The home is located on the outskirt of Bangalore at the edge of the garden around the park adjoining a lake. Since the plot is a corner one the home is designed so that it can be viewed from both sides. As one walks around the building it reveals its characters, punctured wall with windows of various sizes and hues, telescopic vaults and sloping roofs at jaunty angles. Though located near a lake in the north- it exactly is not a very pleasant view at lower levels since there is also a large stormwater drain flowing at the edge.
The brief required the home to have two living spaces. A small self-sufficient guest wing and the home for the family. The guest wing has a large bedroom with an accessible toilet, a living room and a kitchenette thereby making it age-friendly. The family wing has three bedrooms, a living, dining and kitchen. Binding the two wings together is a large internal courtyard with a palm tree that has been retained.
All the common areas of both the wings open up into this courtyard which has been landscaped with indigenous plants, while bedrooms enjoy the spectacular scenery of the lake against the setting sun. The main door opens into this courtyard which also becomes the semi-open living room. The courtyard is divided into two with a connecting verandah. This verandah has a swing and large enough space to accommodate other free chairs. The verandah is placed above the underground rainwater tank. In the main unit, the living-dining area is roofed by three telescopic vaults.
Bangalore’s sun is not very strong-most of the year and it is best suited that light is taken from the above rather than from sides. The telescoping of vaults creates clerestory openings both on north and south ends with the southern clerestory being slightly shaded. This is achieved by making vaults of two sizes. Two smaller vaults that telescope into a larger concrete vault are made of hollow clay.
The clerestory windows are fixed windows with calligraphy grills. A small powder room is ensconced between the kitchen, bedroom and dining. This has a built-in granite washbasin and the tap is of granite operated by a foot pedal. The master bedroom has patterned windows on the west and a window seat which allows for a cooler breeze from the garden. This room’s ceiling is left unplastered with a motif borrowed from MC Escher.
The attached toilet is a combination of black and white with a handmade granite washbasin. The upper floor of the house is a children’s den; it has an open gym with an extended terrace garden. The guest unit on the eastern side of the court has a gentle ramp right from the entrance to the main door ensuring barrier-free access throughout the ground floor of the house. An ample amount of openings and completely white interiors ensures that all spaces are brightly lit and well ventilated. Since the office works with the earth as the construction material it likes to experiment with different ways of building with earth.
For a commercial set up to experiment it needs patronage- Charis was our patron in this home design. So in this home for Charis Biome adopted rammed earth foundation, stabilized adobe walls and soil biotechnology method for greywater treatment? all a first for the office. The foundations were first layered with plastic collected from the surroundings and then the earth excavated was rammed for the foundation up to the ground level. The stabilised adobes have been used for the guest wing. There was learning that stabilised adobes can be as structurally strong as CSEBs but are a method to be adopted where the dependence and skills required to use a machine can be avoided-thereby easing use of earth as a building material.
- Area : 2800 sft (260 sqm)
- Client / Owner :Rekha Chari