Senior living planned using low cost construction techniques – Angelica Grace Home, at Tamil Nadu, by Shanmugam Associates

Angelica Grace Home, at Tamil Nadu, by Shanmugam Associates

Senior living planned using low cost construction techniques - Angelica Grace Home, at Tamil Nadu, by Shanmugam Associates 3With a pristine thought of serving the aged, Clarac Charity Trust approached the architects to develop a senior living. Trichy, a tier-2 city located in the central region of Tamil Nadu in India, is well connected, has affordable cost of living, offers good water yield and is a religious hub; therefore making the city ideal for senior living. Angelic Grace Home is a 30,000-sqft Ground +2 structure that was planned comprising 50 fully furnished rooms. Abundant natural lighting and ventilation, constraints on construction cost and community spaces for the elderly were factors that influenced the design approach.

The 2-acre development is located adjacent the busy Trichy- Chennai national highway near Samayapuram, a suburb of Trichy. Development was planned on the northwest corner of the site, creating a large green space upfront that acts as a buffer from the main road.  The northwest corner also abuts an irrigation canal that connects to the River Panguni, a tributary of River Cauvery. This picturesque view along with Trichy’s tropical climate formed the basis for orienting the building and its predominant fenestration in the north-south direction. Cars & two-wheeler guest parking has been planned at the entry to make the property pedestrian friendly.

All amenities were housed within the building primarily for ease of access to the users at any given point of time. The amenities were oriented towards community living and physical fitness. Community living would include farming, meeting spaces in every floor, meditation hall, 60 seat refectory, multipurpose hall and open-air terrace. For physical fitness there is a gym, physiotherapy and natural canopied walkways. An emergency room, doctor’s consultation and a pharmacy take care of the medical needs.

Material exploration, aesthetics, accessibility and cost were critical design parameters. Locally sourced fly ash bricks have been used to wrap continuously around the building emphasizing the sill, lintel and roof slabs. To achieve this the columns and beams were recessed as a part of the structural system. A specific brick bond was developed after multiple iterations at site, in order to avoid cutting of bricks at window jambs.

Care was taken to use material such as anti-slippery large vitrified tiled flooring and UPVC windows with mosquito mesh in washrooms and rooms; wide doors and grab bars in all wet areas and corridors; anti-slippery hardy Kota flooring in common areas and ramps for floor to floor movement. To break the monotony of long corridors, there are light wells planned for light to permeate from the third-floor skylight all the way to ground floor.Senior living planned using low cost construction techniques - Angelica Grace Home, at Tamil Nadu, by Shanmugam Associates 5

Angelica Grace home falls under a unique typology that offers a lot of scope of growth in the Indian context. Use of cost-effective safe material, capitalizing on abundant natural lighting and ventilation, creating spaces that encourage social exchanges and physical strength are some key architectural aspects addressed in this economically challenging yet fulfilling project.


Project Facts-


Project Name: Angelica Grace Home

Architecture Firm: Shanmugam Associates

Completion Year: 2016

Gross Built Area: 30,000 sqft

Project location: Koothur, Trichy, Tamil Nadu India

Lead Architects: Shanmugam A, Raja Krishnan, Santhosh Shanmugam

Design Team: Balasubramaniam D, Senthil,

Clients: Angelica Clara Charity Trust

Engineering: Hi Tech Constructions

Landscape: Shanmugam Associates

Structural Consultant: Veerapan Consultants

Electrical Consultant: Alfa Associates

Plumbing Consultant: Devaraj Associates




Redwall Design Studio is an Architecture and Interior design firm located in JP Nagar, 7th phase, Bangalore, Karnataka. The design studio is shaped to make the best possible use of the available space as a versatile setting.


The studio entrance has an elegantly standing red brick wall, articulating the Redwall Studio. Setting foot in, one could contemplate a metal framed photo display, showcasing the studio’s works. Having a linear approach, the studio has two bays on its right, pantry bay and studio bay, which further opens into a fascinating conference room. Thoughtful and effective use of materials and lighting creates an active cozy environment appropriate for the design station. The studio has a further extension at the terrace which splits as studio 2, pantry and a dinette.


The concept of space frames perfectly suit the nooks and corners, leaving the space furnished and a feel of lavish ambience in a compact room. The raw pine wood box shelves collaborate with the metal frames which further extents as a couch. This gives a pleasing experience in the front approach and also acts as a waiting lounge.  The wooden flooring, expressive walls and exposed dark ceiling create an adorable envelope. Burst of colors through furniture pieces, pinup boards and photo frames add liveliness to the work setting. The fitful placement of greenery on shelves and ledges evoke soothing and refreshing emotions inside the studio.REDWALL STUDIO, at JP NAGAR, BENGALURU, by REDWALL DESIGN STUDIO 19


The conference room has a classy red brick wall as a background holding the Redwall design studio name plate. Ornate metal frames and scattered pinewood boxes placed above the bottom cabinet acts as a foreground which looks overwhelming. The opposite wall has a top sleek shelf along a pinup board at the bottom and the between part has a look through glass. Sleek glass table and nifty chairs stand elegantly in the center with a classy linear pendent light above.


The studio is fascinated with gleaming lighting fixtures at the desired places. The linear approach has the track lights, focusing the articulated walls and the photo display giving a visual treat to the users. The studio bay has a subtle ambience by placing the pendent lights and tract light above the work station. The studio looks radiant with comfortable working and interactive zone offering a suitable working ambience.


The ottoman style tables and vibrant chairs give appealing look to the dinette along with bamboo drapes on the adjacent sides. The planter boxes placed around the dinette create a soothing ambience. The space is completely transformed into an unstressed, calming zone amidst the work station giving the users a relaxing place to experience.

