Project name: Architect’s own house
Floor area: 4500 square feet
As the name suggests, the ‘Architects’ own house’ designed by Jeeva and Channa Horombuwa is a 4500 square feet house belonging to the husband and wife architect duo. Sited amidst the residential area of Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, on a ten perch slightly sloping land stands the humble abode that portrays elegance with sophistication.
Since the land was surrounded by two roads there were limitations that arose with respect to the buildable area. In this way the irregular shape of the land and the constraints that followed due to the two building lines from both roads were the two major challenging factors that had to be tackled while designing. The house has been designed as two residential units with two bedrooms for each unit and other basic facilities.
Even though the entire house is perceived as a single residential unit, it has been designed in a way such that it can easily be converted into two separate units whenever the time calls for it. The concept formulated was to build a contemporary minimalist home that encompasses more volume and space. The notion was to orient the house in a way that would capture the wind direction thus creating an airy feel within the house throughout the day.
All the bedrooms have been located towards the back of the land. Hence a certain level of privacy is maintained since the bedrooms are cut off from the roadside view. The south-west winds that filter in, create a soothing ambience within the bedrooms. The entrance has been raised from the existing road level while the dining too has been further raised from the entrance level so as to create an additional garage space at the lower ground level accessible from the side sloping road.
The entrance level comprises of the main garage and a double height living area.
The dining, pantry, guest room together with the attached bathroom, powder room and the kitchen have been planned at a raised split level above the garage at the lower ground floor.
The first floor includes the master bedroom, a terrace, dressing area, a large attached bathroom, a utility space, a TV lobby and a glass deck located above the living area. The glass deck in particular is a striking feature that the house exhibits.
A large glazed sliding panel has been introduced for the master bedroom so that a visual connectivity is maintained between the master bedroom and the main void once the sliding panel is opened.
The spatial planning has been accordingly developed so as to generate a visual interaction between the various spaces of the bungalow hence making the house appear more spacious from the user’s perspective.The three main floors have been connected by two floating staircases running across the double height volume.
The second floor comprises of a large sitting area, a powder room, pantry, bedroom with a common bathroom and a TV room. The sitting area opens out to a covered terrace.
The spiral steel staircase that acts as an external feature of the house runs from the ground floor all the way up to the open sky roof terrace located right above the covered terrace.
The colour theme adopted for the house is minimalistic ‘white’. Starting from the walls to the floors till the pantry cupboards, the doors and windows, the furniture, skirting, light fittings as well as the roller blinds used for the windows; all follow the same colour theme. The goal was to maintain a subtle surrounding by not highlighting anything within the house so that the user feels more comfortable without any visual disturbances.
The imported famous designer furniture like the Eames’ lounge chair, the Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona chair, etc. highlight the minimalist beauty that emerge from the contemporary interiors of the house.
Since the client and the architect both are the same people in this project, the two architects found it very difficult to agree on the design ideas. As a result of which the design period was endless with each other’s criticism. However the final outcome resulted in a truly sublime abode that reflected a modern contemporary approach with a touch of minimalism.
– Rhea Fernandes ,Volume Zero.