Architects: A Line Studio
- Area: 2500 ft²
- Year: 2021
Lead Architects: Sachin Raj ,Anand P. Suresh
- City: Ambalathara
- Country: India
Text description provided by the architects. The Artist's residence is a project where the fundamental ethos of the architect and client resonated in perfect balance to develop a project of its kind. Here, the space you live in becomes a canvas that lets you paint your ideas and helps to generate creativity. The delicate bridge between art and architecture is broken down, amalgamating both into a single functional entity. The site is in Kasaragod District, having an area of 10 cents. Though small, the site is enriched with various trees, birds, butterflies, laterite boulders, and natural contours. On the west lies valleys and hills from which a consistent wind rolls up the hills and fondles the site.
The challenge was to build without disturbing the natural conditions on the 10 cents site, in effect causing very less damage to nature. The core of the house is a 15-year-old Wangana tree that resides in the double-height central court. The breeze from the valley comes in through this space, passes through the water body, and spreads out through the interiors. The Lower and upper studios open out completely towards the wangana tree, which outgrows through the circular skylight in the ceiling. The tree and the exposed laterite finish sets a very natural backdrop for the studios. Similarly, every tree on the site found its own role in the entirety of the design. Eventually, not even a single tree on site was cut down or disturbed from its position, except for a coconut tree which was replanted within the site.
The main entrance of the project leads you through a foldable metal door with circular bamboo cross sections onto the first block that hosts the living and dining areas. The living space with low-height seating overlooks the valley through a still water body with a vertical garden on either side. The dining area is also a low-height seating space, intended to promote a healthy lifestyle by inducing the lotus asana into your everyday sitting posture.
The second block sits on a lower contour but is connected to the main block through a series of interactive steps along the contour, which functions as an informal dining area, children's study area, tv viewing space, and the artist's classroom. The residence has 2-bed spaces separated by a wardrobe wall. The bed spaces are flanked by a linear courtyard on one side and the exterior landscape on the other, allowing in an ample amount of natural light and ventilation. The spectrum of the house has an existing alam tree. The first light after sunrise falls exactly into this space, lighting the faces of numerous forest gods painted on bamboo sections. The space serves as an area for peace and meditation.
An interesting aspect of the house is its budget-friendliness. The house has an overall built-up area of 2500 sq ft, constructed on a budget of fewer than 25 lakhs. Locally available building materials like laterite have been predominantly used for walls. Bamboo and steel are used for frames. Concrete is polished to give a rustic but glossy finish to the floors. The random strokes on the wall symbolize the freedom of an artist, his creativity which holds no bounds of space and time.