Earthy Aesthetics Complimenting Tropical Modernist Home in Pondicherry | Hohm Design Studio

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On a lovely summer day, my clients invited me to go see their villa, La Serenite, on Serenity Beach, Pondicherry. Even though this modernist home was in the most dilapidated condition, I may have fallen in love instantly! We’ve used a full-bodied tile in the mud room area with flooring of black cudapah & white marble in a diamond pattern. The ceiling is in a gridwork of American sal wood. The floor and the ceiling are completely inspired by Geoffrey Bawa. The mud room has a pine wood wall cladding. The sliding door on the left leads to the children’s room with a micro cement floor.

Earthy Aesthetics Complimenting Tropical Modernist Home in Pondicherry | Hohm Design Studio

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The pool hut was the focal point of the house with its highlight being the rattan sheet ceiling held with a teak wood rafter framework, adding the coastal feel.


The spacious 6500 sq.ft structure with aluminum partitions, exposed pipelines, and the most random paint shades on the walls, gave me an opportunity to be at my creative best! Our very busy doctor clients wanted the villa to be made into their private staycation home. Giving them that was my life for the next 6 months!

The entrance verandah of the home with its heritage pillars, wooden ceiling, traditional barge board, and athangudi tiles is the perfect lazing spot for our furry friends of the family.

What appealed to me was the beautiful outdoor spaces available along with the dreamy sunrises and sunset views of the beach. The shell was that of a heritage Kerala home with traditional rosewood doors and we decided to use that to our advantage to complement the earthy aesthetic. The living room with its black and white flooring and framework ceiling made with American Sal wood pays a tribute to the Bawa aesthetic.

The cushioned lounge beds and micro cement high dining table is the ideal spot to entertain as all 10 openings from this area open into the outdoor pool and garden areas.

Someone I took great inspiration from was Geoffrey Bawa’s concept of ‘tropical modernism’ with the added elements of the Kerala antiquities. Blurring the boundaries between the indoor and outdoor spaces broke the dark overtone and instilled it with natural light.

Most of the furniture, light, and decor pieces we have used in this project are created by various boutique stores and units of Auroville, thus contributing to consuming local talent, which is a big part of our design philosophy.

The master bedroom is made more like a suite room category of any five-star resort, including its very own tea area (with expansive views of the beach), a large dressing area, an outdoor open-to-sky shower area, and a spacious bathroom.

The bar and powder room have a French influence keeping in sync with the colonial feel of Pondicherry.

This modernist home on the beach is the perfect holiday home to unwind, hear the waves splash, and watch the perfect sunsets. 

Fact File

Designed by: Hohm Design Studio

Project Type: Residence Architecture & Design

Project Name: LA Serenite

Location: Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

Year Built: 2022

Duration of project: 9 Months

Project Size: 6500 Sq.ft

Project Cost Appx: 1.7 Cr

Principal Architect: Sonal Chordia

Photograph Courtesy: Shamanth Patil

Firm’s Instagram Link: Hohm Design Studio

Firm’s Facebook Link: Hohm Design Studio

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