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Impression: Functional Art for Home Architecture
On the outside, this house looks like any other typical building but just wait until you step through the doors. Located at Diamond Point, Secunderabad; it’s an ode to the delicate craft of functional art. Architects Jyoti and Lalit, the brains behind this house cum museum, overcame challenges like trapezium shaped plot admeasuring just 220 sq. yards, adhering to Vaastu Shastra norms among others, to deliver a truly special space for the home owners.
Natural light streaming in from along the length of the hall, gives the feel of a long courtyard inside the building.
This beautiful green space, the architect explains, was created from the piece of plot left after the Vaastu correction.
The Entrance foyer is a double height space of polished Shahabad stone flooring and simple sturdy benches made of ‘tumma chakka’ (wood of the tree Prosopis juliflora). From here, one gets an uninterrupted view of the 8’ high compound wall of hand cut Shahabad stone, the green plants and dining space.
And right in the middle of this double height space is the beautiful piece of functional art, The Staircase, the highlight of the house
Assembled on site, the staircase is suspended. The steps of the staircase have wooden treads and no risers. The absence of the risers gives an uninterrupted view of the space as we enter.
View of staircase from various parts of the house
The steel structure, though heavy, is looks lightweight. The stepped metal rails under the stairs, the tapering rods (arranged in a triangle) supporting each step, the railing detail, are all designed to reduce the usage of the metal in the structure, while giving it a unique sculptural character. This beautiful structure is visible from all parts of the house, physically and visually the place together.
First floor balcony pergola:
The large balcony on the first floor, overlooking the main road, is uses a pergola roof. Anchored from a beam of the staircase room on the second floor, this hanging suspended pergola creates column free space on the terrace.
Pergola is an interesting element of architectural vocabulary. It is a structurally supported roofing grid, used largely for patio or promenade. It also acts as a support for creepers and other climber plants. Purely for its aesthetic potential, this element has become a favorite amongst architects for adding a new dimension to the building elevation. Even though it does not stop either the sun or the rain, a pergola, plays an important role of spatially defining a space and used cleverly, can add a beautiful play of light and shade. One such architect known for his signature use of pergolas in his projects is Charles Correa.
Light and shade pattern created by the pergola at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur (designed by architect Charles Correa)copyright Meena Kadri
The beauty of a space is in the way. The brightly coloured dining area is one such space in the house. The low height wall with wooden seating, set against the background of the grey wall and green plants, make for an ideal setting for long hours spent with family and friends.
Different flooring patterns and colours have been used to define different areas in the house. Polished Shahabad stone has been used for a large part of the house. The dining area floor has been defined by terracotta and black tiles whereas the same terracotta and black tiles of rectangular shape been used in a herringbone pattern on the floor under the staircase.
View of the kitchen:
The wood work done 15 years ago looks as good as new even today. Done in plywood and polished veneer, the open kitchen next to the dinning space, has ample storage cabinets, keeping the counter clutter free. The small steel handwash sink which is incorporated into the dining area partition, looks shiny and new and of just the right size! The utility area behind the house, the covered laundry and the drying area, are all well detailed taking care of the functional needs of the household.
A combination of both function and aesthetics, this house serves as an inspiration for a good design on a small plot.
“good buildings come from good people and all problems are solved by good design”
By Gouri M Kasinathuni