By Savitha Hira
“As an architect you’re not sculpting building materials, your primary medium is space itself,” says Kolhapur-based Ar. Sunil Patil as he infuses a ground plus 2 structure with the ethos of Indian traditional sensibilities cocooned in a contemporary wrap.
“A house is successful when its design caters to the tastes of its users while incorporating the features and ideas that the architect visualises,” continues Sunil.
He strongly believes that spaces should be interactive; they then integrate a bond that is the nucleus of any home. While designing this home for reputed criminal lawyer Harshad Nimbalkar in Pune, the client brief ‘more in less’ was succinct. And since the area of the plot was relatively small at approx. 3600 sq. ft., while the requirements were significant (the home had to accommodate the sensibilities and preferences of three generations), Sunil concentrated on chiseling the architectural vocabulary – the space – that in his words, “really drives the experience of a built form”.
The challenge of creating bungalow experience in a vertical fit-out of ground plus two, accommodating four bedrooms, formal and informal living, home theatre and gym spaces; and terraces to enjoy the outdoors, was accomplished by sculpting the spaces into an inviting mass of interesting compositional solids and voids. Designed in a simple way with straight lines, the built form typifies a climate-responsive form of contemporary tropical architecture. Massing ensures minimum openings towards south and west to avoid harsh sunlight and radiation. Since huge walkouts or gardens were not possible, terraces with steel and glass pergolas act as buffer zones between interiors and exteriors, at various levels facing north and east, where one can enjoy leisure time or entertain. Setbacks are put to optimum use with a gazebo adjoining the dining area and lush green lawns that blend with trees along the compound wall. Similarly, opening up the balconies with glass railings and following a consistent horizontal pattern in the skin, has resulted in a simple yet arresting presence that naturally draws attention to the building.
The interior complements the built form with a minimal material and colour palette. A sense of rhythm is inculcated in the straight lines with ribbon-like compositional patterns weaved into the furniture, that enhance the ambience as well as conserve space. The resultant home is simple, functional and aesthetically resplendent, appearing considerably spacious despite its small footprint.