The Future Kids School in Hyderabad designed by Ar B C Sudhir Reddy of Kruthica explores the site as a physical and visual tool to incorporate a participatory campus for learning and in a curatorial move, argues for the context as an agent for environment-friendly & cost-effective planning.
A decade or more back, I had clients walking into my studio in Hyderabad wanting a ‘Laurie Baker’ house. Given that Baker was considered an architect for the poor, my clients were not in any way economically challenged – in fact they were quite well off. For them a ‘Laurie Baker’ house was one that had exposed rat trap bond walls, filler slabs and brick arches. Forgetting the extra cost and inappropriateness of these in Hyderabad, given the poor quality of local brick and masonry skills, it was the distinctive look that enticed them. The sensual trumped the practical and poor LB (pun intended) was reduced to a brand like Louise Phillipe or Van Huesen! Despite the superficiality of it, there was a visual appeal of the ‘Low-cost’ aesthetic. The material ascetism had a powerful pull and seemed to say to the not so well off, albeit notionally, that ‘we are with you’. But now, even that fig leaf is gone. Houses today of the well-to-do i.e. those that can still afford to buy a plot and build an independent house, are a collage of glass, white walls and floors, atrociously expensive toilets and gypsum false ceilings.
Following years of travel, documentation and engagement, Pratyush Shankar authors a rich, intimate monograph: an insight into the unique, diverse, versatile and complex human habitats of the Himalayas illustrated with Photographs, Sketches and Drawings.
Monochrome images reveal the many dimensions of Bijoy Jain’s architecture as light interacts with surfaces of changing quality.
The wood contrasts against glass that reflects the landscape.
The pool makes way for a frangipani.
A composition is textures – the cuboid of the house is broken by a cantilever – a projection that becomes the balcony
Water carrying channels – remnants of an irrigated plantation co-exist and become a part of the landscape that composes the site.
The bath – thematic spaces that connect with the outside.
The cuboids set within the plantation – the trees render scale and enclosure to the site.
From the sea-side: the house is installed in the plantation.
On a wet day, the breeze flows through the façade – a breathing, permeable skin.
Water contained in the pool reflects the precise form of the house.
The complete transparency of glass and the selective permeability of the screens that compose the façade frame the trees and the ocean.
Made with skill, the house sits lightly on a hand-made plinth.
The pool – clear water on screed.
Water flows to the trees following a very subtle gradient on the site.
Spaces within open out to plantations on the site – the plantations, the well, the pool and the channel compose an intuitive landscape – a garden that has little human trace.
A simple cuboid reveals itself in many layers.
Monsoon has a very peculiar mood at the Palmyra House. Set in a landscape of a palm plantation, the house has a very tactile quality. The unique atmosphere that the landscape and the structures of the site compose is elevated by the strong monsoon breeze that blows from the Arabian Sea. Continue reading Palmyra House in Monochrome Photographs→