Consultants: B.L. Manjunath & Co. and Mr. Prabhakar Shetty
Text description provided by the architects. Located in dense urban neighbourhood of Wilson garden, Bangalore the site came as a surprise to us as it was flanked in the west by more than half an acre of wooded garden of the neighbours. The dense plantation of trees in that garden gives one the feeling of being in the suburb or near a forest. The 6000 square feet site for the house was earlier a part of this neighbours land and is marked by the presence of mature trees. Being in the site gave us the feeling of being enveloped and sheltered by the trees. What catches your attention is the play of light through branches and leaves, which is quite dramatic. The other aspect was that the large part of the site was made up of loose, but large rocks. The design was driven by this character of the site where the idea was about a porous structure that absorbed and internalized this innate quality of the place.
The idea evolved into a notion of a pavilion absorbing the landscape above and as an excavated cave like space below. This idea supported the elaborate program, which was a five bedroom house with exclusive spaces for entertainment which included a swimming pool, home theatre and a spa. The pavilion accommodated the living spaces and the bedrooms, while the cave accommodated the entertainment spaces and the pool. It was raised to address issues of privacy, parking and the hard top strata. This raising also helped the spaces get better exposure to the wooded landscape along the western edge, allowing us to literally borrow it as a part of the experience. Location of trees within the site are used to align the geometries of spaces, where they become key elements informing the experience. Bedrooms were located along the western edge, being in the west also meant one had to deal with sun and privacy. The trees provided the first level of shading followed by the designed movable vertical fins. This allowed the occupants to control amount of light and privacy required while enjoying the views, giving the building a dynamic façade. The fins are detailed to create shadows leading to textures softening the edge and lending a sense of depth to it. Living and dining occupies the next layer after the bedrooms they both are separated by the puja room and hydraulic glass lift enclosure.
The living opens to a large garden created along the northern edge, which is further defined by the neighbouring structures abutting this edge and in the north and the east giving it the character of a courtyard. Water bodies are introduced into the house as thermal regulators one flanks the living and the other is between two bedrooms aligned to the tree in the site along the western edge. The double height glass volume housing the water body integrates with outdoors by bringing the views of the woods into the inner part of the building. The water also creates a foreground for the dining capturing the sky and surroundings through reflections. Being in the dining room also orients one to sculptural trunk of the rain tree framed by the southern wall. The trunks of this tree are allowed to invade various parts of the house, one goes through the kitchen and the other goes through toilet giving the space it's unique character. The living and dining are double height spaces integrating the upper bedrooms with the living levels below. The living level visually connects with the entertainment or the cave like space through a cut out alongside the kitchen. Modulation of light to this lowermost level brings about the experience of the den like space. Light filters through the strategically located sky lights, some located in the water bodies at the upper level. The materiality at each of the levels amplifies the idea of the pavilion and the cave. The white plastered surfaces and the yellow marble at the upper level add to the lightness of the pavilion volume. Black textured granite and stone grit are used to render the lower cave like volume. Being in any part of the house one is subtly reminded of the nature of the place and its changing character. The design becomes more about experiences than the form alone. The created spaces allow for contemplation and also socializing, giving opportunities for families to come together celebrating the place and life.