The In.X-Hale Residence is a private home for a family of three, located in the countryside with plenty of coconut trees and surrounded by lush paddy fields.
The focus of the project was to respond to the context of the site and its climatic aspects while keeping in mind the clients requirement of a simple home in a serene environment. Hence, the insertion of a building in this context needed to ensure two things - that the perennial wind-flow in the site remains unobstructed and the spaces within the house connect to the natural elements around it. Strategically, two nodes in the form of courtyards were identified along the direction of the wind as points where both these concerns could meet.
The primary node which is the Internal courtyard is placed in such a way that it is visually connected & experienced from all the rooms of the house. The secondary node is the External verandah with a sit-out courtyard which channels the wind towards the interior of the house, thereby making the primary node the “lungs” of the house. To amplify the breathability of the entire house, Jalli work was incorporated into the building’s facade ensuring that the house inhales cool breeze and exhales hot air. The In.X-Hale Residence was born.
The interior functions of the house pivot around the “lungs” of the house. The ground floor comprises two bedrooms with attached toilets, kitchen, dining and living spaces. The first floor has one bedroom with an attached toilet and a family room. The car porch has been placed in the extreme south to open up the northern side which faces the paddy fields. A transitional space in the form of a verandah was added to create a place of pause before one enters the house. To reduce the effects of the harsh western sun, utilities and the internal staircase have been located here.
A transitional space in the form of a verandah was added to create a place of pause before one enters the house. The play of volumes in a humid environment is essential to ensure the active flow of wind throughout the house. The low ceiling of the verandah at the entry creates a welcoming feel while nurturing a sense of curiosity as one proceeds.
From the verandah one enters the house into a 15ft high living room with a courtyard which further leads to a double height dining space. To bring in a sense of scale, a bridge cuts across the volume creating a visual link between the two floors of the house.
A composition of mostly projected planes and voids are held together with Jalli screens and a conscious effort has been made to keep an understated expression of the built while letting the landscape have the stronger voice.
The interiors have been kept very minimal with an emphasis on celebrating the natural state of the substances themselves. An exposed concrete staircase with cantilevered steps, teakwood doors & windows against a backdrop of white walls and grey tile flooring lend an earthy feel throughout the house. A single coloured wall along the staircase is the only punctuation in the otherwise simplistic approach to the palette.
The language of “rawness” extends to the exteriors as well. Kadappa stone which is easily available in the area is used for the pavers and coping. A polished concrete bench in the verandah shaded by a Bucida tree, offers visitors a moment's rest. Multiple screens of terracotta Jalli and a few painted walls interspace the largely white exterior of the house and the swaying coconut trees.
Material Used :
1. Terracota jalli - Screens
2. Saint gobain glass - Windows and skylights
3. Kajaria tiles - Flooring
4. Asian paints - Walls
5. Jaquar - Sanitary fittings