The Unconventional Finesse of Brick-and-Mortar In this Expansively Luxurious Residence | K.N.ASSOCIATES

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Distinctive R-House residence binds several captivating experiences celebrating Indian architecture. A remarkable feature of this residence is the zero friction transition between the outdoor and indoor spaces. Various architectural elements like double heights, outdoor porch, water body and landscape rightly justifies socio-cultural sensibilities of the residents along with being extremely climate responsive. Zooming in, the minimally ornate woodwork honours the local artisans. This pays a fair tribute to Mr. Louis Sullivan’s motto, Form Follows Function. ~ Yamini Vaswani

The Unconventional Finesse of Brick-and-Mortar In This Expansively Luxurious Residence | K.N.ASSOCIATES

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For this devout Rajput family, obeisance to the Gods upon entering the home as well as leaving was an ingrained ritual, integral to their age-old traditions. K. N. Associates took note, which was a straightforward one. To be used by an extended family with three generations living under the same roof, five bedrooms were required—all in a Vastu-compliant layout. K. N. Associates, however, took the practicalities to another level, weaving interventions which introduce sculpture and installations as part of the design—all the time using local artists and craftsmen.

 

Exposed brick as well as RCC come together in this home, with pergolas visible on open terraces. A low brick and RCC wall marks the periphery of the corner plot, its aesthetic complementing the façade of the bungalow. An open courtyard is nestled within the C-shaped footprint of the structure. Semi-open spaces abound, acting as buffers between the living areas and the garden, to be enjoyed in conducive weather. Wooden columns, arches and brackets salvaged from old structures have been used strategically, on an occasional porch or a balcony, to create a jharokha. The extravagant detail in their carvings contrast with the straight lines of the architecture, which is without frills. But in this bold, unexpected gesture, the tones of the old wood and the terracotta of the brick come smoothly together without jarring. “In India, such columns can be sourced from Gujarat, Rajasthan or even the south. We were careful to choose the ones from Gujarat, to root the home to its location,” says Joshi.

This home by K.N. Associates was built with exposed brick and RCC; the structure is contemporary, while being rooted to its site and context

Exterior

Exposed brick as well as RCC come together in this home, with pergolas visible on open terraces. A low brick and RCC wall marks the periphery of the corner plot, its aesthetic complementing the façade of the bungalow. An open courtyard is nestled within the C-shaped footprint of the structure. Semi-open spaces abound, acting as buffers between the living areas and the garden, to be enjoyed in conducive weather. Wooden columns, arches and brackets salvaged from old structures have been used strategically, on an occasional porch or a balcony, to create a jharokha. The extravagant detail in their carvings contrast with the straight lines of the architecture, which is without frills. But in this bold, unexpected gesture, the tones of the old wood and the terracotta of the brick come smoothly together without jarring. “In India, such columns can be sourced from Gujarat, Rajasthan or even the south. We were careful to choose the ones from Gujarat, to root the home to its location,” says Joshi.

Entrance

Wide “floating” steps pass by a metal sculpture of a cowherd. Prancing in joyous abandon, the figure has been frozen in motion by sculptor Avinash Gondaliya. The quiet detailing on the main door has a diamond shaped pattern in a wood finish, the handle echoing the same shape in an oversized iteration.

Living Room

The two sides of this room provide an unhindered view of the garden. An antique swing and a jharokha add local flavour, while the furniture is from Tectona Grandis, Ahmedabad. Curtains are from D’Décor, with chandeliers and lamps from Kaanch, Vadodara. A multitude of masks make up a seemingly random display on a brick wall. In various parts of the home, textured kota has been laid in a pattern to simulate a carpet; polished green kota teamed with its yellow cousin in a leather finish sweep over the floors. “The climate in Vadodara is not suitable for carpets,” says Joshi, “so we brought in the visual appeal without the impracticality. We were particularly careful about the joints where a brick wall meets one in RCC. The edge of the brick was chamfered, so that you see only one continuous material when you view the wall,” says Joshi.

Dining Area and Staircase

The pièce de résistance is a large round cut-out in the wall. With a 20-foot diameter, it is set with textured glass in blue, yellow and green in a geometrical pattern which carries through the diagonal lines of the pattern on the surrounding RCC wall. Dominating the space, it connects all the floors of the house. “The metal supports which bear the weight of the glass, have been clad in wood,” says Joshi. “I have to thank Deepak Ambekar, structural engineer, for the technically-demanding staircase which slants upwards in front of the fixed glass window, without any support from the wall. Suspended from cables, it has a weightless appearance.” Adjacent to it, a 16-foot-tall suspended art installation brings colour to the space. “Created by Hemanshi Patwa, its lotus leaves are 18-24 inches in diameter and made of blown glass, with a metal structure for support,” says Joshi.

Master Bedroom for the Parents

Located in the south west, this bedroom has a traditional bed and a jharokha. Opening onto the garden, it has its own porch with antique pillars. “Nothing in this home has been imported,” says Joshi. “All the new furniture was made on site.”

First Floor

The first floor has three bedrooms, the common space being furnished in reclaimed wood. The double height space enjoys a large window and is protected from the sun by motorised blinds sandwiched between glass. The master bedroom has a wicker ceiling, brass etching on the bed back, louvred wardrobe shutters and its own study. The attached terrace from which the garden is visible, has outdoor seating topped by a pergola. An old champa tree grows through a cut-out provided in the slab of the terrace. The brother’s bedroom also has a wood and wicker ceiling, brass inlay on the bed back and an antique jharokha with a view of the garden, while the children’s bedroom has artwork featuring their own portraits.

Second Floor

This floor houses a gym, a guest bedroom and a home theatre. A fun space with exposed brick walls, the floor and ceiling of the home theatre are in wood.  The wall at the rear is painted with monuments of Baroda, while another wall has a collage of children playing marbles. “Although acoustics have been considered there is no fabric panelling or high-tech sound proofing, since there was no requirement for replicating sound studio specs,” says Joshi.  

With sculpture and installations befitting its scale, this home reduces its carbon footprint with the use of local materials to create an enduring, meaningful space. Drama and glamour convincingly rub shoulders with tradition.

Designed by: K.N.ASSOCIATES

Project Type: Residential Bungalow (Architecture & Interior)

Project Name: R-House (Rudradutt Rathod’s Residence)

Location: Old Padra Road, Vadodara

Year completed : 2021

Size: sq feet: 8000 sq.ft.

Project Cost appx: 3.5 crore

Principal Architect: Narendra Joshi & Pritesh Patel

Photograph courtesy: Tejas Shah photography

Products and Materials : Chandelier : Kaanch / Windows : Aluplast / Kota : Baba Marbles / Lighting : Nirvana / Color : Asian Paints / Sanitary ware and Bath Fittings : Hans Grohe / Furniture : Tectona Grandis / Furnishings : D’decor / Hardware : Hafele / Modular kitchen : Prato / Ply : Century Ply / Mosaic : Soch Ceramic / Air conditioning : Daikin / Exposed Brick Cladding Internal and External Walls : Jai Jalaram Brick Works

Text Credits : Devyani Jayakar

Structural Contractors : Ambekar Associates

Civil Contractor : Shailesh Mistry

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