Project Facts :


Location : JP NAGAR, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Area : 400 sq ft

Project Status : Completed, FEB 2018 

Firm Name : Redwall Design Studio

Principal Architects : Kiran Kumar MR, Sudeep Dev M 

The House of Browns and Beiges, at Ludhiana, Punjab, by Ashok Sharma Architects

The House of Browns and Beiges, at Ludhiana, Punjab, by Ashok Sharma Architects

The House of Browns and Beiges, at Ludhiana, Punjab, by Ashok Sharma Architects 31This 3BHK apartment has been designed keeping in mind the client’s requirement of a minimalist yet contemporary home. The clean visible lines in this spacious apartment is what catches all the attention. The experience of the space designed enhances when the thoughtful incite of the design is well-planned and executed. This 3600SqFt apartment is a noteworthy example of a well-sought balance of warmth and design.

The user experiences the minimalist touch of the design upon entering the apartment where the user steps into the living area of the house. The living space of this house seems exciting and opulent with the kind of furniture designed. The circular centre table in the living space somewhere breaks the monotony of straight lines and blends in with the idea of a minimalist space.

On the right side of the vestibule upon entering is the formal seating space. In the Indian context, a formal seating space of the house is designed for welcoming the guests, hence the placement of the space is done tactically. Upon entering this area, the feature wall of raw travertino stone with the fireplace catches the eye of the user. The stone is not polished so as to get the veracious form of the same. The seating area is in light beige colour, keeping up with the warmth of the area. Highlighting the space is the marble top center table; as well as the pastel coloured chandelier on a walnut brown wooden ceiling.

The dining area is placed right next to the kitchen and open to the living area, making the entire lobby area look palatial. The area is highlighted with a contemporary chandelier and art pieces. The chairs of the dining table give out a feel of art-deco style with the kind of bends introduced. The subtle palette of browns and beiges in this space is very soothing to the eye. The art piece on the wall gives an extra character to the space. The kitchen space is kept very modern with a central workstation with granite top.

Upon moving towards the passage that leads to the bedrooms, the master bedroom is at the end of the passage, followed by the daughter’s bedroom and then the guest bedroom. The master bedroom expresses the warmth and the grandeur of the designer bed. The washroom is designed in a way that it speaks as a luxurious self, keeping the palette of browns and beiges intact. The daughter’s bedroom is kept very elementary, with an addition of a seating space for reading and relaxing. Upon entering the washroom, the user gets animated by looking at the mosaic feature wall with a jacuzzi. This keeps the space simple with an added touch of modernism. Moreover, the guest bedroom is kept very cosy and unadorned.

The entire apartment gives an ultra-contemporary yet minimalist look. The palette of browns and beiges are the highlight of the apartment which gave us the space of naming this project as ‘the house of browns and beiges’

Projects Facts –

Design Studio : Ashok Sharma Architects

Project Area : 3600 Sq.Ft.

Project Location : Ludhiana, Punjab

Project type : Residence Interior

Project Completion : 2020

House J172 at Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, by K&M Design Studio

K&M Design Studio

House J172 at Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, by K&M Design Studio 35Set in a prime location in Bengaluru, the J-172 house is a careful reconstruction of an ancestral home, to meet the growing needs of the family, without disturbing the structural integrity of the house. Modern, minimal aesthetics were the basis of design, wood became the primary choice of material as per clients brief and planning was vastly determined using concepts of Vastu (traditional Indian science of spatial design and placement).

Though confined within the boundaries of the existing structure, we were able to provide a playful yet functional planning. The entrance foyer divides the house into public, semi-public and private spaces. To the right is the formal living room and to the left are the family room, kitchen and elders’ bedrooms. First floor comprises of 2 more bedrooms, an open study and auxiliary spaces along with a garden attached to the Master Bedroom. The indoor garden can also be accessed by the outside corridor and provides a calming breakout space for meditative or recreational activities.

A cut-out in the ground floor slab opened up a double-heighted space which connects the family space to the first floor study. The large fenestration brings enough daylight throughout the day and also creates a garden extension to the family room.

An L shape concrete structure with grilled openings was added to attain 2 specific things- privacy from the neighbours as well as from guests. It also serves as a vertical green wall and adds to the charm of the entrance as well as the private garden.

The main door is a 1350mm wide 3/4th pivot Corbusier style wooden door, reinforced with stainless steel sub-structure giving it sturdiness without weight gain.

The family room acts as the central hub of the house with most of the activities revolving around it. The open kitchen layout along with the custom made dining table invites casual conversations over meal preps while the informal window seats provide the perfect reading corner.

All bedrooms integrate creative usage of wood to accentuate different elements. Adequate natural light and ventilation, mood lighting and uncluttered spaces make them the perfect space to relax and unwind.Large openings are confined to the north and east side to minimize heat gain. The double-heighted window towards the east side gets further shaded with the L shape green wall. The house remains lit, ventilated and cool throughout the day.The elevation form is a bold wooden box intersecting with the white mass which sits in stark contrast to the lush green surroundings. Multiple layers of floating planters provide relief and a soft touch to the solid masses. The entrance pathway to the house gets adorned with Kadappa stone cladding and a garden along the passage endowed with large plants. The ever changing flora around the house gives it a dynamic look throughout the year.

Project Name: House J172

Project location: Bengaluru

Completion Year: 2018

Gross Built Area: 376 sqm

Lead Architects: Ankur Manchanda, Konda Sri Harsha

Clients: Mr. Somashekhar

Building Contractor:  SC group Inc

Interior Contractor:  TimberWare

The Kabadiwalla Connect Workspace at Chennai by Drawing Hands Studio

The Kabadiwalla Connect Workspace at Chennai by Drawing Hands Studio 39

The Kabadiwalla Connect Workspace at Chennai by Drawing Hands Studio 41

The workplace as we know it today is the result of explosive creativity stretching the traditional rules of the workplace in the past, where hierarchies, social politics, and a general sense of rigidity prevailed. In today’s world, an office has the possibility of looking so many different ways.

