Location: Bangalore, India
Photo credits: Smruti Kamat
The 1200 sq ft plot for the project had construction all around, with low light and ventilation.The challenge was to find a way to ‘seize our slice of sky’ and yet make full use of available build-able plot area. Translating this idea, almost half the site is left empty. The most climatically pleasant north-east corner forms a small urban garden. Everything is oriented around it. The house itself is stacked on the remaining site in the form of a tall block overlooking this other open half.
The living room on the ground floor has a single volume above, spanning two floors that tie together all the remaining spaces. The family room, kitchen, dining space and the elders’ bedroom are all on lower level of this volume. The upper level contains a small library and two bedrooms. The slim stair, stealthily carved along its length ties together all the levels of this compact unit of urban Indian living.
The boundary wall defining the green pocket had to be higher than usual for privacy – leading to a shortage of mud blocks. This called for a fun exercise of creatively stitching together burnt bricks with the remaining mud blocks to craft a sculptural surface that encircled the urban garden.