T House by Studio Course is the embodiment of the practice’s philosophy of using a meticulous selection of sustainable materials and detailing in conjunction with vernacular craftsmanship. Referencing mid-century modern homes, the residence has been crafted in a timeless aesthetic, featuring a nature-inspired colour palette and ingenious bespoke design interventions. Black granite flooring, hand painted walls, teak, kota stone, brass, woven rattan and wicker work have been complemented by a curation of furnishings by Hans Wegner, George Nakashima and Pierre Jeanneret. Scroll down to read the architects’ eloquent elucidation of the project.
A reference to contemporise the mid-century modern architecture was the short clear brief that the client shared with us. The design intent and the course that our Studio tries to unfold is of a coherent design, over the path of contemporary architecture. Simplistic, minimal design with careful selection of sustainable materials and precise details with local craftsmanship is extremely central to our philosophy.
The plot sits within a community of 15 other bungalows, which had to abide to the Builder’s common plans, facade planning, finishing treatment and appearance. Due to these constraints, the internal spaces and planning became our way to experiment with the design of this house. The ‘T House’ is planned in such a way that the circulation core and passages are in the centre, with all the living spaces around it. This opened up the entire house to the outdoors bringing in a lot of light and natural ventilation in each room. In essence, the underlying ideology used in the design is referenced to the mid-century modern homes where the client’s attempt was to leave a legacy behind for his daughter. The client too looked at the house as one that would withstand the tests of time rather than be trendy.
Just as the musical expression in Jazz music is defined by its composition and arrangement, ingenuity is one of its key elements where a musician invents music at the spur of the moment. Ingenuity is all about expressing one belief. Similarly, the design portrays many such elements for innovation. Everything is doing its own part but they come together beautifully.
“I believe to convey an expression, it’s very important for the complete envelope to speak the same story,” says Kalpak Shah, Principal Architect, a statement which he believes he has learnt from studying ‘Mies Van Der Rohe’ and from his experiences working closely with Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai.
The relationship between client and architect is extremely fundamental, as this is a highly tailor-made home to reflect the client’s comfort, lifestyle and personality. Colours are inspired from nature, with black granite floors, hand painted walls in grey that display the tactility of the process. The skirting rises a few inches higher than the general norm, give solidity to the space. Design adapts for each space depending on their function and scale, for e.g. the walls of the toilets become white with lighter grey Kota flooring to respect the smaller volume. The idea is to maintain cohesion throughout the house for each type of space.
The client and Shah share their ideology towards design—“Details make the Design; details are as integral as the whole of design.” It is not just a technique to finish a product or space. Hans Wegner, George Nakashima and Pierre Jeanneret chairs have been handpicked and some of which altered to meet the design language and suite Indian anthropometry. Besides, most of the house furniture, partitions, handles, latches, etc. are custom designed by the studio using natural brass, teak wood, fluted glass, woven rattan, Danish cord wicker work, etc.
Another element of space making–the bay windows have special meaning in this house to connect the inside to the outside. A nook in every room to snuggle and curl up while watching the world go by. The indoor plants stroll into the spaces as if the outdoors have come in.