This design for Kabadiwalla Connect, a young promising waste-management company in the city began with a need for achieving high levels of productivity in the workplace and had to accommodate the client’s need for diverse working patterns. Flexible workspaces are the future of offices, promoting productivity and happiness by encouraging the organic exchange of ideas between employees.

We had a compact space of 600 SFT. to work with and had to accomodate a multitude of programs within it. Our brief was to design a space that would be a workplace, an art hub and a stage for performing events, as the need arose. We chose to custom design the furniture in such a way so as to enable the clients to clear the space completely whenever needed and have an open floorplate; and also such that art shows could be held with the same set of furniture pieces. The space now enables both social, collaborative spaces and activities, as well as private heads-down work. Writable surfaces, pin-up surfaces, mobile discussion units and mobile work tables with plug n play options are some of the elements we’ve included within our design to facilitate ease of work for the team. Our colour palate is a vibrant yellow paired with a deep rich indigo, that would draw the visitors into the space.

Area : 600 SFT.
Typology : Interiors, Workspace
Status : Completed
Year : 2019
Design Team : Shruti Omprakash, Dinesh Kumar
Execution : Studio Context Architects
Location : Chennai, India
Photography : Phosart Studio

Crescent School of Architecture, Chennai by architectureRED

Crescent School of Architecture, Chennai, by architectureRED

Crescent School of Architecture, Chennai, by architectureREDDistinctly identifiable by its stepped terraces and red striated facade, the Crescent School of Architecture occupies a relatively small lot of the 60-acre university campus, in Vandalur, Chennai. The project brief envisioned studio spaces along with lecture halls and administration areas – which we chose to augment with necessary ‘de-programmed’ spaces for collective working and gathering. This allowed for the exploration of redefining not only the nature of spaces found in an architecture school, but also offering us the possibility to inform the future pedagogic programme that it could accommodate.

Typically, a school would house endless corridors with rooms on either side. Spaces offering opportunity for discussions and chance encounter is severely limited, which in turn confines its users to following a dreary routine. Overturning this notion of conventional space-making in an institution by replacing it with spaces that can have transformative pedagogical implications becomes imperative; wherein collective creation is encouraged within the institution’s pedagogic programme, by explicitly offering spaces that urge for learning outside of the confines of the classroom.

Key Plan Crescent College of Architecture, architectureRED

Crescent School of Architecture, Chennai by architectureRED 47

Crescent School of Architecture, Chennai by architectureRED 49With a programme that is two-fold in nature, both extroverted and introverted, any architecture school requires spaces that allow its users to work in multiple ways. The ideal school should allow for an open-ended programme. Through means of an unconventional spatial method, our architecture school presents its users with various options for inhabitation and use.

Conceptual Diagrams

Extending the ground plane into the building became imperative because of the limited site allocated for the large programme of the architecture school. We chose to eschew the need for a restricted entrance and instead chose to maximise the openness of the building’s connection to the ground – creating a large shared piazza that extends the urban structure of the university campus into the school, and flows through an open stilt area to the edge of the reserved forest. One is offered a multiple choice of accesses, including an open yet shaded access to the first floor. Instead of merely vertically extruding a courtyard, here the ground plane is multiplied, staggered at each level and overlapped. An additional ‘new ground’ is thus created at every floor level within the building – that stretches the piazza and the open stilt / free plinth upwards into the building volume. This continuous, stepped void created acts as a diagonal courtyard – offering, in this case, exhilarating vistas across the terraced-landscape-like formation, besides becoming the key congregational and social space for the school.

These voids – in addition to making the building mass lighter, also perform the important task of creating an ‘outdoors-like’ experience – with the wind blowing through, the sun traversing across the spaces during the day, and the shaded spaces feeling connected to the elements and the campus (to which the building forms and urban edge) – with views across the reserved forest on the west side and the campus towards the east and south.

Each studio space opens onto its adjoining double height terrace (shaded by the overhanging floors) through a set of large sliding folding doors – offering the possibility of open studio/workshop spaces and/or open exhibition and review spaces – that can be viewed together diagonally across, during ‘open-house’ days and common review days. Design studios that are placed adjacent to one another may be transformed into one large space hosting shared classes or studios between two different sections, avoiding complete isolation. Each design studio also accommodates a mezzanine level that houses its respective lecture hall.
The Crescent School of Architecture aims to deploy a spatial methodology to suggest possibilities in which different programmes may be adapted through innovative infrastructural and spatial solutions and possibilities.

With open spaces present at its base that offer possibility of intense activity, gathering and socialising, a strong connection between the school building and the campus is reinforced. This connection infiltrates the structure enhancing its experience in the hope of giving birth to a new system where users can begin to take charge and re-configure spaces that adapt to changing needs and demands, tuned towards their own specific purposes, and as such the buildings posits a proposition for a sustainable institutional architecture that will adapt to its times.


Project Facts:

Project Credits
Project Name: Crescent School of Architecture
Project Type: Institutional
Location:  Vandalur, Chennai, India
Client:  Crescent University
Project Status:  Completed, 2019
Built-up Area: 1,25,000 sq.ft
Client Team: V.N.A Jalal, M.S Jagan, Shuja Ahmed, Jamal J
Project Design Team:  Biju Kuriakose, Kishore Panikkar, Kani Pandian, Yasir Azami, Gero Rajan, Jagadesh, Chandana Ramesh, Reshma Chandrashekar, Syed Munavar, Shashank Muralidharan
Structural Engineers:  Somadev Nagesh Consultants
MEP Consultants: Air Treament Eng. (P)ltd.
Photographs: Fazal Hussain, Lakshiminaraayanan, Smrithi M Kulkarni

Regimented House at Kerala, by LIJO.RENY.architects

LIJO.RENY.architects - Regimented House at Kerala

Regimemtd House - Lijo Reny ArchitectsThis project seemed like an Architect’s dream at first but upon closer understanding, of the site and the brief, revealed its complex nature. The seemingly large plot of 2.45 acres, populated with a variety of trees – small and large, was to be shared between the client and his brother, who had an existing house on site, without any compound wall in between. However, an informal pedestrian path, allowing the plot at the back access to the main road, literally cut the site into two. Moreover, the extending site towards the south, marked aside for the future commercial activity further reduced the buildable site to a linear strip.

