Amongst one of Lucknow’s exclusive yet chaotic neighbourhoods, the Volume Villa stands unapologetically, making an unassuming and brave statement within its urban context. In sharp contrast to its fellow residences, it appears to provide the passerby with an introverted and fortified impression.
Conceived as a box of raw concrete and wood on the outside and glass and gloss on the inside, the villa narrates a story of the modern progressive aspiration of the client and his grounded partiality to his roots.
Despite being located directly on the main road of the complex, the house is deceptively private. Architecturally, the villa rises as a raw concrete box from a three and a half meter plinth of wood that houses the basic services; a six car garage, an internal vertical elevator and an independent, isolated service access to the quarters of the staff on the terrace floor.
The façade is a dialogue of concrete and wooden fins extending through the height and width of the house that can expose the glass windows concealed behind them as per the will of the home owners. This gesture brings in the desired amount of light, a controlled view and effective cross-ventilation. The house, therefore, can choose to be private or extroverted depending on its appetite for light and air.
The façade also features two bold cantilevers – one at the top and the other as a balcony to add an element of construction excitement, owing to the nature of business of the house owner –that of constructing real estate. The glass and wood wedge-shaped balcony extend from the master bedroom, where one can get a special elevated view of the entire property.
The horizontal wooden fins on top, conceal within them a private terrace garden and a glass box floor which brings in a large amount of natural light.
Housed on a pedestal of wood, the entrance door of the concrete block has an eye level disconnect from inside out that prepares the visitor for the voracious play of elevated volumes and levels inside enhanced by its own exaggerated scaled proportions. The left side of the entrance features a small garden with pots and planters to give a fresh and green view to the formal living room inside.
On entering the ground floor, the formal living room dominates the entrance level with its high ceiling glass enclosure. It is flanked by a special and uninterrupted wall art comprising of a collage of beautifully crafted doors from the native village of the house owner. This wall is complemented by simple modern furniture and light accents that respond delicately to the vernacular character of the celebrated artwork of the everyday.
Alongside the living areas, a voluminous core of three levels is seen rising atop the lobby. The polished Jaisalmer floor ushers one into another level of semi-private spaces which house the dining room, the kitchen merging in with an informal living space and a guest bedroom outlined with wooden fins for flexibility.
The ochre of the Jaisalmer stone floor lends an enriching character to the central atrium inside. Inlaid with iridescent mother of pearl and granite geometric shapes, the craftsmanship of the indigenous, the state of Uttar Pradesh is highlighted. The vocabulary of flexible fins continues from the outside to the very core of the house playing with the inside-outside concept of this villa. The guest bedroom opens up to a private lawn in front and owing to its external façade detail, the living room gets a visual connect to the greens as well as light from the outside.
The first floor is a collection of three volumes of sleeping spaces, each of which highlights a multi-level play of spaces. The master bedroom features a double height bedroom, with walk-in dressers stacked on top of its attached concrete bathroom. On the other side, the room extends into the cantilevered balcony.
The next level houses the son’s bedroom which is planned like a haven for a teenager. Comprising of an entertainment space for friends as a double height volume and an isolated bedroom mezzanine floor above the dresser and bathroom.
Moving on, the daughter’s bedroom is stepped up to span the full depth of the house, forming a bridge and therefore uses the concept of suspension, even in its furniture story. Circular ceiling hung swing seating, a floating round cantilevered bed, a semi –circular side sofa, all exhibit a certain enthusiasm and energy, much like the user of the space.
Further up, the top floor unfolds into a leisure lounge for socializing that opens up to an interestingly lit bar, a gaming zone and a home theatre space. It also has an adjoining spa and sauna room, a pantry and a bathroom to form an independent unit in itself. This floor features glass walls that merge into an elaborate terrace garden with external sitting spaces, amidst water and light design elements making it a perfect place to unwind amongst the city environs.
The villa is punctuated with interesting high quality European furniture, furnishings and products that accentuate the light and levels of voluminous vista and transcend one into one’s own idea of utopia if there ever was one.
Typology : Residential – Interiors
Name of Client : Mr. Ashish Khemka
Principal Architect : Mr. Sourabh Gupta
Design Team : Cheena Malik, Nikita Rathore, Nitin Bhardwaj, Aditi Sharma
Site Area : 332.34 sqm
Built-Up Area : 876.95 sqm
Start Date : May 2013
Completion Date : May 2015
Photographer : Andre J Fanthome
Project Cost: 8 Crores
Structural : Roark consulting
Electrical : Archohm
Civil : suraj builder
Landscape : archohm
HVAC : Refrico
Plumbing : techno engineering consultants
Façade : archohm
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