The design was based on the client's request for a home that was influenced by the family's heritage in Kerala, India. In terms of planning, proportioning, scaling, and materiality, we drew inspiration from traditional residential buildings and palaces in Kerala. We interpreted this in light of contemporary culture while taking Bangalore's climate and the structure's carbon footprint into consideration.
Name of the project: Corbel House
Architect: Kamat & Rozario Architecture
Year of completion: 2018
Project Area: 3650 sq ft
Photographer: Niveditaa Gupta & Lester Rozario
Design Team: Smruti Kamat-Rozario, Lester Rozario & Divya Joseph
Project Architect: Divya Joseph
Cost: 15 million INR
Manufacturers/Products: St Gobain- Glass
Jaquar- Bathroom Fittings
A few distinguishing characteristics from these traditional structures were the verandahs wrapped around the interior living areas, the ground floor's seeming massive brick foundation with thick arches and carved columns, and the first floor's lighterappearance in terms of the materialsand overall treatment.
These elements became the inspiration for the front façade of the building where the carved columns were adopted with a contemporary twist. In order to make them look lighter, we fashioned them using a metal sheet, cut out to match the silhouette of a traditional column and placed as a cross. The front overhang frames the home and provides abundant cross ventilation in addition to shielding the south façade.
The planning is rather straight forward, with the guest bedrooms and semi- public areas located on the ground floor. On the first floor, there are separate family areas and private areas for the couple and their kids. The plan's main objective was to look outward in order to take full advantage of views.The back garden opens into the community garden, allowing the clients' two children to use the house as a playground- running from the street in the front to the community garden at the back. A centrally located skylight helps air circulate to the upper level, keeping the house cooler.
A playful interpretation of a Mangalore tiled roof surface is seen in the building's undulating brickwork. The Flemish bond is used to build the masonry, which expands to make room for apertures. The negative impression of the brick can be seen on the inside as it corbels outwards, almost as an acknowledgment to the drama outside! The light metal balconies pushing through in the front and rear contrast sharply with the earthy terracotta colour, which directly alludes to the materiality of traditional Kerala houses. To emphasize the openness, the front and rear masonry openings are kept to a minimum.
To provide a touch of nostalgia to the otherwise minimalist furnishings, cane screens and teak wood were combined in the construction of the interiors.Brass strips flows from the concrete finished walls to the monolithic granite flooring creating a continuous, almost monolithic surface that helps accentuate the open ground floor plan. The house is powered by solar panels placed on the roof of the structure and the materials were intentionally sourced locally and used innovatively as a conscious attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of the building.