The clients, like many, worried about security and privacy, wanted a strong sense of ownership and exclusivity even without building any walls separating neither the pedestrian path nor his brother’s house. Adding to the complexity was their deep desire for an inside-outside feel for the house, with the inclusion of nature as much as possible.

Regimented House at Kerala, by LIJO.RENY.architects 99
Concept Sketch

The result was ‘The Regimented House’. The simple yet formal nature of this built form, with the extended front yard and backyard demarcated by hard landscape grids, established a notion of a boundary, subtle nonetheless potent. Moreover, the grid layout was designed to accommodate landscaped courts of various types to ensure the essential blending in with nature as well as soften the otherwise bold presence of the built mass.

The layout consisted of two simple, yet robust, blocks placed one above the other, separated by a large double height landscaped courtyard acting as a buffer between them. A landscaped entry court was added to blur the transition between the verdant landscape and the seemingly rigid building. The ground floor of the primary bay houses the formal and semiformal functions of the house and the secondary bay has the two bedrooms, one each floor accessed by a staircase. Open dining and a bridge placed in the central court informally connect the two. The layout of the house is designed in such a manner that each room in the house enjoys perfect cross ventilation, making the best of seasonal shifts of winds, keeping the internal temperature at a possible low throughout the year.

The large grid-like openings puncturing the shell of the building were strategically screened with perforated corten steel and G.I pipes to facilitate both privacy and ventilation. When lit up at night, the house looks like a lantern glowing in the woods. Internally, all rooms around the central court open into it by means of large sliding doors that ensure an open layout when desired. This possibility of engaging with a fairly large internal landscape, with trees that may grow to touch the ceiling, gives one the feeling of being outdoors with the elements, enjoying each season, each moment.

The material palette and decor of the house were refined towards simple minimalist possibilities in order to enable an unadulterated experience of the volumetric spaces that connect with the landscape. A combination of carefully curated framed black and white abstract naturescape photographs and mirrors extend this experience to a surreal dimension.

Often, simple designs create warm, everlasting memories. The kids see the house as a large playground enabling them with exciting new experiences each day, and the owners have already slipped into these secure yet comfortable spaces, enjoying the simple pleasure of life.

Project facts:

Location: Tirur, Malappuram, Kerala, India

Client: Mr. Shajahan
Site: 4250 sqm. 1.05 acres (shared by two brothers)
Built-up area: Total – 6850 sq ft.
Completion: December 2017

Design team: Ar. Reny Lijo and Ar. Lijo Jos
Interiors: LIJO.RENY.architects, Muneer
Landscape Concept: LIJO.RENY.architects
Soft Landscape: Gcc Landscape
Structures: Bipin Vallikunnu
Contractors: Muneer, Tirur

Photographs: Praveen Mohandas, Suneesh Suresh, LRa

Awards: Best Residential Project – Vanitha Veedu Architecture Awards  2018

The House Within The Grid, at Thrissur, Kerala, by LIJO.RENY.architects

Lijo.Reny.Architects - The house Within the Grid

Lijo.Reny.Architects - The house Within the GridLocated in a leafy neighbourhood, ‘The House within the Grid’ sits on a slightly elevated plot accessed by a silent road. Designed for a doctor couple and their 4 children, based in Sharjah, this house was meant as a place for relaxation, rejuvenation and bonding during their frequent visits to Kerala. The sprawling house and its many rooms were designed to accommodate and entertain the family as well as several relatives and friends who may join them during such occasions. Eventually, as this house was meant to become their permanent home, it was designed as one than just a holiday home.

The House Within The Grid, at Thrissur, Kerala, by LIJO.RENY.architects 120

The house is composed of 2 distinct parallel bays connected in between. Each of these bays consists of a set of defined functional areas and a linear circulation spine that dissolves into the parent room wherever possible. A mix of primary and secondary functions, with its two different room widths, creates a visible repetitive spatial pattern throughout the house. This project was an exercise in exploiting the spatial possibilities offered by the surprisingly flexible modular grid. Juxtaposing the rigorous but serene geometry of the house with the incoherent landscape of its site, a distinct spatial language evolved to become a subtle stage for the contemplative daily activities.

One enters the house through a shaded sit-out area, trapped in an external courtyard, which connects itself to the formal sit-out to the left and the office space to the right. The single storied bay on the eastern side of the site, composed of undulating volumes, houses the public and semiprivate zone, such as the visitor’s lounge, formal living, common prayer area, dining, powder rooms, etc. towards the front and more private zone, like the kitchen, work area, kitchen court, utility, etc. towards the back. The double storied volume on the western side of the site houses the six bedrooms along with their attached toilets and compact office space with a patio overlooking a shallow pool. This bay extends towards the north to house an open and a closed car porch, both accessible from the paved front yard.

The two main bays were detached from each other to offer the bedroom block its much-needed privacy. However, connecting these two bays, while strictly adhering to the grid configuration of the house, is a family/ space each on either of the floors. The staircase was positioned in this zone to make the circulation far more efficient. This central space, while creating access between the main bays, becomes a casual lounging area encouraging communication between the family members.

Two large courtyards trapped between the parallel bays to enhance the ventilation and the circulation in the project. The entry court towards the north acts as an extension of the sit-out. While the larger court towards the south, an extension of the ground floor family space and the dining, with a dining patio and a swimming pool becomes the much-needed spill out space. The dense vegetation outside these courtyards contrasts with the sparse regimented landscape, placed within the grids of the house, to create an enjoyable medley.

