Mumbai-based Studio Tab, led by principal architects Rahul Das Menon, Ojas Chaudhari, and Tushal Pandey, has revamped and restructured this 800 sq ft home- The Naked House- in Bengaluru for a young NRI family. The house carries a minimalist theme with grey-colored interiors, offering a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The family settled in the US and desired to transform their old family home in Bengaluru into a holiday home. The brief was to design a home that exudes a sense of novelty that is distinct from their everyday home and renders it a perfect holiday home vibe. Apart from it being their home during holidays, they wanted to let the house out for homestays during the rest of the year. Keeping in mind the brief, the firm envisaged and designed a minimalist, unique, cost-effective and cozy residence, featuring only the essentials needed for spending a weekend. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) received detailed information about the project from the design team. So, take a tour now to this home:
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Every now and then, an architect meets a project that makes him/her pause and think. To question every sinew of design ethos adopted so far and to introspect what's learnt to unravel the unlearnt. The Naked House has been one such project, says Menon.
Talking about the approach, Menon says, “ A brief so specific, we had to have a definite approach to design. The space had to be a getaway from the urban jungle homes. Since the house will host many guests during their homestay visits apart from the family, it had to steer clear from reflecting a distinguishable design taste and rather be an open palette that welcomes all kinds of guests.”
Why is it Christened “The Naked House”?
“The client brief was to transform their Bangalore home into a simple and minimalist holiday home. Minimalist design has always been a subjective narrative. We wanted to explore what really defines minimalism. By stripping off every pretentious layer, every embellishment, every unwanted facade that shields the need; we unravelled the state of spatial nakedness. A home so distinctly stark and monotonous, and yet a home in every sense. Of a palette devoid of colors, of wood that is in its most bare form and a naked layout consisting of only the essentials,” said the design team.
Nakedness reveals the brutally honest nature of the design in its purest form with nothing in disguise. A paradoxical project where one had to manoeuvre through complexities to deliver the simple. And simple surely has been most satisfying.
50 Shades of Grey
To represent a monotone ensemble across all surfaces, the design team unanimously agreed upon adopting the color grey. Grey represents a sense of muteness, of being unbiased, neither warm nor cold and works as a perfect contrast for every other material. To achieve the correct shade of grey for each of the surfaces; be it the floor or the walls or the ceiling or the furniture- we had to undergo a rigorous sampling process. If there ever was an architect’s version of “50 shades of grey”, then this would be it.
The endeavour at each stage was to resist every other design application and stick to the rooted concept of nakedness. To begin with, we identified each of the partition walls that were rendering the rooms small. We opened up all the walls and retained only those which are absolutely necessary. This allowed a fluidic nature of designing.
Foyer: Breaking the Monotony of Grey
As we enter the house, the monotony of the space is seen immediately. An in-situ seating snugs to the curved wall flanking the adjacent open kitchen.
The foyer and the open kitchen are enveloped in a beige colored lime plaster that adds a contrast to the overall grey palette.
Living Area Blurs The Lines Between Indoors and Outdoors
The living room is a sparsely populated space bereft of all embellishments that we see in a usual living space. One side has a series of long racks stacked up in clean horizontal lines. The wooden racks are supported by slim steel bars. These racks house the client’s book collection and curios picked up from across the world. Along the same wall is a custom made couch.
On the opposite side is a cast-in-situ tv unit that seamlessly rises from the floor. This meanders onto the adjacent wall to be a part of the wooden-slit crockery unit.
The living room opens up entirely onto the garden area through an arched doorway thus bringing the outside in. The idea here is to create a fine harmony between the indoor and the outdoor as one unified space. The whole living space has been designed to keep the outdoor as the main focal element.
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Fully-Equipped Open Kitchen
The kitchen is a fully equipped kitchen that amalgamates within the decor. Oakwood finish shutters make the under-counter space that serves as a natural contrast to the beige floor.
The counter is a C- shaped one that ends in a cantilevered form. This cantilever serves as the breakfast ledge for dining. The backsplash is again an in-situ terrazzo dado wall.
Main bedroom Opens completely Into A Charming Garden Space
The master bedroom is again a minimalist one. A repurposed wooden log acts as the headboard of the lime plastered box bed.
The flooring is rustic white hardwood. The bedroom opens into the garden. The room has been designed to enjoy the view while resting. The wardrobe shutters consist of linen fabric sandwiched within glass panels.
Pretty Decor Items Accentuate The Working Zone in Second Bedroom
A fluted glass panel and door make up one part of the bedroom wall. These fluted glass panels are visible from the Kitchen zone too.
The work desk is a quaint little corner within the room. Made of wood, this is a perfect working zone for all remotely working professionals.
On the other side, is the standalone bed with wooden strips as a back panel. The wardrobe in this room is a compact one which allows luggage to stack within it.
This language of the project runs into the washrooms too. Lime plaster is sealed with a hardener substrate to ensure it withstands water and chemicals.
Alluring and Cozy Back Garden
This is the highlight of the project around which the house has been planned. The living and master bedroom opens completely into the garden space. The garden is a finely curated space with native trees, floral canopies, and a cozy bistro space to enjoy the morning coffee.
The whole project is something that needs to be experienced and not just visually. It is so stark and yet cozy. It is a space that grows on you and with you.
Project Name: The Naked House
Architecture and Interior Design Firm: Studio TAB
Location: Bengaluru – India.
Project Area: 1700 sqft.
Built-up area: 800 sqft.
Partners & Principal Architects: Rahul Das Menon & Ojas Chaudhari
Project lead Architect: Tushal Pandey
Design team: Antara Jha, Omair Godil, Priyansh Seth
Interior Contractual Team: M.M. Interiors Ltd.
Photographer: Nayan Soni Photography
Bathroom fittings: Jaquar
Furniture & product design: studio TAB
Lighting: Light area project lighting
Texture and finishing: Mecasa furnishing pvt. Ltd.
About the Firm
Both Rahul & Ojas were on a explorative sabbatical when they decided to work together after gaining experience under renowned architectural firms in Mumbai. What started as a friendly collaborative experiment in 2011, turned out to be a runaway success with their first project getting widely published. From here, there was no looking back. The philosophy of the firm spells strongly in its name: studio TAB - The Architecture Break. Each project begins with breaking down every stereotype attached to it. Once we are able to achieve this, we come to understand what the project truly needs. From here on begins the design exercise, at both micro and macro level. This work process has been the crux of the firm's philosophy right from its advent. This approach has helped the firm build projects in over 20 regions across India.
(From L-R) Principal Architect - Rahul Das Menon | Principal Architect - Ojas Chaudhari | Lead Associate Architect - Tushal Pandey
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