The Lateral House in Bengaluru, designed by Gaurav Roy Choudhury, is a pristine white space whose layout sets up a smart play of height, space, and functionality.
A home so fluid and inundated with natural light is not very easy to come by. Located in Uttarhalli in Bengaluru and spread across 3,600 square feet, this abode sports a sunny personality. The sweeps of pristine white are many, and it indeed dominates the visual spectacle of the house.
This is a structure that at face value seems to break down the conventional arrangement of homes, but is actually a cleverly built shell that creates a sense of connected openness, even while hiding private spaces of escape.
Designer Gaurav Roy Choudhury states, ”The young family of the house looked to me for something pure. The brief however had a strict adherence to keep costs low and to abide by numerous Vastu principles.” What he has managed to build is a space that is “pure” in both looks and character; no small achievement that!
A look at the home makes one realise what the design team meant by wanting to create a “sculptural space.” This residential project played an intelligent game with scale, light, material and interior layout to maximise every fundamental idea behind the home.
The brilliant stroke here is in the form of a courtyard around which all movement is orchestrated. A mezzanine floor hides the parking area, while the living, dining and guests rooms populate the lower level.
Staircases flank one side of this section, opening into viewing galleries that accentuate the feeling of being in one hollowed-out shell of illumination. The staircases are keys to according the home its august feel; they set up the multi-level space division that makes up the house’s functional and stylistic diversity. The rough, unfinished quality of the exposed concrete ceiling combines with the generous influx of sunlight to make the whole house look alive with some sort of visceral energy.
What also adds to the wonderment is the strategic accenting of the walls. There are pockets of brilliant blue that stand out amidst the white desert. Peeping from between the whiteness are also slivers of exposed brick walls, a detail that never fails to add earthiness to a scheme.
The muted tones of the floor and stairs help accentuate the effect of the walls, whose charm is inescapable from the word go. In the literal sense, in the project’s demand for purity, this work radiates calm and also helps take full decadent pleasure of Bengaluru’s superb weather conditions.
White here is also representative of contemporary design sensibilities, standing in brilliant minimalist contrast to any colour or contour that gets added later. In the scheme of a home, this whiteness of things is even more interesting, as it awards the place a memorable look, for the eyes of the outsider, and a warm and personal vibe, for the residents.
The low-on-clutter approach is essential too because every family cherishes wide spaces for movement. If these spaces are interspersed with sociable nooks and corners, then it becomes the perfect place to call home. The rooms of this house exist in a parallel universe – part of the whole, but still hidden away in their own worlds.
The ‘Lateral House’ may conjure up pictures of a geometrically eccentric house, full of sharp angles and unusual rooms. This house couldn’t be farther from that image. This one is just the right mix of unconventional and traditional. It also is a good balance between the minimalist school of design thought, and the more functional and well-stocked approach. How many homes can boast of such brilliant juxtapositions?
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Tina Nandi