Stihra: A Recreational Terrace Lounge Melding Nature and the Vernacular | Taliesyn


This beautiful terrace lounge christened Sthira is designed by architect Shalini Chandrashekar and architect G. S. Mahaboob Basha of Bengaluru-based Taliesyn. Conceptualized within a stringent timeline of six months as a recreational lounge on a family residence's terrace level, the project amalgamates a mouldable programmatic outline with a curated landscape, creating an engaging milieu. Set against the backdrop of verdant paddy fields, backwaters and rugged hillocks of Kerala, this space was designed to pay homage to its awe-inspiring location enfolded by nature. This recreational spatial experience finds its roots embedded in the local vernacular, earthy materiality, and comfort of the end-users. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) has received more information about the project from the design team. Take a look:

Also Read: LIVE: SR Rising Stars of the Month, Ar. Shalini Chandrashekar and Ar G S Mahaboob Basha

Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-ReporterThe term ‘Sthira’ in its origin indicates the state of being still. This project's design fabric embodies the same sentiment — a series of spaces that fulfill the end-user’s aspiration of unwinding in the company of loved ones in a built volume that is held delicately in the clasps of lushness and architectural expression. 

A recreational terrace-level spatial experience that melds nature, vernacular materiality, and the desires of a family,” says the architect.

Clear Glass and Sleek Steel Envelope Offers Uninterrupted views

A conservatory of sorts, Sthira’s envelope is composed of glass and sleek steel members that unfold the space effortlessly, allowing the homeowners to lounge and take in the seamless views of the countryside.

Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-ReporterThe lounge is approached through a quaint entrance foyer that hints at the overall design ethos. Although easily navigable through the primary residence, the lounge conjures an experiential journey for the end-users to feel transported instantaneously to a tranquil recreational oasis.

The Focal Point

The focal wall poses as a canvas for the color-doused traditional Kerala floral mural, an artistic expression of the interplay of landscape and the built environment's soul.Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-Reporter The variegated Kota flooring plays well off the patterned Athangudi tiles — creating the quintessential employment of hue and neutrality in the space. Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-ReporterThe dominance of natural materials is established via the introduction of cane-back chairs and a wooden console that keeps the space's grammar balanced between traditional and contemporary.

Central Courtyard With Manicured Lush Green Grass

Walking into the main terrace space, one witnesses the heart of the layout being occupied by verdure and manicured landscape that manifests as the central courtyard. The glass walls of the built spaces hug the edges of the courtyard, creating a flow of circulation around the focal greenery. Tropical plants and hedges grow out and provide the Sthira lounge with the desired privacy.

Airy Interiors and Alfresco Dining Area

The internal layout comprises a private family dining area and lounge, an extended multipurpose banquet space, a dedicated hand-wash section, and a powder bathroom. Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-ReporterThe structure's shell bears a neoteric identity attributed to the slender steel members and glass fenestration that slide as moving components to imbue the framework with an airy and alfresco demeanour.


Also Read: Ksaraah: A Weekend Retreat in Bangalore That Blurs Boundaries Between Inside and Outside | Taliesyn - Design & Architecture

Birch Plywood Ceiling

The ceilings across the series of spaces are composed of Birch plywood that has been varnished to exaggerate its inherent grainy textural character; this material also has a sustainable impact on the environment. The wall that anchors the lounge section is cladded in a collage of textural slate stone, facilitating the absorption of Western solar penetration.

Furniture in Perfect Harmony to the Interiors

The furniture across the family areas is cohesive in its appearance due to homogenous materiality; the dining table and lounge coffee table are built using the same wood and are perforated to add to the visual light-weightedness of the pieces in the expansive volume of the space. The choice of upholstery and fabrics is consciously kept pared-down, allowing the minimal prints and hues to become a part of the lounge's narrative. 

Antique Sculptures Add To Vernacular Elementality

Sthira’s design grammar has been peppered tastefully, via the inclusion of antique sculptures like the traditional avian and wooden canoe boat, which add to the space's vernacular elementality.Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-Reporter The tall sculpted pots in earthen hues are also sourced from a local Artist, which brings the context’s craftsmanship to Sthira.

Versatile Banquet Area and Multipurpose Hall

The banquet space and multipurpose hall towards the rear of the blueprint function in a versatile manner for the homeowners; it exhibits a hosting venue for gatherings and a yoga/wellness space when the family desires while being surrounded by views of greenery panoramically. The hand-wash section has been treated aesthetically, untethering it from the constraints of its sole function. This niche's walls have been treated by stacking rustic terracotta tiles reigned by linear geometry.Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-Reporter

The bespoke curved green Baroda marble sink counter is juxtaposed against the rustic walls within which the sinks are placed, leaving an under-counter niche for planters. A breeze-block wall screens this section from the main banquet space, creating a tessellation of patterns and introducing a rooted feel to the space. The slatted pergola connecting the banquet to the hand-wash section casts evolving shadows across the span of the day, creating a visual play of sciography. 

Also Read: Greenery, Sunlight and Space Play a Starring Role in This Kerala Home | Arshak Architects

Powder Bathroom Merges Old World and Modern Design Sensibilities

The powder bathroom is crossover amidst traditional and modern design sensibilities, aligned to the overall design style of Sthira. This nook is enclosed within semipermeable louvered wooden walls that facilitate ventilation and ties in this section to the weave of the surrounding spaces, creating a smooth sense of spatial transition. Athangudi tiles cascade from the walls onto the flooring, creating an immersive space. The antique vanity console is paired intriguingly with the black metal mirror and pendant fixture that create a play of shadows in the space.

Taliesyn_Sthira-Surfaces-ReporterSthira’s design intent fulfills the homeowner’s desire to inhabit a dedicated space where familial warmth, the interplay of nature, and seamless spaces converge. This recreational spatial experience finds its roots embedded in the local vernacular, earthy materiality, and comfort of the end-users.

Project Details

Name of Project: Sthira
Typology: Residential (Lounge space on Terrace)
Location: Thrissur, Kerala 
Name of Client: Confidential
Contact Person: Shalini Chandrashekar / G S Mahaboob Basha
Principal Architect: Mis. Shalini Chandrashekar and Ar.G S Mahaboob Basha
Design Team: Ananya Guru / Shaik Baba 
Site Area (sq ft & sq m): Not Aplicable
Built-Up Area (sq ft & sq m): 3500 .00 Sft (325.00 Sqmts )
Start Date: 10th of January 2019
Completion Date: 13th of December 2020
Photographer: Mr.Shamanth Patil

*Text and images are provided by the architects

About the Firm

Ar. Shalini Chandrashekar and Ar. G. S. Mahaboob Basha co-founded Taliesyn - Design & Architecture in 2010 in Bangalore. The firm has projects dotting the Southern-Indian frontier ranging a diverse portfolio of Residential, Hospitality, Recreational, Institutional and Cultural genres of design. The practice’s design philosophy involves decoding the purpose of the brief based on the processes of planning, analysis and detailing — resulting in an architecture that is deeply rooted to the landscape and one that responds to the vernacular paradigm of the site and the materiality. Taliesyn strongly endorses the use of local materials to promote sustainability in their practice. The studio’s creations are an amalgamation of Shalini and Mahaboob Basha combined poetic vision and an approach based in the gravitas of design, having won accolades both nationally and internationally.


Ar. Shalini Chandrashekar

Ar. G. S. Mahaboob Basha 

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