Contractor : Ranganath
Design Team : Martin Laferriere, Divya Ram
Location : Chokkanahalli, Bangalore
Site area : 2730 Sq.ft
Built up area : 2610 Sq.ft
We reach the house, which is located in a typical “gated layout” in a suburb of Bangalore, after walking a path across a lush narrow garden. The path bridges over a small water body which fills from one of the kitchen sink water. The path is short but serene and stimulating. The story of this house’s spaces is perhaps a story of sharing. The path leads to a high spanning rcc canopy emerging from the first floor verandah enclosed with grills spanning out to cover our arrival. This high shared roof creates a welcoming shelter for the front porch, main door and dining room verandahs.
These functions share the built-up, the light, the garden and so the path. As much open as the ground floor can be, the central space of the house is the dining room which is edged by the steel & recycled wood stair case and a large sliding door across. This center is also the central corridor connecting east and west, living/ bedroom and kitchen. Much of the light comes from one side via the large glass of the door and lets the steady southern sun flood the heart of the interior and in the north the intricate rays percolate from the top via a narrow skylight located on the whole length above the stair case. The sleeping areas are located, one on the ground floor and two on the first floor. The child’s room, the center of the world when you are around ten years old, is located just above the living room, looking down to the entrance, that spanning canopy. So the child is at the center, looking and over looking down and front to what is going on. To highlight this, the exterior and structure is done with wire cut brick walls, marking in burnt red color that node of attention. A dwelling is complete once we incorporate the study-giving the users a chance to escape the traffic by splitting work hours between home and office part time. It is part of the sharing story. This study is located east of the house above the kitchen, to which one reaches after walking out and across
a secured external balcony. Mid way, one can pause and relax with a coffee, all open, looking south at the forest vista.
Technically, the water:
After being used from the kitchen indoor sink, it is used to cool down our arrival path via a pond thriving with fish, plants and other animals. The other water from the washing machine and shower goes to a planted filter to be further re- used for toilet flushing, garden watering and car washing.
The building does makes an effort at keeping the embodied energy low by being made with Compressed Earth Block made of available red soil, entire flooring with recycled glass white mosaic, coconut wood cupboards etc. The other building energy, the monthly reminder of our life style, is handled with throughout cross ventilation and natural light at all locations. Though the users were strongly leaning towards air conditioned bed room after moving in, the seasons have passed and rarely have the ceiling fans even turned!. Sun supplies the little remaining demand via solar photovoltaic panels and flat plate water heater, keeping the dependence on grid to a bare minimum.