Mr. Sakthivel and family needed a 3 bedroom house to accommodate their family of 6. They came to us with the request of designing a house that allowed them a Vastu-right, spacious house with ample garden space to satisfy the love of gardens of Mr. Sakthivel. They wanted from the very beginning, a house that was contemporary in appearance but traditional in spatial planning, which meant more semi-open or closed spaces rather than open spaces.

Elevation 02

Challenging at first, we soon arrived at a solution that brought a big smile on all of our faces. Their fully shaded front porch overlooks beautiful front garden, in addition to which there are gardens accessible from the first floor owing to inverted slabs and and a lot of level play. Planter boxes surround the building and would eventually transform the house into a play of brilliantly colored flowered hanging from every corner. The interior spaces are well-lit, well ventilated, are adequately sized.

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The biggest feature – and the biggest challenge as it turned out – was the staircase. The interior spaces being rather conservative, we wanted to make a statement with a sculptural staircase, one which will add to elegance of the living space while at the same time taking as little room as possible. An unconventional spiral “DNA” staircase was conceived and proposed, and accepted. Now the challenge was to build it.

Elevation 01

Unfortunately, during the construction of the staircase, specific instructions as to steel work and concreting were not followed, or rather were misunderstood, and by the time I came back from a trip, the entire staircase was cast – WRONG! In appearance, however, it looked fine, and we decided to overlook the fact that it was built rather using patchwork techniques, which wasn’t the way it was meant to be built.

Two weeks later, a panicked phone call confirmed the worst! The staircase is cracking, the steps are failing. One can only imagine what followed. Long story short, despite the masons’ assurances of being able to patch it up further, I could not sleep peacefully knowing that the staircase would one day fail inevitably, and the client agreed.new new 02

We took down the whole thing, and built it from scratch. Luckily this time, there was no assignments needing my attention outside, and I was able to concentrate on building this staircase, one little step at a time, with what felt like a hundred site visits and explicit detailed drawings, the masons did a fantastic job the second time around.

Here is a recent picture!

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Site underway…

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We are almost there!

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More pictures coming soon!

Project status: Under construction

Builders: Maroof, Pondicherry

 

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