The strategically laid out plan while providing privacy to the family members also facilitates thorough cross-ventilation by channelling the seasonal shift of the predominant wind through its spaces by the virtue of its orientation. This keeps the rooms as airy as possible, maintaining the internal temperatures at a possible low. The undulating volumes along with the several cantilevered slabs shade each other in the shifting tropical sun. These floating roofs also help efficiently collect rainwater which then runs through a series of custom-designed stainless steel rain water drain pipes, populated across the project, to the designated water collection chamber. A series of solar panels positioned on these large roofs help produce the necessary power for the house to be self-sufficient and keep the house off the grid.


Project Facts:

Project: The House Within the Grid
Location: Andathode, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Client: Dr. Shammer and Family
Site: 2114.32 sqm. (0.52 acres)
Built up area: 811.85 sqm. (8738.67 sq ft.)
Completion: August 2019

Architects: LIJO.RENY.architects
Lead Architects: Ar. Reny Lijo and Ar. Lijo Jos
Interiors: LIJO.RENY.architects
Landscape Concept: LIJO.RENY.architects
Photographs: Praveen Mohandas (marked PM in the image title)

Structural: Ummer P Hydru
Electrical and Plumbing: Prof ismail Anodiyil
Supervisor: Ummer, Manu Mani
Civil: Mohamed Pattabi, Siddeque, Siju
Flooring: K.N. Chandran
Painting: Purushotham
Door, Wardrobes and other Carpentory Work: Karpento, P.A. Mani and 1000 kitchen
Lighting: Zion, Thrivandrum
Home Automation: Arcnet, Sapians Automation and Smak Enterprises
Landscape: Unique Garden Decor, Naveen and Ragesh
Swimming Pool: French Pools
Glass Supplier and Installation: Crystal-Thrissur and Suresh
Steel Fabrication: Star Steels
Metal Doors: Chemmanur Metals
Solar Panels: Wukud Power
Soft Furnishing: Art Legend- Calicut
Water Treatment: Greenteck

Hues of Copper House at Bengaluru, by Design Boulevard

Design Boulevard - Hues of Copper House

Design Boulevard - Hues of Copper HouseTHE SITE

The site for ‘The Hues of Copper House’ is located in Ramamurthy Nagar, a suburban area that is on its way to rapid development in the north-eastern part of Bengaluru. The client had approached us with a 80 ft x 60 ft plot in the area to house his requirements that would consist of a personal office space, 5 bedrooms, 2 large living areas, one for men and one for the women of the house, a Majlis (a space dedicated for the people of the community to sit together and council), a prayer room and additional amenities like a gymnasium and a home theatre for the family to enjoy.


A key component of our design program was to give great attention to maintain a clear distinction between the private spaces and the common areas. With this strong notion in mind we began conceptualizing. The main feature conceived was the long strip of water body that runs across the entire house while demarcating the 2 functions of the house. Therefore, on one side of this water body, we have the common areas that are purposed to entertain guests and people who frequently visit the client and the family, and is connected through a series of gallery spaces that bridges the private areas which are on the other side of the water body. All of these areas bear down on the water body, glistening in the soft daylight filtered through the skylight, and which also lights up this triple-height void.


It is absolutely imperative for the client to adopt a unique sense of possessiveness towards the project in order to capture the essence of the individualized concept. We studied, analyzed and incorporated a few of the characteristic approaches that are inherently integral to the client’s style of living. Our design for this project is a fresh take on a few features that are essential attributes of the Indo-Islamic Architecture. Spacious common spaces, communicating gallery areas, rhythmic volumes and systematically placed water bodies and landscape pockets within the indoors are the key aspects that shaped the overall planning of the project.


One of the distinctive features of exterior treatment in the Indo-Islamic buildings is to filter and percolate the daylight into the indoors through an external perforated skin that wraps the building. This formed the basis for the structure’s elevation and facade. Further, we decided to use this approach, the most compelling reason being, to maintain the connection of the inside with the outside. Therefore, major part of the exterior skin of the building

was comprised of 4mm M.S sheet, CNC cut with a uniform repetitive pattern to wrap the building from the front and gave it a rose gold finish to make it appear as grand as one would feel whilst walking past one of the Indo- Islamic monuments. Unbeknownst to us, this rose gold ‘jaali’ on the exterior produced subtle hues of copper on the inside due to the sunlight that caressed its surface, transforming the space into an ethereal experience with alternating warm brown hues that is witnessed at different times of the day from dawn to dusk. Along with the rose gold element, we had sandstone, wood and exposed concrete finishes accentuating the sense of the warmth of a home from the outside.


The treatment of the interiors of a living space almost always becomes the core and a challenge of any project. Large volumes, interconnecting spaces, extruding masses generating constructive voids that allow the daylight in, became the strong concept of this house. This would necessarily entail that the interior must be designed to enhance these spaces factoring the luxury attached to it. And this led us to collectively zero in on a bold material palette consisting of the Statuario Marble for the flooring, Beige Sandstone cladding, Solid wood – Walnut finish, Metal – Copper hues, Mirror finish and tones of warm browns to create a sense of richness, at the same time maintaining the warmth and coziness that defines a home.

Some of the dominant features of the interiors are :

  • The double height Walnut wood and Copper mirror panel that gradually turns into a Copper mirror-only ceiling to give the feeling of seamlessness when one gazes at the ceiling. This was further adorned with a gorgeous 3-tier black glass chandelier placed right at the center of it that brilliantly lights up like the Indian sky during Diwali!
  • Our client loved the Rose Gold ‘Jaali’ so much so that he requested we bring in the same prose and language to the inner spaces too. Hence, we customized the railing to evolve into a variation of the pattern similar to the façade, enhanced and elaborate decoration like the Mughal ‘Jaali’ screens.
  • A faceted ceiling detailed in solid wood and Duco finish combined with Copper metal inlay was done for all the Informal lounges overlooking the water body and the living areas.



