When gurgaon-based nuclear family of five approached Delhi-based practice Anagram Architects, their brief was to design a home that has deeper, almost rural linkages. The family wants a perfect balance between the home and a private garden. In line with the client’s directive, the creative design team, including Vaibhav Dimri, Madhav Raman, Shruti Dimri, Jainy Gandhi, Piyush Parimal and Kalaiarasan C came out with a design that arranges the home and the lawn in an oblique, but equal, figure-ground. Aptly christened “Chromatic House”, it features red tinted concrete on its exterior that goes nicely with its smooth grey concrete interior. The design of the abode creates ‘a conversation between whimsy and simplicity’. From tinted concrete to shafts of light from pitched skylights, the design infuses whimsical playfulness into a venerable material palette and stark volumes. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) receives more information about the project from the team. Read on:
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Rectangular urban plots usually generate rectilinear plans, resulting in stratified & compartmentalised domestic lives. Even without pandemic-induced isolations, urban families often desire deeper, almost rural, linkages and balance between the home and a private garden.
Keen on a light-hearted and vibrant city home, the clients, a youthful family of five, desired an active lifestyle invested in spending time together.
Chromatic House’s child-like playfulness derives directly from the clients’ mandate. The young nuclear family desired a city home for the children to grow up playing together in actively participative care of their parents. So the design arranges the home and a lawn in an oblique, but equal, figure-ground and departs from the urban box-form by referencing a more rural pitched roof form with a long verandah.
The bedrooms on the first floor spill onto a large tapered A-frame volume which accommodates a mezzanine lounge and the living, dining and kitchen in an open plan.
This volume opens up to the lawn and vegetable garden through a long verandah shaded by a pergola, while the study in the attic whimsically connects with it through a slide tucked under the stairs.
A Conversation Between Whimsy and Simplicity
The design is a conversation between whimsy and simplicity: between material vibrancy, play of light and reticent fenestrations, on one hand, and a stark, tapered, singular volume on the other.
Tint, patterns and texture of bare concrete and terracotta is meant to infuse youthfulness into a venerable and frugal material palette. The red tinted, concrete in expressed formwork used externally transitions to smooth grey concrete internally.
Similarly diagonally patterned yellow brick contrasts with thin-section birch joinery to add delicate warmth to the light filled interior.
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Concerned about their resilience to climate change, the parents were equally conscious of the environmental footprint of construction of Chromatic House. The tapering linear form and glare protected windows, aligned to the open lawn and punctured by a fabric shaded open atrium helped orient the house to maximise daylighting and minimise extraneous views and solar thermal heat gain passively.
The substantial heating and cooling required in the north Indian semi-arid, semi-humid subtropical climate is actively addressed by an under-floor radiant heating and cooling HVAC system. This low energy system, is the first installation of its kind for a residence in the region, helps ameliorate temperature extremes while allowing the house to be naturally lit and ventilated.
Photovoltaics installed on the sloping roof generate energy to be fed back to the grid. Almost half of the site is a lawn meant to soak up runoff from extreme rain incidents that are now quite common in the region.
As it transpired, the home’s emphasis on private greens, exclusion of the outside and vibrancy has ameliorated pandemic-induced boredom and isolations. All the building materials used are sourced from within a 300 mile radius from the site. North Indian marbles have been extensively used in the house as opposed to imported stones.
Project Name: Chromatic House
Location: Gurugram, Haryana, India
Architecture Firm: Anagram Architects
Design Team: Vaibhav Dimri, Madhav Raman, Shruti Dimri, Jainy Gandhi, Piyush Parimal, Kalaiarasan C
Site Area: 9203 sqft
Project Area: 6800 sqft
Civil Contractors: Adhunik Infrastructures Structural
Engineers: Chordia Techno Consultants
Other Consultants: ELECTRICAL Squaretech Engineers
Electrical Contractors: Electropower
Plumbing Consultant: DSR Engineers
Plumbing Contractor: Suved Encon Private Limited
Site Supervision: Anagram Architects
Initiation of Project: March 2018
Completion of Project: December 2021
Photo Credit: André Jeanpierre Fanthome
Products and Materials
Facade: Red cast concrete
Internal Walls: POP & paint
Flooring: Indian Marble
Compound wall: AAC blocks
Windows: Aluminium sections
Product Specifications- Brand, Dealer/ Retailer
Roofing tiles: Koramic Weinerberger
Cladding: Exposed Concrete, Adhunik Infrastructures
Windows: Art n Glass
Tile: Sunheart, Bath Affair
Lighting: Hybec, Vizion Lights
Color: Asian Paints
Sanitaryware: Toto, Bath Affair
Bath Fittings: Hansgrohe, Kohler, Bath Affair
Furniture: Alankaram, Krea
Hardware: Lamp, Yale
Modular Kitchen: Magppie Kitchen
Kitchen Sink: Franke, Carysil
Ply: Birchply, Eximcorp
Wooden Flooring: Notion
Air Conditioning: Mitsubishi, Humid Air | Radiant heating & Cooling, Oorja
Marble: Indian White Marble
Concrete pigment: Laxness
Power strips in kitchen, living area, study tables: Eubiq
About the Firm
Anagram Architects is an award winning multi disciplinary firm based in New Delhi. The firm’s work focuses on promoting a reconnect with ecology and responsible lifestyles through design articulation and innovation. Anagram has won 60+ national and international awards and was nominated for the prestigious Aga Khan award in 2010.
Madhav Raman- Principal Architect and CoFounder, Anagram Architects
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