Project Specifications

Architect : Offcentered Architects and Interior Designers

Project Type : Residential

Client : Mr. Basheer

Location : Kumbakonam

Area : 5700 sq ft

Text  : Jency Samuel

Photographs : R. Samuel

A bit of brown, a hint of red and a glint of grey strike the eye against a blue sky.

Building a home is always a matter of pride for an entire family. It usually takes months of planning and effort to come uo wth a design that suits the needs and ideas of the family.

But  Basheer, a Kumbakonam-based business man’s only brief to the architect was to build a “Modern House” . The brief reflected the wish of his children. The architects,Offcentered Architects And Interior Designers, were entrusted to carry out the task of fulfilling Mr Basheer’s dream.. The red-brown-grey coloured theme observed in the façade, runs throughout the house.

The wall panels are rendered in red with slivers of windows, set against grooved ivory compound walls, aluminum channels in brown and grey granite tiles. The exterior gives one an inkling of the contemporary design that one might expect.

Granite steps, bound by a bit of greenery, leads one in to the house. The gurgling sound of water at the entrance foyer draws one’s eyes to the cascade in the mini garden. The sight and sound of the slanting granite-clad cascade that is parallel to the entrance foyer and its gurgling water calms frazzled nerves. Horizontally running parallel grooves has been etched on to the granite. Alternate groove lines have been chipped manually at regular intervals. Water glistening off the chipped edges is a visual delight. The green bamboos, palms and Easter lilies complete the soothing ambience.

A mini pergola has been incorporated in the ceiling of the entrance foyer. FRP(Fibre-Reinforced Plastic) sheets has been used above the joists, to screen rain and let light in. A similar pergola has been provided for the partial roof of the cascade area.

One of the doors in the entrance foyer leads to the office room. Custom-made white metal designs adorn the doors and window grills. The red-brown-grey and white colour theme is prevalent in the office as well. The office table made of white solid surface runs up the wall, traverses the ceiling and runs down again along the opposite wall. The walls are white and grey and brown-paneled. The red niche in the paneling and that in the solid surface at the junction of the wall and the ceiling completes the colour scheme. The cove lighting in the red niche gives a dramatic twist. Spot lights in the red niches and on the white walls highlight the metal design artifacts.

The God’s name affixed on the white wall in metal and the lampshades that look like upturned mushrooms, are the only free-forms used in the double-storey high central foyer that is dominated by clean lines. This central foyer has FRP roof that lets in light and allows the family to enjoy the pitter patter of rainfall. A major part of the roof is screened by a large wooden panel that acts as a false ceiling. Sun light filters in along the fringes of the panel making the foyer bright.

The striking feature of the central foyer is the seamless glass wall that runs along the length of the home-theatre in the first floor and the Form3 bamboo-reinforced acrylic sheet in the ground floor. Basheer’s frequent travels abroad on business have facilitated the choice and import of fixtures and materials, such as Form3. Covered by glass, the bamboo strips in the acrylic sheet give an illusion of water cascading along it. The double-storey height and the glass wall with a view of the red and white ceiling panels of the home theatre enhance the sizable feel of the central foyer.

The living room abuts the central foyer. A wall in stark white, the white ceiling and the white centre table with a mid-level swivel plays up the red furniture and the red dropped ceiling panel that runs across. The television is housed in a white panel amid many brown wooden panels set at different offsets. The red light used in lighting the cove gives it a dramatic feel and effect. The opposite wall too has a white panel on a brown background with red niches. While recessed lights in the ceiling provide the necessary illumination, the cove lighting above the red ceiling panel and that in the white panel and red niches, gives it a sophisticated look and feel. An arc floor lamp is used for task lighting.

The glass and acrylic panels being contiguous of each other and the central foyer’s brown ceiling panel being contiguous of the first floor family area’s red ceiling accentuate the clean lines. The family room in the first floor is above the dining area in the ground floor.

The wall-papered panel in speckled brown between the glass doors, screens the dining room beyond. The attraction of the dining room is the narrow glass floor panels with white pebbles beneath. They also delineate the dining and the pantry on one side, the dining and the passage leading to the bedrooms on the other side. As for the colour scheme, brown is brought about by a narrow wooden panel at mid-lintel level. This runs along the wall of the passage too. The red niche on top of the counter and the red lights that filter through the acrylic sheets in the ceiling , adds to the red element. These acrylic sheets align with the length and breadth of the glass panels on the floor. The rest of the ceiling is covered by a wooden panel.

The dining room, leads to the master and guest bedrooms and is followed by an enclosed courtyard.

The double-height courtyard with granite seaters and tall glazed windows is an enclosed space for the family to relax. The main feature of the courtyard is the waterfall in a red alcove with grey granite jambs and sill.

The master bedroom is at a slightly raised level. The master bedroom has a panel housing the television that screens the bed from the mini lounge with recliners.

The guest bedroom, just as the other rooms, has interesting ceiling panels and cove lighting.

The family room in the first floor has a view of the central foyer, the enclosed courtyard and the home theatre. The acrylic sheets used in the dining room ceiling below lights up the glass floor panel . White panels are provided in the ceiling to align with the glass panels on the floor. The red ceiling juxtaposed against the white panels and the cove lighting enhances the visual appeal. The family room has a small balcony overlooking the courtyard below, with a symmetrical element projecting into the central foyer on the other side.

The family room leads to the children’s bedrooms and a common bath with a Jacuzzi.

Halima, Basheer’s daughter, was adamant that she wanted a mezzanine, besides a green and pink colour scheme. One of the walls is painted green and the mezzanine ceiling is painted pink. Dropped arc ceilings of the bedroom in pink, white and green with their recessed lights, lend a certain childlike charm.  The mezzanine that has been created above the walk-in wardrobe, houses a bed and a study table which doubles up as a shelf. The steps leading up to the mezzanine has a playful and unique feel in that, the treads are split and is staggered. The alcoves on the side of the steps act as a dollhouse.

The elder teenager’s room is above the master bedroom in the ground floor and hence is at a raised level. A small balcony opens out of the room and faces the road. The room has a typical contemporary design in a black and white colour scheme. The angular ceiling panel in black, running from the lintel of the door across the ceiling to the opposite wall and descending to the bedstead emphasizes the contemporariness. The black ceiling panel from the adjacent corner of the room runs along the ceiling to the opposite corner, slants up and down, with the horizontal portions in between serving as a shelf and a study table. A black and white football pouffe, a sofa in royal black and the white drawers below the low-level seaters on either side of the bedstead complete the black-and-white picture. The blue-tinged cove lighting from above the black ceiling panels and the light filtering through filigree lamp shades add a bright yet cozy glow.

Just as his siblings, Yachu too wanted his own design elements in his bedroom. The free-form cot in white, the purple walls juxtaposed against white ones, white quadrilateral alcoves and a tensile sheet stretched below the ceiling together gives the room a simple yet stylish appeal.

The concentric circles of dropped ceilings in red and white with cove lighting, wall painted in red and silver and the brown flooring in the home theatre completes the colour theme and contemporary design of  Basheer’s residence.

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