This modern Bangalore house designed by GNA maximises a stunning lake front view and creates a resort-like feel.
The Bangalore based architectural firm GNA headed by Gayathri Shetty and Namith Varma has been committed to evolving an architectural vocabulary that they believe is relevant, contemporary yet explores an idiom that is traditional and contextual.
Their design portfolio that spans single home commissions to large hospitality, retail and commercial design projects has seen their design style amalgamate technological innovations with equal ease as using traditional building materials and methods.
The home of principal architect and the firm’s founder Gayathri Shetty was in many ways, a reflection of the firm’s architectural philosophy. The 1.5 acre plot on which the home is built abuts one of the largest urban lakes of Bangalore. The home was planned as a response to the overwhelming presence of the lake. It is bold, uncompromising and almost austere in its form.The built mass planned along the east west axis allows for panoramic views along the northern side of the lake beyond. On entry into the plot, this mass doesn’t reveal the lake factor, and it’s well planned spaces build up to the surprise visual treat.
The plan of the home centres around a double height courtyard, which the architects explain is rooted in the traditional concept of the courtyard in Indian homes. The contemporary treatment of the courtyard which is the first visual element on entry sets the tone of the spatial and interior interpretations. A stacked double height slate wall, painstakingly built at site, forms the backdrop and juxtaposes a Koi filled reflecting pool. Gayathri’s penchant for the arts saw her commission sculptor Dimpy Menon to install a metal sculpture within the water body. Large sculptural paper lights designed by Jenny Pinto hang above this pool adding an element of beauty both in the day and night.
The courtyard separates the open planned living and dining both of which enjoy the stunning view of the lake. The tropical feel is enhanced as one enjoys the surrounding landscape and views beyond through the large glass fenestrations that run all along the front edge of the home.
The built mass of the house is restricted to the southern half of the site and the northern lake facing part comprises of large decks, lawns, swaying coconut trees and a swimming pool.
The site edge has been treated with glass parapets all along the lake edge adding to a tropical resort feel. Adjacent to the main house is the guest block designed as an independent single storied structure that houses a guest bedroom and home theatre that open onto a deck that joins the main house decks. A spa room with an open courtyard and a gym have been planned in the space below the guest block.
The upper floor bedrooms of the family all maximise the lake view and have been planned along the northern side of the house. The children’s bedrooms have a mezzanine and an interesting box window constructed in glass that forms an interesting light textural volume to the front northern slate clad elevation of the house, when viewed from the front decks.
Gayathri’s design sensibilities straddle contemporary and modern elements with the traditional and she has skilfully juxtaposed them with rustic yet sculptural elements, which make a unique design statement within the house.
The staircase is a fun example of these amalgamated elements, the first flight of which has been sculpted out of a large granite boulder, a mid landing of glass leading to the wooden steps all set against a slate stacked wall. Various areas in stacked slate, slate cladding and granite express the architect’s play of stone material within the house.
Cement finished walls also enhance the raw appeal of materials the architect wanted to achieve. Windows flood the puja room with natural light highlighting it’s wall painted in by Kerala temple painters.
The textural play of natural materials, spatial volume with skylights which flood the space with large amounts of light and glass fenestrations that blur the boundaries of the inside and the surroundings, all make the Shetty House a space that leaves the visitor in awe.
Text By Shibani Amin Rangaraj
Photographs Courtesy The Architects