CATALYST, House in Hebbal neighborhood of Bangalore by Studio Whitescape

Photography© Rowina Leena Rodrigues, Soulties Photography, Bengaluru

Catalyst by Studio Whitescape

“LESS IS MORE “; a space where effective permeability of senses overrules the need for aesthetics.”Attaining spirituality amidst chaotic urban routine”; dynamic spaces with the ability to endow a tranquil and spiritual quality by perfect blend of natural light and resultant shadow pattern obtained within spaces.

The house in the developing neighborhood of Hebbal in Bangalore, built for a young couple by Studio Whitescape, was conceptualized around keeping the dichotomy between light and dark, solid and void to provide quality and volume to spaces. Since the shorter side of site faces the road, minimalistic approach was incorporated to make the whole depth of site to be read as a single space while change in minimum levels marks the functions of house.

The house was designed in keeping with the premises of minimalism: theoretical treatment of lighting, simplicity of form and rational are just some of the details that testify to the efficiency and elegance underlying this design. The stair court echoes the cantilevered staircase and reinforces the relationship between the spaces through a high degree of spatial connectivity.

The form is designed as a simple, minimalistic surface with dynamic characteristic. Smaller cube with wooden finish acts as highlighting element with the main cube, the nodes at which the two cubes converge tend to give rise to stressed planes thereby articulating the façade with 4 clean grooves highlighting the form which marks its dominance upon the street on which is created. White painted surfaces are used to express the facade of the house while concrete color is used to wrap volumes which filter light

Pockets of spaces like library in the first landing, Bar on the second & a prayer hall in the first floor are sensibly created to meet the function & client’s life style. The color selection is restrained to essentially white with   occasional pops of primary colors while priority is given to each & every detail. The contrast between the veneer-finished furniture along with off-white walls & ceiling gives rise to rationalized & structured Interiors.

The lower floor of the house is a rented unit while the upper volume is a duplex. The Floor planes of the duplex overlap each other for maximum utilization of spaces with double heights to accentuate the volume. The proportion of spaces is varied according to the function that the space imbibes. Levels placed vertically one above the other lend to uniformity of planes while staggering them adds hierarchy creating multiple viewpoints from a reference datum.

The first level of duplex approached by cantilever steps placed on northern end of site, occupies Living, Kitchen, Dining and a Bedroom with attached Bath. Entry to the house forms the central volume segregating the private and public spaces of the house which could be attached and detached spatially. One end consists of the living room, with a part of it being double height forms the heart of the house acting as a cozy family den as well as a space for hosting soirees for a large group of guests along with a bedroom. Living room expresses its own identity through the curvilinear form of the TV Unit with minimalistic furniture, purity of color & material. The living opens into a balcony in the front which overlooks into the park. On the other end is the kitchen with dining facing a small court. The Kitchen is designed with the theme of orthogonal lines defining the elements with white & timber-finish complimenting each other. Breakfast counter in between is designed as a cantilever structure with white ducco finish and timber-insertion on top with hanging fittings on top. Dining is characterized by an eight-seater dining table which is defined with timber panel on top & suspended light fixtures which act as defining elements. Crockery unit on the other side of the dining turns & becomes the seating for dining table; the wine-red colored glass finish of the drawer compliments the white duco finish. The court is designed as a prayer space at two different levels with soft and hardscape. The holy cross with timber finish is fixed to the wall with cove lighting all around bringing a sacred aura into the space. The ending node of the central volume forms the circulation core of the house.

The staircase with every landing extending to be habitable zones envelopes the spaces connected to it. First landing accommodates the study area, creating its way to the upper level of the house. Staircase is designed as a cantilever structure; tread which connect on the alternative step forms a zig -zag pattern. The Tread is defined with timber finish while the remaining is of white. Entire staircase looks like a floating element. The library on the landing is designed with library unit & a table; it is designed as a free-flowing form which starts from one end of the landing to the other end and creates characteristics of its own & defines the dynamic form of the furniture.

The Upper level opens into the family living area with a prayer space and 2 bedrooms at both the ends. The spaces are manipulated in sections to address the ground plane. The family space overlooks the Living in the lower floor with seating which acts as a railing. The double height space is provided with skylight on top, which is characterized with multiple pyramids with perforated surfaces. These perforated pyramids filter the light & create the dramatic shadow pattern on the wall during the first half of the day. The prayer space shares the court of the dining. This court is read as an open spine which helps in anchoring the design to the site due to the holy aura created around it. The symbolic Holy Cross rises its way in the entire volume of the court lending a character with perforated skylight above it. It is also provided with skylight on top with perforated panels, which filter the light & create the dramatic shadow pattern throughout the day according to the sun movement, creating a dialogue between the solidity of The Cross and lightness of the openings. The prayer room is characterized with bell & hanging diya on both the sides.

The Master Bedroom on one end of the central volume is characterized with wardrobe which turns & become the TV unit and the bed with ducco & veneer finish. Bed is designed as a dynamic element of interiors which brings a definite characteristic to the space. The other end of bedroom leads to walk-in wardrobe and attached toilet. The circular opening above the washbasin brings the light from top, the small plant in the corner creates an ambience of its own. The Kids bedroom on the other side of central volume is designed with free-flowing bed & top white panel which is characterized with folded envelop which are placed in rhythmic pattern. The wardrobe is designed with anthropometry consisting of storage at top, drawer in the bottom & cloth hanging portion in the centre. The central portion is designed with recessed square pattern, which is emphasized with bright color. The staircase then continues its journey and terminates to the terrace floor with the mid-landing is designed as a Bar. The bar is designed with serving counter & storage at the back, top portion is designed as display unit with square openings. Open bottles which are hung from the top bring definite characteristics to the space. Terrace is designed as a garden with the seating.

Catalyst is an elegant dialectic of monolithic & delicate architectural elements. Its overall expression is in response to the client’s affinity of living life to the fullest.

Project Facts:

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Principle Architect: Manjunath C N

Design Team: Deepika Sandeep, Neha Karmarkar, Varsha, Nikitha Jain, Kusuma & Ashita Jain

Documentation Team: Chaithra Maruvala, Arjun Pariyarath, Soumya Stanly, Jain Saloni Sampatraj, Rishabh Patil

Client: Preetham Serao and Shalini Chandrashekar

Site Area: 1200 Sqft

Project Area: 2750 sqft

Structural Engineer: Yogesh, Ray Builtech, Bengaluru.

Interior contractors: Jasraj Suthar.

Initiation of Project: 2016

Completion of project: 2018

Photography: Rowina Leena Rodrigues, Soulties Photography, Bengaluru

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