Project Name - House B7
Location - Agra INDIA
Project Duration - started Jan 2015 completed Jan 2017
Design Team - Harish Chauhan, Velyne Katharpi, Kakoli Bhattacharya, Abhinav Chaudhary
Project cost - 50 million INR (approx.) Design Firm - flyYingseeds Studio New Delhi INDIA
Photography - Irfan Anzoom
Ever wondered how architecture and spatial planning becomes a medium in bringing people together in joint families? This house in Agra had too many walls, confined spaces, confined lives! Enough to realize that we build too many walls and not enough bridges. The house was presented like a blank canvas which led us to follow our first idea that popped up on our very first site visit, thereby becoming the brief itself. The “Existing structure and the new inserts”, to expand the dimensions of the spaces exponentially by bringing in new volumes, plenty of natural light and connectivity. We had to think out of the box and into it, through it. So we started by breaking the box open. Shuffling the spaces, defining the axis, generating vertical connections and most importantly identifying the inserts (as we call it) and their character. We kept our scope very defined, specifically creating voids within the solid and injecting these inserts which act as transitional elements. These sit quietly into the structure transforming the typology of the space sections. Our concerns revolved around climatic factors, optimized orientation of spaces, strategic connections, introducing ample daylight and creating free flowing large informal spaces. 'The Central Core' becomes the central focii of the entire house as the focal element sits within the existing built mass. Suspended from the roof, metaphors as a weaver bird’s nest, this houses the family’s temple here. It brings in the majestic scale which is witnessed the moment one enters into the house through the bridge. While further penetrating into the basement, the entertainment area, binding the levels and creates way for the abundance of natural light. The public areas converge into this triple height core which is dramatized by the craft of the Nest. The construction of this magnificent installation was quite challenging for its size and parametric design. It was decided to be fabricated at site, a team of young, enthusiastic steel fabricators was formed who accepted the challenge excitingly to weave the nest using hollow MS pipes. The nest knits the people and spaces together.
The bridge leads you to the main axis of the house, as you walkover, participating with the basement below and upper floor alley The Meandering Wall - The home stirs interest right from its approach. Moment one enters the house, through a tall door, you are virtually present in all the floors across the cross section of the entire built mass. What you see is a turbulent curved JALI created by interlocked solid pine wood bricks, separating the public and semi public areas. this transitional plane not only forms background for double height entrance atrium but also compliments the central axis.
The basement once dark and gloomy has now become the family hub. The family loves to unwind for the day here and entertain their friends and extended family. The elaborate central bar made up in solid pine and rustic steel plates will welcome you as you step down and eventually lead to the lounge and hometheater, defined next to the dance floor and party area. The bottom of the nest peeking into this space accentuates the volume of the void The Master bedroom at Ground floor for the head of the family is designed as flexible space equiped with sliding folding doors on either side which opens up to become a part of the semipublic area from inside and to outdoor deck seating on outside. The central rotatable tv console is clubbed with study table lies on the central axis of the floor plan, from where the head of the family can view the entire floor inside out. The terrace is a humble social outdoor place. Since the house does not boast a big garden, the terrace suffices the need of one. Pockets of spaces arrested to create nooks for smaller gatherings covered by semi-open pergolas. While the flooring and landscape maintain the fluidity in the layout with an apt balance of hard and soft scapes. An iconic outdoor bar sits in one corner making the terrace even more lively! The skylights which brings abundance of natural light in the house transforms into gazebos with lit floors at terrace. As the home does not have much of a view we decided to build an inward looking house by pulling the basic outdoor landscape inside, both physically and visually. We created interesting vistas inside the home. The façade is an outcome of a functional response, the same indoor exposed MS skeleton and soft solid wood flares out and clings to built masonry mass. The interior is contemporary and warm, without much trace of ostentation. The purity of the idea is conveyed by using only pinewood for cladding, paneling, false ceiling, furniture etc. use of a muted color palette creating a subtle multiplicity with this material. Every room speaks of a distinct characteristic of the user’s lifestyle while blending with the holistic idea.
A double-height entrance atrium welcomes visitors into this multi-generational family home in Agra, India, in a project designed by the New Delhi design firm of flyYingseeds Studio. The different parts of the existing home were reshuffled, bringing together a large family.