By Marina Correa
Photography: Sameer Chawda; courtesy the architect
This open-to-nature home straddles rustic eco-friendliness as well as sophisticated technological advancements — enjoying the best of both worlds…
Patriarch of a large pharmaceutical company, Mr. Vara Prasad Reddy’s 14,000 sq. ft., 3-storeyed bungalow is situated on a sprawling 6,000 sq. yards of landscaped property in Hyderabad.
“Based on 100% vaastu principles, designing such a house proved to be a limitation as well as a challenge,” says Haresh Lakhani, principal architect, HP Lakhani Associates.
Acclimatized to extreme summer and winter temperatures, the home is energy efficient and laid along the north-south axis based on the solar path. Verandahs along the east and north act as weather buffers, keeping the heat at bay and harnessing plenty of natural light and ventilation. Besides, rain water harvesting pits; solar heaters and solar fencing, setting the home amidst lush greenery also complements the exercise.
In addition, eco-friendly features are introduced viz. wood is replaced with UPVC for windows; skylights created to attract abundant natural daylight, usage of double wall in the sleeping areas to prevent bedrooms from getting overheated etc.
Stepping into the interiors, the home is expansive and eclectic in décor and frames nature from varied angles. The ‘nature’ thematic is woven indoors through motifs and fenestrations. The all-white walls and almost all-white flooring coupled with moveable glass doors make spaces flow seamlessly into one another, maintaining uninterrupted visual connectivity.
Colour is infused into the monochromatic white palette via wall claddings done in wallpaper and marble; artifacts and paintings with strategic touches of wood in the ceiling and flooring to lend a warm, organic feel. Large glass openings allow the exteriors to become an integral part of the interiors — heightening the feeling of spaciousness and soaking in the desired ambiences.
Home automation allows all the service and security systems to be controlled through the touch of a single iPad. Even the bathrooms have motion sensors that save electricity; making it a home that not only communes with nature but also promotes a green lifestyle.