This Bangalore house explores the dynamics of a partially enclosed, open to sky, semi-permeable and transitionary spaces using a contemporary expression in the trademark design style of Khosla Associates.
“Spaces should unfold in very much the same way as an interesting story,” revealed Sandeep Khosla, Principal Architect of the architectural firm Khosla Associates in an interview to this magazine several years ago. And master storyteller Sandeep continues to weave interesting spatial stories that bear his trademark design style – a contemporary design expression that has over the years earned his firm many an accolade.
In the Orange House, a residence in Bangalore for the architect’s brother, the built space has interesting facets that all tie together to exhibit an amalgam of tropical sensibilities with a modern approach. As one comes close to the house built on a corner plot, it is the modulation in scale and massing of built space that has an immediate appeal.
Along this western façade, a large orange pivoted door marks the formal entry to the house. The cheerful door sets the tone for the spatial story that unfolds beyond, reflecting the very exuberant personality of the home owner.
Planned as an L configuration along the corner of the plot, the house’s programmatic requirement has been well defined by the segregation of public and private areas. The design of the ground floor plan emerges as a space that fosters gatherings.
The footprint of the house opens onto the inner private north eastern part of the plot which encloses the “lung space” of the garden. A swimming pool for the family of avid swimmers, an organic shape with bright blue tiles and a bright sun pattern tile insert within, forms the visual focus at the junction of this L configuration, beyond which the garden is seen.
Deep verandahs with sloping terracotta tiled roofs abut the L footprint that forms decks and spill out spaces from the living and dining areas facing the garden.
The living space has been planned to an intimate scale and has a single gabled sweeping roof. Within this roof form, beyond the living room is the transition space of an intimate bar area that serves as an open direct entry to the house during parties.
It is this open bar area which is the pivotal space of the house flanked by an intimate entry court with a beautiful frangipani tree on one side and leading to decks beyond. “This sheltered link serves as a vibrant space between living and dining areas. It also visually connects the east-west axis along the entire breadth of the site.” explains Sandeep.
Large glass openings of doors and corner windows allow a panoramic view of the garden and pool area from all spaces along the inner garden facing L- configuration.
The private bedrooms and family space of the members has been provided at the first floor level along the southern facade, again enjoying views of the garden space below. The master bedroom and family room open onto a large balcony covered by a large flat cantilever finished in wood on the underside.
The resultant cuboidal form of this block along the southern facade is more contemporary with flat roofs, punctuated by corner glass windows and linear openings.
Creating an element of interest in this massing is the orientation of the two raised sloped roof forms on the upper level bedrooms, skewed in two opposing directions.
Sensitive to the climate and its context, Sandeep explains the material choices. “The Mangalore tiled terracotta sloping roof forms are reinterpretations of the vernacular houses in the region. The tiles and slopes combat the monsoon rains and protect the house from overheating in the summer. The east and northern faces of the house are transparent and permeable: they open to the soft morning light. Contrastingly, the western and southern facades of the house are intentionally more opaque in order to protect against the fierce west and southern sun.” he explains.
Text By Shibani Amin Rangaraj
Photographs Shamanth Patil J
Courtesy Khosla Associates