Narrow brick house / Srijit Srinivas – ARCHITECTS
- Region :
Manufacturers: Electrodynamics, geosam, Greenlam, Hybec, Prisha, Trojan, it will
Text description provided by the architects. The clients (a couple working as computer engineers) presented an extremely cramped site in Thiruvanthapuram as part of their design brief. The inherent challenge was to accommodate a generous 117 m². of surface built on the lengthened ground of 283 m ². site, which, excluding side setbacks, only gets 4.8m (or a mere room width) of working clearance.
The resulting design solution provided living, dining and kitchen areas on the ground floor as well as a bedroom with en-suite bathroom. The first floor housed the adjoining master bedroom with a balcony and walk-in closet, a living room that the guest could drive mridangam (percussion instrument) classrooms, as well as an additional en-suite bedroom with a dressing room, which could also function as a study. A full-size car porch was not feasible given the scarcity of space on the plot, but alternatively a partially covered nook was designed to allow all-weather access from the car to the front door. entrance.
Despite the tightness of the building envelope, the interior spaces did not compromise the entry and movement of light and the circulation of air. The design also took advantage of the longitudinal slope of the site through a lowered floor plate following the natural contours of the terrain and, in doing so, optimized foundation costs.
Upon entering the house, one is greeted by an interior courtyard whose verdant green foliage is bathed in natural light thanks to the overhead skylight. This miniature “oasis” provides the emotional focus, visually connecting the living room and dining room on either side. The minimalist exposed concrete staircase wraps around the green space leading upwards, while providing visual interest with its restrained contrast of recesses and quiet protrusions.
The kitchen is located towards the rear of the site and located on a lower level. The careful use of vertically expanded internal volumes where possible, and a functional triad of mutually flowing spaces such as the living room, dining room and kitchen (and linked together vertically by the concrete stairwell ) successfully negates any perception of the volumetric constrictions of the narrow building and site envelopes. The dining room’s double-height configuration connects to the upper floor plan and accentuates the overall visual experience of the building.
The light minimalist approach also finds expression in the various interior design elements such as cabinets, shelves, windows, etc. – all reduced to the strict minimum required. The bedrooms, with careful space planning, although small, have space for sleeping as well as built-in study space and walk-in closets. The upper floor living room with its roof mounted skylight gives the space a warm character to complement its intended use as an informal mridangam training space. The upper floor master bedroom opens onto a balcony with louvered shutters offering privacy and cool breezes, as well as an invigorating play of light and shadow throughout the day.
This home showcases the power of purposeful spatial design and planning to deliver deft functionality and charm even in loosely constrained plots.