Project Facts:

Project Name: Hues of Copper House
Completion Year: 2018

Gross Built Area: 965 (10385 sq.ft)
Project location: Bengaluru, India
Lead Architects: Muzamil Hasham, Komal Menda Lead Architects

Architecture Firm: Design Boulevard
Firm Location: Bengaluru, India Photo credits: Anand Jaju

Additional Credits
Design Team: Pooja Ram, David Jacob Daniel, Yogesh.M, Vengatesh.R Clients: Mr.Jafar
Structural Engineer: SPECS Consulting Civil Engineers, Bengaluru

Mango Tree House at Saatnavri, Maharashtra, India by Samvad Design Studio, Bengaluru

Mango Tree House at Saatnavri, Maharashtra, India by Samvad Design Studio, Bengaluru 155

Mango Tree House by Samvaad Design StudioIndia has witnessed a trend of middle-class families building weekend retreats in rural hinterlands. This shift in prime inhabitant of the farm from a farmer to urbanised families poses a peculiar challenge of re-imagining the ‘farm house’ – as a secondary home for relaxation by urban users in a rural context.

Mango Tree House at Saatnavri, Maharashtra, India by Samvad Design Studio, Bengaluru 158

Situated amidst a 16 acre farmland, the house is built on a shoe-string budget of 20 lakhs. The project re-examines notions of ‘vernacular’ not as a reductive imagery which cloaks architecture (sloping roofs, mud plaster, clay tile etc); but as a performative tool consistent with the hot and dry climate, aspirations of the urban user and maintenance warranted of a secondary home. Sited on an existing plinth, two muscular masses wrap around the mango tree, tied by an elevated bridge, defining a split-level court. Large shade of the tree and a parasol roof cover the entire structure. The aim was to create multi-functional, closed and semi-open volumes rather than rooms. The living spaces are nebulous, with each part of the court being used differently subject to the time of the day, occasion and season. The utilities are situated on ground floor while sleeping areas are on the upper level.

Mango Tree House at Saatnavri, Maharashtra, India by Samvad Design Studio, Bengaluru 160
Under Construction

A granary is located under the bridge. The extended plinth imparts a foreground to the court and also doubles up as an open space for informal gatherings.

As a response to climate, the two volumes flanking the mango tree have minimal openings on south and west while the larger openings face east. On the upper level, recessed, adjustable fenestrations limits glare while the use of wood without glass prevents heat from being trapped. The material palette is spartan and locally sourced and crafted – a combination of cement-oxide for internal walls and floors, Shahbad stone, a locally available slate for the exterior floor and Central Province Teak wood for fenestrations. Lime plaster on the external walls, thermocol filler slab roof and shade of large fruit bearing trees abutting the house help reduce heat gain from the scorching summers which can soar up to 48 degree Celsius. All furniture is built-in, including the raised bed. Minimal material palette and design along with glaring absence of upholstered surfaces imparts a primal experience apart from reducing maintenance. The mango tree house thus seeks to negotiate urban family needs in a rural setting.

The Floating Parasol House at Thirur, Kerala, by LIJO RENY architects

Floating Parasol House - Lijo Reny Architects

Floating Parasol - Lijo Reny ArchitectsSet in a semi urbanised strip that border a busy road in the otherwise sleepy suburb of Tirur,‘The Floating Parasol House’ sits on a linear plot with its shorter side abutting the street. Built for a privacy conscious family, the house was tucked towards the rear to accommodate a garden in the front, enclosed by means of a secondary landscape wall, that shield the house from the cacophony of the vehicular traffic and the commotions on the street.

The house covers an area of 4600 Sqft and consists of three main blocks separated by open to sky/skylit courts. The first block contains the sit-out, foyer and the formal living. The second houses the family living on both the floors, dining, kitchen, utility, etc. The third block has two bedrooms and its toilets on each floor. The car porch, which is separated from the main building, is in a restrained scale so as to relate to the street. The massing of the house was also carefully planned to progress gently towards the rear and avoid an imposing street side presence. A path, reflecting the linearity of the site, stretches from the pedestrian gate to the master bedroom and forms a strong circulation spine that dictates the sequential flow of spaces.

Teak wood, nano white slabs, lapato/ flamed steel grey granite, mirrors and glass constitute the main material palette used in the interiors. A selection of accessories and curios in silver sheen along with custom designed wall art,in cnc cut stainless steel sheet and lacquered glass, finishes the interiors in minimalist simplicity. The large, glass and aluminium, sliding doors blur the interior-exterior divide and also help the internal spaces flow into each other.

The roof slabs, independent of the walls below, are supported on circular rcc columns making them seem like they are floating. The glazed gap between these floating roofs and the walls bring in diffused light during the day and emit internal light at night while accentuating its floating feel. These roofs also shade the mass below from the harsh tropical sun. All spaces are naturally cross ventilated. Moreover the combination of strategically placed courtyards, skylights and volumetrically interconnected spaces, help keep the internal temperature at a minimum, without resorting to any artificial ventilation, making the house comfortable throughout the year.


Project Facts:

Project: The Floating Parasol House
Location: Thirur, Kerala, India

Client: Mr.Basheer and family
Site: 22.19 cents (898sqm)
Area: 4600sqft
Project Year: November 2015
Interior Design: LIJO.RENY.architects
Design Team: Ar. Reny Lijo and Ar. Lijo Jos
Contractor: Muneer,Thirur

Photographs: Praveen Mohandas and Suneesh Suresh

Manoj Patel Design Studio reuses the clay roof tiles in Vadodara residence to minimize the glare from direct sun light.

Manoj Patel Design Studio
Manoj Patel Design Studio
Manoj Patel Design Studio reuses the clay roof tile in the house to create an aesthetic appeal and minimise the direct sun light.

The client was specific about having minimum furniture in the interiors yet should dictate the modern aspects of the house. So the house caters to the artistic, colourful play of graphics with balancing and minimal furniture, define the warmth of the space. Each room, personalized furniture pieces, cantilevered staircase with the fusion of staircase railing, synthesis the overall outcome of the residence.

