The project of Terracotta Villa designed by Studio Archohm is a contemporary Indian household for a joint family spread across three generations, seamlessly creating visually interconnected spaces.
The terracotta house stands like a warm oasis in conversation with its neighbour– Gupta Residence. The house exemplifies a relationship between neutral grey concrete and earthy terracotta. Terracotta tiles wrap the façade to mystify the lives within, and create a harmonious world outside with
a walkway and lush greens. The residents are a family of five across three generations.
The balmy attitude of the house is inspired by the congenial etiquette of the family inside. A colour palette carrying white and earthy tones, welcomes a visitor with a voluminous double height entrance lobby and a bridge on the top that defines the experience of the journey throughout the house. A Peter Lik piece adorns the entry and a suspended flock of unique stainless steel birds conceptualized by Mukul Goyal ushers a curious visitor inside with each bird performing a distinct activity.
The house, with users and their aspirations has distinct floors that are connected, both visually and functionally. The ground and first floor serve the seniors with a double height onyx wall, defining the two floors in unison. Furthermore, the informal living on the ground floor extends to the first– a gesture to fasten the floors, with an artwork formulating a family tree. The same informal living has access to a swing from one end, and a garden from another, framing a thorough connection.
The ground floor also features a double height formal living area—challenging the traditional scale and proportions. A series of five paintings on a concrete wall depict the city’s skyline—starting from Taj Mahal, concluding at the residence itself. The choice of low height furniture in a large space alters the perception of the place. The blankness is further accentuated with a stone wall in continuation with the stone on dining table, lending iconicity to this unconventional aesthetic of this formal living room. The paintings have an overhaul of natural light through a horizontal puncture during the day, complemented by a Davide Groppi tape light to mimic daylight and uniformly highlight the pieces in the evening. Minimal yet striking, the corner and dining table light installations, steal the show with their poise.
The ground floor further houses a master bedroom and a room for the elderly, connected to a double height temple completely carved out of stone. The master bedroom is a seamless space with distinguished functions without visual barriers. A black cantilevered TV unit conceals the screen, the back of which doubles up as a study. The wardrobes extending till the ceiling blend with the room coherently. The bedrooms are minimal, but not bare.
The master bedroom also extends internally to a double height outhouse, rising from the basement. The outhouse, with its reflective ceiling follows the same colour palette as the house. It is cosy and compact with a home theatre in the basement and floating wooden log staircase leading to a convertible pool table on the mezzanine floor. A circular powder room is also tucked right outside the outhouse with glass and concrete in dialogue.
A floor water-mist feature can be savoured sitting on mound in the garden, from the outhouse and the informal living– all at once. Technology equipped with audio-visual control, almost every function in the house is smart, automated for ease of use.
A modern, minimal kitchen with a skylight delivers natural illumination, lending a timeless appeal to this functional area. The upper two floors belong to the two sons of the family. The two floors rhythmically function as interconnected spaces—both horizontally and vertically—literally and metaphorically. The integrated and segregated floors cater to personal, professional and future needs of the two bachelors. The two floors house a personal living area, a study and bedroom fit-out for each with a concrete bridge connecting the two. The bridge has bamboo planters personifying a jungle, attaining the desired balance of intervention and privacy. A concrete bench sits on the same bridge facilitating an enjoyable view.
The personal living rooms are accessible from individual floors, as well as interconnected internally via a small staircase. A common kids’ area with a wall scrabble, floor concrete chess, ludo carpet all inject an out-of-the-box playful flavour. The terrace is punctuated with a kitchen garden and a private pool with a retractable roof.
The architecture of terracotta villa shares the story of a contemporary Indian household. The flux and difference in lifestyles, activities and daily routines across three generations, brought together seamlessly by the design of the space they live in. How independence and togetherness can co-exist, much like the society we live in. The design of terracotta villa attempts to create a space that is universal in its presentation, with layers unfolding as one experiences it.
Photo credit: André J Fanthome
Project: Terracotta House, Agra
Architects: Studio Archohm
Client: Mr Abhay and Ajay Gupta
Design team: Sourabh Gupta, Varun Sood, Tarak Murari, Amit Das, Vineet Rao, Maulik Yagnik, Sanjana Suri, Ashish Varshney, Naveen Rawat, Aman Jangid, Sebanti Sarkar, Aditi Varshnei
Consultants: Paresh and Associates (Structural), Archohm (Mechanical, Electrical, Façade, Engineering), Ten on Ten (Civil, PMC), Masjid nursery (Landscape), Abid Hussain (HVAC), M/s Techno Engineering Consultants (Plumbing)
Built-up area: 2154.87sq ft
Cost of project: Rs 20 crore
Year of completion: 2020