A Comforting Familiarity with Composed Serenity for this Residence in Mumbai | SML Architects

Residence far removed from Bombay’s swarming urban nucleus, the Terracotta Earth House assumes a role akin to a silent observer uncoupled from the relentless bustle of the metropolis. The dwelling’s christened name is an ode to the ever-present hue that pulses through its expanse, but more pivotally, it is a resolve to pause, reflect, and trace one’s roots.

A Comforting Familiarity with Composed Serenity for this Residence in Mumbai | SML Architects

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The amorphous body of coarse and porous clay gives way to the creation of terracotta — a process that underscores the notion of non-permanence and transformation. A home is not dissimilar in that regard. It poses as an ever-morphing backdrop against which the lives of families unfurl. Yet, what remains unchanged is the sense of belonging shared by its inhabitants, a trove of intangible yet defining emotions.

Overruled by stillness, the open plan living cum dining sections witness the inhabitants spending a significant fraction of their day within its embrace. The lady of the home reminisces memories of her time spent in the historic city of Chandigarh, an iconic beacon of Modern Architecture endowed with the prowess of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret since the 1950s. The acclaimed Jeanneret ‘Chandigarh Sofa’ makes a cameo, bathed in a cool grey tone. Hans Wegner’s ‘CH25’ Chair, composed of hand-woven rope and teak, keeps the former classic company.

Formal restraint reigns supreme at the Terracotta Earth House, yet an undeniable vitality is apparent, inspiring in the form of hand-picked architectural elements and colour. The micro-topped concrete tinted in a terracotta colour references oxide-washed floors of heritage bungalows that presents a contemporary take on the past with reverence.

The coffee table and sculptural pedestal tables are created using polished plywood bases and Lapotra-finish ebony granite tops, pronouncing tactile materiality. An embedded tessellation of hand-knotted geometric forms claims the jute rug whole. The deliberately unembellished abstract art seems to bleed its hues into the surrounding area while the chartreuse colour of the towering plant contrasts it playfully! The daylight filters through the veil of white sheer curtains by Saphed.

The petite dining nook is a coalition of function and history made tangible. The white marble top and black metal-structured dining table is paired with sleek Mid-Century Modern teak and black leatherette chairs. A duo of woven cane pendants levitates over the dining nook, casting morphing shadows. A bespoke collage of rust-hued Agra stone wall murals conceptualised by Artist Rutva Joshi ornament the wall. The accent feature recalls Brutalist Architecture’s appeal embodied by Chandigarh’s eminent landmarks — a lithic retelling that layers the nook with a palpable emotional quality.   

The tremendous North-Western light swathing the indoors saturates the blueprint. Sunlight travels into the spaces via the peripheral alfresco decks bordering every room, allowing the home to respire. A grey hue ascends the walls and spreads over the ceilings homogeneously, balancing the warm colour’s omnipresence. Movement is expressed within the space in versatile furniture with clean silhouettes, free to traverse the layout based on need.

Fact File

Designed by: SML Architects

Project Name: Terracotta Earth House

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Project Type:  Residence Interior Design

Project Size: 900 Sq.ft

Year Built: 2022

Principal Architect: Mahek Lalan 

Text Credit: Lavanya Chopra

Photography Courtesy: Yadnyesh Joshi

Firm’s Instagram Link: SML Architects

Firm’s Facebook Link: SML Architects

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