To modernize something as traditional and ornate as Rajasthani architecture into a progressive and à la mode house is nothing short of a challenge. Picking up the essence of narrow bustling streets and the grandeur of palaces as one transitions from space to space within them, architect Verendra Wakhloo brings them together in what can be called a modern-day interpretation of the Māru-Gurjara style of architecture in this house.
An exceptional Site
The Lake House perched along the periphery of Udaipur's famous Fateh Sagar Lake stands in contrast to the natural skyline of Udaipur, which is generally dominated by monuments, temples, and forts overlooking the scenic lake. The house of pavilions positioned nine meters above the road, brilliantly illustrates a modern rendition of Rajasthani - Mughal architecture. Verendra Wakhloo, the principal architect at Matra Architects, and Ashiesh Shah, the principal interior designer from Atelier Ashiesh Shah, collaborate to create a unique design.
Freedom to Explore
Designed for a family of three generations, the house spread across 3/4th of an acre is an ideal metaphor of the Rajasthani Architecture that it is inspired from. The Architect experimented with the spatial planning of the house which he picked up from that of forts and palaces of the region. The clients, originating from Udaipur, are cosmopolitan and invited new ideas. Their freedom and encouragement gave the architect a free hand to experiment with the language of the house.
An awe-inspiring entry
A flight of smooth polished bijolia stone treads along a tactile random rubble wall carries you up to a vast garden and surprises you with a 180-degree view of the Fateh Sagar Lake in all its glory. The garden's edge adorned with indigenous landscaping practically blends the garden and the lake. Turning around, you now have a full view of the 12,000 sq. ft. home.
On the east, a verandah with a deep canopy and slender fluted white cement columns sits like a Chhatri - a dome-shaped pavilion or canopy - welcoming you into a vestibule. The concept of a Baradari signifying a pavilion with twelve doors designed in a way to allow free flow of air is reflected in designing three parallel blocks of the house. The first and the shortest of the three – is a multifunctional entertainment unit, the second – is the semi-social informal living areas, and the third and longest block houses the more private bedrooms. Stacked one behind the other, glass ceiling corridors run between the blocks allowing for the passage of wind and natural light making the structure feel lighter and more connected to nature.
The white marble Pooja room sits like an island at the house's entry, beyond which lies the living and dining space. Floor-to-ceiling fenestrations in all the rooms provide panoramic views of the lake and the Aravallis in the distance. This is possible because of the way the blocks are stacked one above the other as well as because of their varying lengths. The deep canopy supported by characteristic columns not only helps to keep the heat out but also provides shelter from the rain, all this while retaining the visual connection. These columns create a rhythm and add porosity to the house's architecture.
Full-height fenestrations with light-colored curtains allow one to enjoy breathtaking sunsets while snuggling up at the end of the day. What stands out throughout the house is the custom-made decorative lighting elements that bring out a contrast while also blending in. White marble flooring and walls clad in pale American oak were the designers' first choice of finishes for furniture and accessories. Unique and antique sculptures picked from the Rajput folklore are interspersed throughout the house taking you back in time. The designer wanted the house to reflect the warmth of Rajasthan and its palaces with a unique material palate. This led him to design minimalistic and subtle interiors that capture the essence of Rajput architecture contrasting with its grandeur.
Timeless Design Concepts
The Lakehouse designed on the concept of Yin Yang, playing with the built and unbuilt is a true depiction of the architects’ thought process. It is humble and visually connects every corner with each other as well as with nature outside. The architect rightfully quotes Louis Kahn saying “the construction itself of these pavilions turn into their decoration”, and that is exactly what the design team has endeavored to achieve.
To watch the complete video, visit our YouTube channel.
To explore more amazing home designs in India, you can now visit our Website.