The decorative doorway and adjacent wall graphics give the foyer a modern theme based look. The beauty of exposed ceiling of the living room illustrates the use of lily gold colour finishes, with complimenting blue fabric furnishings, golden-yellow centre table and dark grey tv wall cabinet. Italian tile flooring gives a classic sense of luxury. The kitchen cabinets are simple, contrasting each other in lily gold colour with white textures. Also, the dinning area is set around the backdrop of the mural made from vernacular clay roof tiles wall garden, having the provision of plantations and lights and central vertical wash basin.

One of the master bedrooms on the upper floor represents a large, elegant ambience, achieved through the use of blue colour palette along with lightly textured laminates use for connecting wooden bed backdrop on both the walls in furniture. Another bedroom on the same floor represents one massive frame in pictorial graphics of pink colour palette in wooden bed backdrop, designed along with groove patterns emphasising the side elements through diffused lightings. From this, one can visualize the bold aesthetics touch added to the interiors with complete comfort.

The main living space with open sit out a garden and functional areas of the house include the kitchen, pooja space, master bedroom on the ground floor, while the upper floors have 2 master bedrooms, kid’s bedroom and a family gathering space on the top. Also, the elevated entrance steps give a secondary access to the sit-out garden on the ground floor as a connecting element.

The architect’s, screening strategy aims to research, discover and create new outcomes from vernacular material every time to stand boldly amongst the neighbourhood fabric. In current times, various costly and high energy consumption materials are used for cladding, which not only harms the environment but also disturbs the balance of ecology.

The design studio has explored another possibility for building screening by reusing of vernacular material, clay roof tiles for an Urban Dwelling in India to comfort its hot climate. The house features double-height volumes, where the east facade surfaces to clad clay roof tiles, depicting the play of earthy red textures with background glazing and white masses. The entire volume of the dwelling also replicates the pattern in the compound wall and entrance gate.

Here, the design studio took an initiative of finding an alternative, by reusing of the clay roof tiles in various pattern applications suitable for facade design in cooling the temperature according to the Indian context. The following concept also infuses the use of natural material in an eclectic style.

The double V-shaped clay tiles, used as a vernacular material, were transformed into an appealing element for the east-facing façade design. The clay tiles are centrally placed tilt at an angle in series, where the grid pattern casts a shadow on one another, by keeping the interior cool and reduction in temperature.

The pattern also displays an undulating aesthetics in straight arrangements of clay tiles due to its tilt installations. The layering of these clay tiles in a contemporary pattern is designed based on Indian temperature context throughout the day, where the background glazing transforms into a shaded element.

Thus the screening turns out to be an affordable and captivating formation, where the local craftsmen get the opportunity to generate more employment and increase their production.

Project Facts

Client: Mr Ripalbhai
Project type: Private House
Architect: Manoj Patel Design Studio
Office Website:
Contact Email:
Completion Year: August 2019
Built Area: 250 Sq. Mt.
Plot Area: 170 Sq. Mt.
Project Location : Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
Photographer: Darshan Dave

Under the Sun – Residential Development for Fortius Infra, by RSP Design Consultants

RSP Design Consultants-Fortius Infra
RSP Design Consultants-Fortius InfraUnder the Sun – Residential Development Fortius Infra, by RSP Design Consultants

Under the Sun is a residential development set in the lush landscapes of Devanahalli, nestling amidst a myriad mix of 2650 fully-grown fruit yielding trees alongside a protected lakebed. The design sensitively responds to the climate, topography and context. Character of the street and existing vegetation dictates the form and massing, while the design is expressed in a distinctly contemporary language. Each plot is bounded by trees on all sides and within, reminiscent of a lush tropical eco-retreat.

Every villa is designed with clean modern lines juxtaposed on a natural setting. The entrance foyer is naturally ventilated and provides panoramic views of the orchard setting. The design places special emphasis on family spaces to support interaction between the family members. The concept of outdoors flowing indoors is animated by positioning all the principal room around courtyards. Large windows and roof-lights flood the heart of the house with natural light, with sliding-folding doors further extending the internal spaces into the garden. Courtyards and orchard trees are set along the circulation spine to enhance wide avenues and lung spaces within the residence. Functional façade finishes allow for a delightful interplay of hues and textures. Further, the interiors reflect understated luxury, exclusivity, meticulous attention to details and the use of carefully handpicked material and fitments.

Under the Sun - Residential Development for Fortius Infra, by RSP Design Consultants 274

Retaining all the existing trees on site, Under the Sun is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certificate. Key design highlights include extensive cross ventilation, enhanced daylighting and enhanced fresh air ventilation. The upper level of the units faces north, east & west, maximizing on daylight harvest, while the terrace and landscaped extensions let one enjoy the orchard setting. The masterplan utilizes an existing perennial well for the collection of water run-off. Every unit is fitted with water-supply and replenishment system to minimize wastage of water and to utilize rainwater harvesting systems, while processed wastewater from the sewage treatment plant supports irrigation needs for all the landscaping.


Neem-Aaangan, a house around neem tree in Delhi, by Design Bureau

Neem Aangan-Design Bureau

Neem-Aaangan, a house around neem tree in Delhi, by Design Bureau 310The Earth when it was first seen from space was referred to as a Blue Green dot, this architectural project is about the Green bit in that speck. In this speck lies Delhi as a megalopolis which is under immense environmental stresses, currently the second most populous city in the world, it is projected that it could be the most populous city by 20281. That fact apart it still is one of the greenest cities in the world with more than 7% of it under forests and in 2018 the city saw major protests against the felling of more than 14,000 existing old trees for a large scale government housing project. This ‘proposed’ tree felling exercise was a result of the need to accommodate the thousands of cars in stilts & basements that the occupants of the multi storied housing would have needed. Slowly but steadily the tree cover on the ground floor of the city has died a slow death at the hands of developers, builders and also the bye laws of the city which mandate for stilted car parking even amongst plotted residential development. The car has been given the mandate and the authority to dictate design when it comes to city planning right down to the individual dwelling unit. Recently Delhi has been given the dubious distinction of being one of the most polluted cities in terms of air having very high Particulate matter concentration (PM 2.5 & PM 10) during winters.

