In this Hyderabad home designed by Studio Inscape, a traditional courtyard forms the focal point, and the rest of the space is carefully orchestrated around it.
The farmhouse has been woven around an existing tree in the farmland of 19 acres with a built-up area of about 2600sq ft. The home has been designed around a visually connected courtyard from all spaces without losing the linearity of the space as the client brief. Compressed stabilized earth blocks made from clay of the farm land, ergonomically designed sill levels, multi-functional non-rigid furniture layouts, human scale relatability, materiality are the factors that make the project sustainable and enhances the user experience. The clients were a couple and the brief which they gave was contradicting with each other. The lady of the house wanted a traditional courtyard house with rooms around it, but her husband felt that a linear house would be more functional. So, the challenge here was to design a courtyard house while still retaining the linearity of the space. Introducing a central connecting linear corridor along the court satisfied both the briefs of having a linear house and a courtyard house at the same time.
Design Ideology: A Subtle Foreground to the Nature’s Backdrop
The design visualization is to let the house merge and do the talking to the natural surroundings which is the backdrop to the house rather than it being the dominant characteristic overpowering its surroundings. The thought behind the conceptualisation of the house goes back to the client’s love for organic farming. The love that we share with the client of collecting antiques led us to developing a house that could accommodate their interests and also let the house evolve organically overtime instead of creating rigid defined spaces.
Materiality: An Extension to the Exteriors
The architects were sure about keeping the embodied energy of the house low. To achieve that, bricks were used that were made on site with excavated soil as flooring in the central courtyard which was also the skin of the structure. The brick walls and form finished slabs were left bare to merge with the surroundings. The design is pivoted around the landscaped courtyard which treads through the building. The levels in the house from the courtyard to the common spaces not only changes the scale from space-to-space but also create a varied visual experience throughout the house.Bedroom walls were lime washed to create a private and cosy feel. Tandoor flooring with black oxide skirting was used for the internal spaces. Reclaimed wood for the doors and windows, toggle switches with exposed conduiting sets an informal feel. All the design decisions not only made the house very economical but also sustainable.
Furniture Layout: Activity Analysis — Multi-Functional Space
The furniture layout of the living space accommodates an L-shaped bench which serves as an informal interactive space bringing the warmth required for a farmhouse rather than a formal sofa set arrangement. Understanding the relationship the architects wanted to give within the spaces, the furniture layout in common spaces was planned so as to accommodate larger groups and also cater to individual/smaller groups without intimidating by visually connecting them to the exterior green farmland.
Client: Mr Aveena & Mrs Kavitha
Design team: Chaitanya Padal, Kinnera Varma, Radha Neela, Naveen G, Spoorthy R
Consultants: Infrastructure Designers (Structural)
Contractors: Venkat Krishna (Civil)
Built-up area: 2600sq ft
Cost of project: Rs 50 Lakh
Year of completion: 2019
About the Architects
‘Studio Inscape’ is a young Architectural design and research studio based out of Hyderabad by founding partners Ar.Chaitanya Padal, Ar.Kinnera Varma and Ar.Radha Neela. Projects at Studio Inscape are conceived through a research oriented approach. As a collection of people from different backgrounds, the architects believe that collaboration lies at the core of all good work. Regardless of method or medium, the greatest form of sustainability is to produce work of lasting value.