This 2,500 sft house for a young couple with a son is located on a 30 x 50 plot in an upcoming residential layout, with the road on the West. A double car park and office space were required without resorting to a basement or semi-basement in order to cut cost, thus lifting the entire house up by a floor. As the water tank is also located towards the road, the resultant structure was taller in the front. The house follows the basic tenets of Vasthu for the zoning of various spaces.
The living, dining, kitchen and guest bedroom needed to be at the same level. Also, the living and master bedroom had to be large. Hence both these spaces occupy the entire frontage of the building on the first and second floors respectively with an abundance of light through large windows facing the street. The double height entrance foyer is capped with a large skylight with pergolas oriented north-south, so they create a pattern of lines on the adjacent walls throughout the day. This space helps draw in natural light to the core of the house, illuminating the central spaces. The family, pooja, dining and kitchen are located towards the rear end of the property where the neighbor had built up to the edge. This made it difficult to provide any open space or windows here. Instead a large skylight was introduced to illuminate these areas. This skylight has a steep profile as it runs parallel to the staircase leading up to the terrace. The house works on an open plan due to which light flows unobstructed to all spaces. Even the toilets, dress and office space in the ground floor that are essentially closed areas have strip skylights that illuminate the spaces through the entire day.
Narrow courtyards or planters have been introduced at the front and the rear end of the property to provide visual relief. The house is essentially divided into two bays one with the enclosed spaces such as toilets, bedrooms etc and the other with the open spaces such as the living, dining, family and study. This openness provides different viewpoints of the entire house thus keeping everything in sight. Though the site is small and the requirements high, the design accommodates the client's needs and lifestyle without compromising on the quality and openness of the spaces. A limited palette of colors and glass railings has been used to provide an uncluttered feel through the entire house.
The clients wanted their house to be a noticeable structure in the vicinity. A curved massing was used to provide this image as well as to tone down the vertical linearity of the structure. As the client was against perceiving these curves as part of the floor or roof from within the house, the balcony, water tank, chajja, beds, steps and toilet ledges are elements treated as a part of this mass.