The colours and textures of exposed brickwork add a unique character to any building. It instantly brings a rustic-chic vibe to the home while giving it a charming appeal. And if coated in white paint, the interiors feel decidedly modern. In line with this, Tarunpreet Singh Bhatia, principal architect of Studio Mohenjodaro, with his creative design team Eshita Verma, Ashima Gupta, and Sukriti Gandhi has crafted this Tapered House for five in Chandigarh. The airy and sunlit home measuring 4,500 sq ft is beautifully decked with exposed brickwork, a butterfly roof, natural timber, Indian marbles, Moroccan tiles, etc. Client's predilection for whimsy combined with the simplicity of the material and the architect's design sensibility helped to craft this exotic home. The design team shared with SURFACES REPORTER (SR) more intriguing details of the project, featuring a central courtyard that brings ample natural light and fresh air into the house.
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Nestled in the heart of the city of Chandigarh, the Tapered House commands attention. From the exposed brick façade to the butterfly roof, the house has an aura of timelessness. Designed for a family of five, it is an exercise in old-fashioned subtlety, borrowing from the city's original architecture.
The house, recessed from the streetscape and its adjacent buildings, does not instantly come into sight. It takes its time to invite and hold the passer-by gradually. The recess is also a critical element in the design to provide privacy and a sense of cocooned comfort to the residents.
Rustic Aesthetic Softens With The Warmth of Wood
On the outside, the thin wooden battens affixed to the soffit give an illusion of holding the hulking roof slabs in place. These unassumingly simple, equally spaced battens are sacrosanct in principle to stitching the overall elevation together.
The entire glazing design, from the placement of mullions to the size of doors and windows, is aligned with these battens overhead, thereby determining the size of openings in walls. Also running continuously in all windows above the door lintel height are wooden louvers that soften the exterior's otherwise crude material palette.
Courtyard Divides The Formal and Informal Areas
On the inside, the plan is fabricated in a way that it separates the formal and informal spaces, based on function.
The formal dining and living rooms sit in the front, beneath the butterfly roof, whereas the informal areas like the kitchen, family lobby, and an open-to-sky, double-height, internal courtyard are placed in the center with the private bedrooms further inside, towards the rear.
The courtyard allows natural light and ventilation for the interiors and supports a 22 feet high, hand-painted forest scenery, creating an interesting visual point to contact.
Visual and Spatial Continuity
The house is intentionally designed to create a visual axis from left to right as well as from front to rear. To achieve this, the windows are strategically aligned, so there is a direct line of vision between the kitchen on the extreme left and the kid's bedroom on the extreme right, via the lobby and courtyard.
Likewise, there is an unobstructed view from the front lawn outside the main entrance, through the courtyard to the internal staircase at the far end. Thereby, making the courtyard a focal point for both the axis.
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Visual continuity is maintained, not just horizontally but vertically as well, with louvered windows from the living area above, overlooking the central courtyard below.
This perceivable dialogue between both floors ties the different spaces holistically.
Earthy and Warm Tones For A Homely Feel
The interior and exterior elements, be it the flooring, or the ceiling battens, or the sloping roof, are carefully designed to lend the spaces a warm, earthy and homely feel.
The main emphasis is to make the residents and visitors feel a sense of deep ownership and lend the spaces a character that is not impersonal but inviting.
The Tapered House is an attempt to push conventionality limits while maintaining the practical aspects of design and functionality. The spaces flow into each other, dynamic and moving, offering a stable, tranquil place of rest and work for the residents. Understated yet unique, the residence is a testament to clients and architects aligning seamlessly on concepts, themes and patterns. Meandering through the space, it is easy to imagine the countless moments the spaces will witness as the residents create unforgettable memories through the years.
Architecture Firm: Studio Mohenjodaro
Project Name: The Tapered House
Location: Chandigarh, India
Year of Completion: 2021
Design Team: Tarunpreet Singh Bhatia, Eshita Verma, Ashima Gupta, Sukriti Gandhi
Photographs: Purnesh Dev Photography
Text: Jaskaran Chauhan, Tarunpreet Singh Bhatia
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