Text description provided by the architects. The highlights of “Belaku” is the well defined and balanced use of geometric forms. The spaces are visually connected as well as they all interconnected to its surroundings. The straight lines of the architecture stay in jarring contrast to the neighbourhood, yet a simple, elegant, visual solution the home is organized in splits. The design evolved keeping in mind their current lifestyle and a strong connect with their roots. Capitalizing on the pleasant climate of Bangalore has to offer, the design get its open and porous nature. This east facing site consists of two homes, one for an elderly couple and the other home for the son who shuttles between New York and Bangalore on a regular basis.
The 2BHK home for the elderly couple is very practical keeping in mind the age of the parents, whereas the son’s home is more contrast, minimalist, yet having a balanced composition, probing depth and bringing forth the feeling of brighten and peace. The open home concept compliments the light, volume, and the serenity of the built space. The duplex house accessed by the lift and the stairs strategically positioned for both the houses is welcomed by a shaded veranda which captures the essence of the spaces and materials used.
The living room is separated from the rest of the home by a central water body (double height) allowing immense light to enter the home and brighten up the spaces. The visual connectivity is maintained with the greenery outside. Aiding to these sources of light is skylights placed in double height spaces. The ample light and air in the house, the grey colour floor and warm interior tends to add playfulness and curiosity to the place while warmly welcoming family and friends for a quiet evening or an all-nighters.
The logic of the house lies in the creation of 2 distinct blocks bridged by the central water body, this in turn allows seamless communication between the various programs associated with spaces of the house. This strategy allows to traditional courtyard houses found in the Southern parts of India and provides for a cohesive connect which is crucial for a home. A spiral staircase in the front of the home before the main door states an ambiguity and premise of the house. The entrance to the house itself is a “pause - mediating the inside and outside”.
Material articulation reinforces the differential condition of the various programmatic spaces. Solid IPE wooden screen sandwiched between metal flats in the elevation gives an opportunity for occupation and cover against the harsh sun and the glare of the place. The entire flooring is a right combination of cement finish tiles and solid walnut wooden strips. One of the main feature of the elevation in the use of corten steel which acts as an excellent variation to the wood and concrete colours which are already used commonly.
The objective is to create an earthy ambiance, with good balance. The design brings a flavour of quirkiness, but in a subtle way. The use of colours and artwork helps the overall narrative and is further supported by the super-imposed neutral colour palette. The client’s brief was the concept of Wabi Sabi - aesthetic, simple, and close to nature; celebrating the beauty of a naturally imperfect world. This home provides simplicity, yet is textually rich creating a harmony of natural materials. Restricting the palette to neutral colour was an important decision as all the materials emphasize the beauty and poetic imperfection of nature. Walls and floor, partially in pigmented cement plaster, mimic the home into the landscape while the wood in the ceiling adds the required warmth to the space.