The bamboo frame around the main door offers a glimpse into the main space, just hinting at more beyond the door. On entering the main door, there is a sense of soft light and yet the first visual is that of the pool with the backdrop of the brick wall. The plunge pool is a space to relax inside the living space for the family in the hot summers, while cooling down the interior space. It acts as a separate space from the main pool, introducing the possibility of 2 distinct groups also enjoying simultaneously, without creating walled barriers.
TThe double height window with the view of the pool, the garden, the lake and the sky seamlessly merges the interiors with the outdoor. Mornings in the living space are greeted with a glow of east light and for the rest of the day; it is a pleasant space with soft brightness in all seasons. The double height bamboo roof gives the space warmth and the white IPS floor with the embedded Kota stone chips gives it an expanse. The twisted roof opens out towards the pool, creating a play of changing internal volumes and sense of it flowing outdoors. The pool is screened on the south east side from the sun and from the public entrance area with landscape, which extends towards the outdoor verandah between the entrance and the living space. The glimpses and connections of different spaces offer a sense of surprise and connect the various spaces.
The open kitchen, the court with the staircase, the plunge pool area and the pool with the outer deck and landscape are all extensions of the living and dining space. The spaces are all distinct from each other and demarcated using subtle play of the materials, roof, levels or barriers without defining each space. This gives it a lot of flexibility and a sense of being in a large seamless space, while maintaining integrity of the function and edges of each space. The play of the volume of space from the filler slab to the twisted bamboo ferro-cement roof naturally draws one’s eye to the sky beyond the tall glass facade, the pool and the lawn, seamlessly blending the indoors and outdoors.
The three courtyards connected to the living room and passages give a sense of light, shadow and openness to the central space. It does not feel enclosed since each stone or brick wall has an opening which gives a visual connection to the green and light in the courtyards. These also allow free cross ventilation through the spaces and make the farmhouse a pleasant space minimising or even eliminating the need for air-conditioning.
The staircase with the leathered black granite with the exposed concrete folded plate profile sits in the central court and is lit up through the day from various angles, creating an interesting play of light and shadows. The Kota stone – rough and polished placed with the IPS floor adds a very subtle palette of shaded variations through the structure.
The play of stone and the pots in the filler slabs or the bamboo and the brick wall along with the coloured IPS floor carries into the bedrooms, as in the public space. The bedrooms are each connected to the outdoor private gardens. The landscape is intended to disconnect from the main grounds and allow a blend of fragrance, flowers and beauty to surround the room. The cosiness of the room is welcome, when one enters the private space of the bedroom from the larger common spaces with large noisy and boisterous gatherings.
The material palette responds to local availability and climate. The walls are load-bearing exposed brick, stone or lime plastered wall, creating a play of rich colours and textures. Brickwork is done in rat-trap bond, saving material and keeping internal spaces cooler through insulation. The colourful IPS floors and the polished and unpolished Kota floors break the monotony of bricks and stones. The roof is used to divide spaces with flat filler exposed RCC slabs or sloping ferrocement slabs. The twisted ferro-cement roof with bamboo under-structure covering the living area and the bedrooms, allow for a variation of scale in the spaces. Locally sourced earthen pots are used in filler slabs, further increasing the comfort levels inside.