By Savitha Hira
Photography: Courtesy the architect
Collage Architecture Studio fulfills the aspirations of a family in Bengaluru with an unmistakably open and engaging home in a tight plot of 1200 sq. ft. in the heart of an urban locale…
It is extremely rewarding, when a professional transforms a piece of land into a home tailored to your needs; and especially so, when he does so against a lot of odds. On a site spanning 30 x 40 ft., flanked by buildings on three sides, the main challenge was to open up the site to natural light and ventilation and make it homely and engaging, given the fact that there was absolutely nothing to aspire for on the outside.
So we see the principal architects – Adwitha Suvarna and Swapnil Valvatkar - working on a split-level programmatic, where spaces remain visually connected, yet individualistic and functionally multi-defined to suit a plethora of activities, easily transitioned from private to public. The client’s requirement for three car parks aided their design, leveraging the living areas to a higher floor, and gaining much in terms of volume.
The 2000 sq. ft. of built-up area comfortably accommodates the requisite three car parks, four bedrooms with attached toilets, living and dining areas, and kitchen and office space without any semblance of constraints in space. Revolving around the key features of modern, minimal and compact, the design ideology focuses on maximizing the living experience via a large, open, central courtyard, internal balconies, double-height spaces and skylights, encouraging interaction and visual connectivity at multiple points. With walls treated more in a parallel format than perpendicular, the spaces seem to flow into one another, uninterrupted, appearing much larger than their actual spread.
Working with a minimal palette of white and umber, the home comes alive through pockets of narratives that almost beckon you to look beyond the visible and find them. Like the natural plant incorporated into the living area, has its planter base designed as a part of the steps, making for engaging additional seating. Or the simple act of minimalist expressions on the cushion covers in the small open-to-skylight patio-like sit-out opening out from the bedroom. Or even the way the skylights cast their halos on the steps during sunny afternoons, giving rise to intriguing chiaroscuro elements. This avers to the attention to detail that goes into making the home inward-looking.