Project Name: The Lateral House
Architects: Gaurav Roy Choudhury Architects (GRCA)
Location: Uttarhalli, Bangalore
Duration of Construction: August ’11 to January ’13
Design Team: Gaurav Roy Choudhury
Civil: LISA and Ravikumar
PHE: Plumbtech Engineers
Elec: ACHU P. Enterprises
Photo Credits: Tina Nandi
Lead by Ar. Gaurav Roy Choudhury, Gaurav Roy Choudhury Architects (GRCA) is a young design firm with experience in various design mediums, in and around Bangalore. Striving to take each project brief from the ‘said’ to the ‘unsaid’, the firm works to engage all spheres of influence and exposure to redefine honest architecture through the process of re-invention and storytelling. Realizing the understood and focusing on the unexplored, GRCA offers unique and customised processes in design and client needs.
Nestled in a gated community in the suburbs of Bangalore, the Lateral House is home to a young family who aspired for it to be a reflection of their morals of honesty, simplicity and independence. They also wanted this house to be their sanctuary, a retreat from their daily bustle in the city’s chaos.
The Lateral House thus becomes their haven, a fortress that impedes the outer world and creates pleasing connections internally with the city’s long neglected elements; the sky, light, breeze and nature. These elements form a fusion of poise and generosity through the house to create the lively and dynamic space they wish to haunt.
View of the Entrance and Garden from the Ground floor living area, focusing on the various lines through the spaces
The concept for the house has been developed on the basis of imaginary concentric lines of varying privacy, starting from the outside to the inside. These lines become tentative interfaces to influence volume, space and proportions. The chemistry between these lines becomes the core of the idea for the shift in spaces, as they develop and get deeper and more private in the house.
The entrance of the house at the higher level is strong and guarded. The bricks on its façade appear to mirror its outside, expressing a lot but at the same time, speaking a little. The car park in a line under the volume, and the pedestrian ramp perforate into the realm as an intimation of a prudent welcome. The ramp, becoming higher, leaves the car park below and extends to the entry porch, where the main door of the house is positioned.
Above this, unintentionally the visitor is introduced in a courtyard at the upper level, where windows encase the area to see those who come. Thus, the visitor is positioned at the center of the house, yet he remains on the outside.
The square-ish living space at the entrance of the house is encased by the roof of the study above, the light from the study illuminating it. This is intended to be the public zone in the house. It becomes a connector to the guest bedroom, dining, public garden and kitchen.
The study is located at the mid-level above, which one can see, but not entirely. Looking up, one will see the layers above that do not reveal much, the study being the first layer.
Weaving upwards with its gradual climb, the staircase becomes the element that expands and uncovers the other layers. The second layer consists of the study and the family guest bedroom. This space merges with the courtyard above the car park and becomes the second tier of spaces. This courtyard is flanked by the bedroom and the study, which overlook into it. This level divulges a peek of the upper corridor however; the private bedrooms are not seen.
Another flight upwards, the staircase narrows down to a longer rectangle from the square that it originated from. The family bedroom and the private areas of the house are accessed from this level.The corridor looks through the study below the courtyard, the small garden becoming a space for thought and deliberation, this being the third level. This layer merges seamlessly with the second one to form an elevated social bubble that lingers over the public spaces of layer one.
The children’s bedroom has the view of the courtyard while the master bedroom overlooks the road. The core of the home is represented by this space which is very strong, yet ephemeral in nature. It brings everyone together, yet urges for personal privacy.
The courtyard above the entry becomes the heart of this space, a secluded area that is visually hidden from the first layer and the outside. The house breathes through this space, making it resistant to any development nearby as it secures various elements and lets the house soak in them, in varying measures.
Separating themselves from the courtyard, the bricks create various patterns in sciography and depictions of the environment surrounding them, marvellous dissimilarities that the Lateral House experiences every day and every moment. Its detached persona is transformed into intense sensitivity to its environs.
The varying conditions outside alter the light, breeze and internal reflections in the house, breathing life in the house, making it nurture the ideologies and beliefs that it stands for. The shades of the house are enriched by the white exteriors and interiors. The bricks arranged in a grid on the external facades also work towards the same purpose, in a more surreal manner. Inspired from the inner space of the courtyard, this grid of bricks conveys a code on the outside, as a mark on the house’s nature.
The Lateral House is environmentally sustainable in terms of energy efficiency. It makes optimum usage of natural light and purposes air circulation through the stack effect, reducing the use of mechanical means to manipulate the internal conditions. Recycled rain water is utilized to grow its gardens, as it collects and sends it back to the ground.
Congruent to GRCA’s design philosophy of ‘less is more’, the Lateral House is adorned by modesty and subtlety. Boasting of varying expressions through minimal materialism, the remarkable design elements breathe life into the structure, making it an epitome of refinedand insinuating architecture.
– Tanvi Naik ,Volume Zero.