lean-to Mangalore tiled roof. A band of clerestory windows line the rooms flooding the space with north light while leaving the walls below uninterrupted for display. The walls are painted white to serve as a perfect backdrop for the client’s collection. The floors are polished IPS in greens, olives and greys. Continuing along the axis, a spacious room leads seamlessly to the Verandah café.

The floor of the Café is finished using the traditional red oxide IPS flooring, evoking the nostalgia of a verandah in a Tamil bungalow. The café also boasts of an exposed Madras Terrace roof – a vernacular Indian roofing technique dating back a century. High density bricks that are small in size, locally called “achikal” are placed at a 45-degree angle with each other. The bonding agent is a mature lime plaster that is strengthened with admixtures such as jaggery and Kadukkai. This layer is topped with another brick layer and finally finished with limecrete. Usually placed on a framework of teakwood beams, this contemporary madras terrace roof has a steel framework. By leaving the underside of the roof deliberately unfinished, the project celebrates the craftsmanship and skill of the masons.

In every aspect of its design, Bungalow Medu is a seamless integration of traditional building knowledge with contemporary design sensibilities. It captures the warmth of an ancestral home while embracing the lightness of modern architecture.

Project Details:

Name: Bungalow Medu
Location: Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu
Status: Completed (2020)
Area: 675 sqm
Typology: Hospitality Architecture
Design Firm: Bhogar Studio
Team: Prithy Ramadurai, Karthick Chidambaram, Sreemayi
Structural Consultants: Kriti Structural Consultants
Photographs: ©Kavin Lasa Photography, Studio F/8

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