This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint

This Urban Home in India Maximizes Its Tiny Footprint

Designing a residence that revolves around the concept of “delight” is undoubtedly not an easy task. But it is successfully executed by Smaran Mallesh, the lead architect at Cadence firm. The Bangalore-based firm explained, “Culturally, in India, the home is a symbol for a lot of things, not just a center for a family but the aspirational statement that the family wants to make in society,” So when the client requested a statement-making abode, an eclectic private residence was borne out of intergenerational needs and sensitivities of the extended family, comprises of the client’s parents, wife, and a teenage kid.

This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint
Image 1: An Urban Home in India

The architect knew its design should inculcate fascination. “A few ideas begin all of our projects: One is the individual versus the collective—a home should have a unique set of private spaces and areas to come together.

Image 2: This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint
Image 2: This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint

The second is that the house has two parts: the practical and the pleasurable,” he says. “The utilitarian comes from the program, and the pleasurable is how we blend in these programs via gardens and double-height spaces.”

Image 3: This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint
Image 3: An Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint

Set on a 2400 square foot close-knit urban site, the project’s first challenge was to find a balance between harmonizing the landscape with the residence while providing privacy from neighbors. Also, the owners envisioned a home for both entertaining friends and relaxing as a family. The spirit of efficient interior architecture allowed the architects to concoct both purposes. The family rooms are situated on the lower level; the top floor is equipped with the guest room with an open-air garden terrace, welcoming the delight into the built space.

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Image 4: This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint
Image 4: This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint

The building exterior is intentionally subdued in color and texture, allowing the passersby the lavish view of a facade akin to sculpture. The design encourages natural ventilation and passive solar shading, by maximizing sightlines to the greens, solar orientation, and carving out multi-level distributed terraces. 

An undulating block of rough-hewn granite, set within a terra-cotta-colored frame, seems to float over a lush garden terrace to take precedence and a glass-walled room wrapped in teak slats. “These contrasts in material—between light and heavy, color and grayscale—were purposeful attempts to surprise and awe,” says Mallersh.

Image 5: This Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint
Image 5: An Urban Home in India Maximizes its Tiny Footprint

The effect was repeated on the interior, where the interior color palette brings a happy and relaxed vibrancy to the living spaces. Bright teal on the dining room walls and shiny brass for a custom-screened door to the prayer room serves as a picturesque focal point. The decking for the front terrace features a pattern of dark granite and teak, adjacent but never mixing like undisturbed oil and water. Filled with eccentricity, this house is a culmination of urban sophistication and indoor-outdoor living.

“We looked at the home as a series of episodes, wherein each we created a warm yet textured space via contrasting materials,” he says. “It’s an interesting idea to achieve using architecture: How can space, color, or form be delightful?”

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