Residence for Capt. (Retd.) P Prem & Mrs Beena Prem at Kanathur, Chennai

Being set in a suburban context more than an urban one, the purpose of the design of this residence, from a purely creative perspective was to be a unique freestanding object in the space. This residence is situated within a gated community, and as one of the first structures being constructed there, it was hoped that the architectural language would influence the other surrounding structures, within the community yet be perceived as unique. Located quite close to the beach and in a windy area, the object of the design was to maximise natural light and cross ventilation, while keeping the style of the house contemporary & minimalist. The compact plot added to the challenge of creating a spacious interior. The use of projections and recesses facilitated the accommodation of all the required spaces and added to the volumetric play that is evident in the aesthetic of the elevations on all sides of the building. Vaastu also played a vital role in the layout of the spaces within the building. The colour palette of white, grey and copper on the exterior is neutral and accented by the matte black of the window shutters and grilles. With more emphasis on the textures formed by grooves in plaster and the grey stone cladding, that highlight the various projecting volumes, this residence achieves its uniqueness through subtlety.

Residence for Mr Rajesh C R at Konthuruthy, Cochin

The owners wished to demolish the old house that stood on this property and construct a new, contemporary styled abode with modern amenities. The composition of the whole house renders itself to a dialogue between its horizontal and vertical planes. The facade with large glass windows, generate the transparency of the house where visual and physical connections are established to the surrounding features of the site. A passive cooling system by providing fixed louvres in all fenestrations as a design feature for hot air to rise and escape out has also been incorporated. This along with spaces that have large openings on one side and smaller openings on the other so as to create a difference in pressure of air as per the Bernoulli’s Principle and therefore an induced movement or air circulation within. A simple palette of materials and finishes, along with precision in detailing, create the light sensibility of the structure. In an area with most of the land being reclaimed, this structure used part of the footprint of the earlier structure and thus greatly reduced the cost of the foundation. The owners have been very active in the process of the construction of this home since its inception and interaction with them as well as their first-hand interaction with the workers at the site has had a major impact in keeping the quality of construction good as well as cost-effective.

Proposed Residence for Mr Joe & Mrs Rose Tharakan at Panavalli, Cochin

This residence was conceived as a retirement get away from the city, to a tranquil, rural setting. The large plot was meant to be used to build a small house for two and guests who would visit, while the rest of the un-built space was to be used for organic farming. The idea of incorporating the pond into the design was so that it could be used by their grandchildren and other kids to swim in. The owner had envisioned a layout for the house which was similar to the house she had grown up in, which was in the form of an “H”. Our design sought to spread the house by staggering the “H” so that all the bedrooms get a view of either the pond or the grove of cashew nut trees and also create a space for a covered car parking. However, as only an initial proposal, a lot of the details are yet to be worked out.

Residence for Mrs Susan and Mr Abraham Alapatt at Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

Conceived as a holiday home in an ecologically sensitive area in the Nilgiri hills, the idea from the very beginning was to design the house along the contours of the natural slope of the site with minimal excavation. Given the various statutory restrictions imposed, the footprint of the building was to be kept to a minimum. The initial proposal included a deck to the North East of the house with a view of the valley below. While the house was initially conceived as a contemporary chalet, the owners insisted that they preferred the house to be more in keeping with the local vernacular style, with terracotta tiles on the roof. The upper level of the house is the family living area and has French windows on all sides for the view. As a result of the natural slope of the site, one can enter at the lower level or at the upper level from the outside of the house. This was also done so that the elderly parents of the owners could get out of the car from the driveway and get out at the upper level instead of climbing the stairs. Construction of this project is currently underway.