This is and was the background context and conversation with which this house tried to engage with. The plot was a 1090 sqm. polygonal site at the southern edge of New Delhi with three existing trees One giant Neem (Indian Lilac) Tree & Two Pilkhan (White Fig) trees. These trees are native to the sub continent and hold a high spiritual and ecological relevance in the sub continent. The site was reached through a narrow 18’ approach road on the southern end and was open towards North and East. The East side had the Gram Panchayat undeveloped open lands (commonly owned village land) with a few trees. This plot size is somewhat unusual for New Delhi and somewhere between a plotted bungalow & a peripheral rural farmhouse.

The client came to us with the brief that they wanted to build an environmentally conscious green residence in a very short duration of 8-12 months for there family, guests and use it as an Airbnb in the near future. They aesthetically preferred it to be a simple and easily maintainable building with a strong preference for a building rendered in all white and minimal or no exterior cladding. It was built in two phases with the civil works, major interior works, interior lighting being done in the first stage in 2016 and the exterior lighting in the second stage in 2018.

Delhi is challenging city climatically having a composite climate with a harsh long summer and a short but intense winter season. The summer is followed by the monsoons which brings a much needed respite from the intense summer heat. The transition from autumn to winters is also very pleasant and the maximum outdoor events take place during that time. The brief prompted us to go back to a valuable lesson imparted during architecture school that a good solution for Delhi’s climate is a North Courtyard and a South Courtyard. The north being suitable for the long summers and the south for the short winters. A two storey U shaped layout was devised with the public areas in one arm (formal drawing/living area), the semi private areas (dining and family lounge) in the centre and the private bedrooms in the other arm. The ground floor had the mothers bedroom, daughters bedroom and guest bedroom and first floor had the sons bedroom, children bed and second guest bedroom. The U shape was placed nestled around the existing trees in the north summer courtyard and a southern side winter courtyard with a double height volume containing the informal family spaces & the vertical circulation sandwiched in between. The west shorter end was kept for the driveway and the main entrance with another entrance opposite to it on the eastern side, which was planned as a future pedestrian path and a way into the eastern garden. The South east corner also had the Mandir which was designed as a massing added onto the existing building and with a textured brick wall. The east has another sunken courtyard which would lead one into the basement proposed as a Den, home office and theatre. Both the entrance volumes were double height volumes to accentuate the entrances and delineate them. The western side of the house was further insulated from the harsh western sun with all the bathrooms and dressing areas planned in that end acting as a buffer zone. The first floor has a small private bathroom courtyard for the sons bedroom on the first floor. The first floor on the southern facade was cantilevered (extended outside) to shade the openings on the ground floor from the summer sun. The first floor also has deep windows on the south side which only allow the lower altitude winter sun to penetrate them. The house was made luxurious and voluminous, airy with floor to floor heights of 12’ and 11’ respectively.

The house is open to views both in the south and the north, east and closed on the west. One can walk from the south courtyard to north courtyard form within the house and completely open it up during events and preferable climatic conditions natural during the monsoons, autumn and sunny winter days. The sun during winters warms the public areas of the house and one can have food in the dining with the winter sun on the table. The house has the flexibility to adapt to weather conditions and accept and deny the both positive and negative aspects of extreme weather conditions.

We consciously decided not to go for a pure rating based approach for designing this house and making it sustainable. Although a computational solar shading, daylight, natural ventilation & renewable energy analysis was done for the project with IGBC green homes as the base system followed. To provide optimal envelop insulation AAC blocks were used for the walls, 1’ thick brick Bat Koba waterproofing on all roofs, a deep false ceiling and a green roof with organic vegetables being grown on the topmost roof. The highest electricity consumption in a house is usually of the air-conditioning this was further optimised by centrally air cooling the living, dining, kitchen and the Mothers and Sons bedroom. The client is currently in the process of installing a 12kw solar panel system on the roof. The grey-water from both the kitchen, main bathrooms, is filtered through a gravel and charcoal based system and collected in a tank for usage in the landscape. The same tank is also connected to the roof rainwater runoff. Although not a sound choice environmentally It was decided to restrict the construction methodology of the house to the more mainstream RCC framed structure with AAC block infill due to time, cost & technical considerations.

In terms of the materiality white paint render was used on the facade with interiors floors in Indian white marble with inserts of jaisalmer borders. In the exterior North courtyard we used rough Kotah Stone with jaisalmer, Indian white marble inserts. The windows were all made on site with locally sourced hardwood and polished. All the flooring material for the house was Indian, being sourced from a 300 km radius form New Delhi. Stone wastage was used by stylizing it in contemporary ways in the skirting, indoor and outdoor flooring patterns, borders based on traditional motifs such as Barfi (Chevron).

As a concluding note contemporary architecture as a discipline excels in fetishizing and objectifying everything within its purview which includes materials, aesthetic flourishes and even the landscape. The courtyard rarely exists now in most urban dwellings and where it does exist it is a stylized space with an ornamental tree with the background of artificial plastic artificial grass. Trees are worshipped, revered as deities and hold a major spiritual significance in the culture and the religions of the subcontinent. The trees in this house grow taller than the house itself in the grand courtyard and during our last visit the client told us that 10-14 species of birds have been spotted in the house and he is currently documenting and photographing them. The house offers a new kind of inclusive design which hints subtly at an inclusivity for other species as well. It suggests that what if design attempted to preserve the ecological even in Urban areas and used that as an aesthetic strategy. In this age of environmental extremities what if it was mandatory to plant an ecologically relevant tree species next to every new plotted residence in New Delhi?

The result of this design process was a house which the clients on there own lovingly named Neemangan – A Patio for the Neem tree.