Friday, October 11, 2013

Mr.Jose Joseph's residence at Calicut by Stapati

It is not very often that one gets to see residential spaces that are designed in a simple yet elegant manner. The Jose residence is just that. A simple juxtaposition of spaces shorn of ornamentation, treated in a very understated elegant manner.

The residence as such is placed on an elevated level from the entrance road, following the contours of the site to keep the cutting and filling to a minimum. It is a composition of white rectilinear volumes interspersed with plenty of greenery. One of the focal points of the design is the semi-covered living space, which is partly cantilevered out. The entrance, along with this living space is at a higher level than the front yard. One has to climb up through a series of landscaped steps to reach an entrance court. The indirect entry through the lush greenery helps set the tone for the entire design.

The entrance court is a pebble covered landscaped court, which is covered on top, thereby creating a space that is at once open and yet, one which is sheltered. From this court, one can either access the semi-covered living area or enter into the main house through another set of steps. The semi-covered living area is a space for relaxation. The cantilever makes the space seem to overhang and float into the landscape in front. The roof is a glass canopy with traditional reed mats on top creating a textured pattern which filters the sunlight during the day and creates an interesting play of light and shadow. The informal old wicker chairs in white further adds to the ambience.

As one enters the main block of the house, one is greeted by a well detailed wooden door with niches on the side walls. One enters into a large expansive space which forms the living and dining spaces. The thing that is immediately noticeable is the openess of the space and the greenery outside. Floor to ceiling sliding doors cum windows frame the sides, creating a continuum between the interiors and the exteriors, thereby ensuring a flowing of spaces which is not rigidly demarcated. The gravel covered landscaped yard thus becomes an extension of the interiors, inviting one to step out and become part of the nature. Thus, the living and dining area is completely washed in natural light with the lush green of the landscape forming a constant backdrop.

The dining space is a double height space and is made all the more interesting through the play of volumes. The staircase leading to the upper floor is interestingly done with no balusters on one side of the flight, adding to the openness of the space. The steps are finished neatly with treads in saw cut wooden planks.

The interiors are finished in a very subdued colour scheme of white and grey, complemented by the black of the cudappah flooring. However, this subdued palatte is enlivened by the lush green outside and further by the bright colours of the various fabrics in the furnishings.

The entire house is interspersed with artworks, which impart a unique ambience to the spaces. Truly, it is these little touches, done with impeccable taste, which serves to add vitality to the whole composition.


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