- Design Team:Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Jaya Sriram, Parvaty Balagopal, Ksheeraja Padmanaban, Harivardhan, Sarvesh Ganapathy, Daniel Galdston, Hari Krishnan, Shveta Mohan, Senthil, Nawin Saravanan, Muthukumar
- Client:A Srivathsan & Anandhi
Text description provided by the architects. The brief had two streams of thought that shaped the imagination about the house. One is how it should be built and two is what it should have. The former should be a house that sits lightly on earth and the later is experiential charm of an ancestral house (South Indian) with a court.
Our intent was to adapt a court for an urban context that carries the spirit of traditional houses yet responds to contemporary values and issues.
Court House is a spatial void with a memory embedded on its exterior through material and interior through spirit of space.
We used reclaimed bricks salvaged from old houses that were being demolished in Chennai and it’s surrounding, to give way for apartments. Court House is built with bricks aged between 15 to 70 years, and were salvaged from more than 40 demolition sites and tested for compressive strength. The exterior of Courthouse stands as an expression of a collage of these bricks of different ages. Today their second life continues.
On the inside is a spatial void, organized around a narrow open to sky court, reminiscent of traditional courtyard houses of south india. At the entry foyer is a stair to first floor housed in an unusually steeped pitched roof.
The paring of the court and the steeped roof runs the entire length of the house and it is their relationship that holds the rooms together. Places to sit and lie down flow into the edges of the walls in living and entry foyer.
Spartan in its finish, walls are made of oxide plaster and doors are reclaimed. Windows are made of industrial ‘z’ mild steel sections and floors are semi polished ‘mandana’ slabs. At every stage of the project a sense of lived in was the single point agenda. Memory and materials were woven to create this.