The existing structure was a 30-year old typical Bangalore house with thick, load-bearing walls nearly hugging the plot's boundary. The neighboring structures were also built close to the boundary walls, resulting in a severe lack of natural light inside the existing habitat.
The requirement was to de-clutter the existing living spaces to meet the needs of the family. The challenge was to rid the house of its dark, dingy corners and simultaneously make it ‘vastu compliant’. We took the vastu pre-requisites from the client and decided to turn it into a spatial asset for the structure.
The new skin comprised of two parts: 1. The staircase block- The main vastu changes involved moving the staircase to the northern side of the building. We decided to demolish the first flight of the existing staircase and subtract the built form above it. This presented itself as an interesting architectural opportunity. This 'newly-freed' when added to the setback outside created a vibrant “pocket of sunshine” for the house. This completely changed the nature of the entire ground floor bringing in plenty of natural light. It also gave the family a cosy and private outdoor space, more an extension of the living room, yet private from the surrounding busy thoroughfare. The newly built section of the staircase lies perpendicular to the existing portion, lending its own dimension to the form of the structure.
2. The hanging wall - Another carry-over from the 80's architectural design of the structure was a huge projection above the car park, the top of which was not accessible. We decided to convert this space into a study. However the slab could not take the load of a wall so we hung the outer skin from the roof.
The newly built areas are distinctly distinguished from the old in terms of material, viz. concrete and brick. The additional volumes in brick and concrete latch on to the existing structure resembling a white monolith. All the existing doors and windows were re-used. The new windows - though 'tonally different' from their older counterparts, yet manage to blend in an innate harmony.