Time and money posed the usual constraints in this reconstruction and retrofitting job where services had to be re-laid and the place transformed. Archohm took up these constraints and converted them into design solutions. Principal Architect, Sourabh Gupta elaborates.
The brief given by the client Amith Bajla of Taurian Iron & Steel Co. Pvt Ltd for the 176sqm house set in 267sqm site in Gurgaon was simple, ‘convert this existing house into a boutique guest house for corporate use’. The first visit to the site revealed a small, almost run down unit built on a tight plot. The project involved modernizing the old house as well as rebuilding the services.
The existing frame was developed as an earthy and rustic envelope to create comfortable high-end guest rooms. The living and common spaces are intrinsically integrated with the landscape to create a continuous and flowing spatial layout. The corresponding ‘inside-out’ ambience helped to redefine the space and create the illusion of a larger and greener environment. An additional floor was constructed and the façade was redone to enhance the qualitative and quantitative volume of the space.
Keeping in mind the landscape and the exterior of this project, it proved to be an extreme exercise in Agra red stone and its various forms & finishes. It effectively brought in the needed rustic flavour to the client’s ‘iron ore mining’ guesthouse. Scaled to bring a sense of ‘home’ within the residential environment of Gurgaon, this project highlights the concept of spatial and material continuity.
On the ground floor, rooms were extended into the open spaces by creating transparent partitions that can easily be opened. Continuous pavement patterns help to visually link spaces. This results in the efficient use of setbacks, reduction in construction, controlled budgets, enriched internal visual experiences and inclusion of natural light and greenery into the interior spaces. The guest rooms were provided with bold single monochrome colours of either black or white, allowing one to play with colours through softer elements of furnishings and fixtures.
On the first floor, the client’s personal suite reflects the building’s ‘natural’ theme through clay floor tiles, earthen walls and an extended private terrace integrated into a seamless single volume. A circular bed sits at the center of this suite with a side carpet that highlights the client’s Taurian symbol. An inbuilt study incorporated behind the bed as a headrest, a bench sofa and a corner television unit helped to create a simplistic, but welcoming layout. The bathroom on the first floor expands on the notion of ‘central space’ with the apt use of white corian ‘Self’ – a monolithic, central bathroom piece that adds a spacious characteristic to the interiors, while the bath tub overlooks a green view of the terrace.
This inside-out house was punctuated with customized, designed light features such as the twilight, an interesting furniture sofa that swings and stone tables accessorized with Italian clocks and Portuguese artwork- creating an abode that is able to subtly, but holistically, celebrate design.
Rustic Forms & Materials
Agra Red Sandstone has been used in its purest form. Simple pillars and blocks of the stone, devoid of any texture or carving, highlight the beauty of the material and use it to enhance the ‘natural’ concept of the design. Pillars 2.7m high mark the entrance making way for an interesting boundary wall and screen. Varied sized blocks of sandstone are randomly placed across the garden as stools, tables and stepping-stones creating a playful ambience. The living room wall, which opens up in to the front garden, is also dry-clad with Agra Red Sandstone, in sawn and natural split form, enabling the outside ambience to subtly seep inside. To contrast the Agra Red, Black Pebbles have been sprinkled at the base and a black granite sculptural birdbath adds the final touch to the ingenious external landscape layout.