A lush Mango orchard in the outskirts of Hyderabad city oversees a fantastic view of a lake. As one meanders amongst the trees, they come across a warm beige brick screen behind which sits the 'The Brick Mask' house. Architects Baba Shashank and Vindhya Guduru from Spacefiction Studio in Hyderabad, play around with the concept of transparency in this house, through the screen wall that wraps the house as if it were a yellow brick skin.
Vastu friendly design
This 1-acre site is accessed through a meandering road around a taut grid of Mango trees. The north-facing house is designed such that it is almost engulfed by the Mango trees while also becoming a whimsical backdrop for their shade and shadows. Designing a house around all the existing trees and addressing each one of them specifically, the house beautifully captures the drama that awaits.
Owned by an elderly couple who desired to be away from the city chaos, the house fulfills everything they wished for – A retirement home that has ample living spaces surrounded by gardens almost blurring the concept of indoors and outdoors.
Experientially Playful Design
A lush green lawn, having a cozy sit-out area sits in the front of the house. Alongside that is the way to the entrance of the house that gives a glimpse of its playfulness with an unusually designed floor-to-floor pivoted entrance door. A central courtyard becomes the main feature of this home around which all the living activities take place. The open courtyards play a major role in dissolving the house into nature.
Wrapped in Nature’s lap
The ground floor is designed so uniquely as to create pockets of living spaces that project out into nature like floating glass boxes. The architects like to call these glass boxes 'the projection boxes'. They house the living room, the dining area, and multiple sit-out areas, all of which are floating over a refreshing water body. Double-height spaces and a sculptural staircase connect the whole house internally.
Opening up Visual Horizons
An elemental staircase leads one to the upper floor residing two bedrooms in the west. The staircase is ornamented with pockets of planters on its landing. Cutouts in the slab right above these planters bring in the natural light acting like nature’s spotlights. As we climb up the stairs, a large opening is unusually placed facing the south façade that captures remarkable views of the lake.
Earthy Material Palette
A long corridor on the upper floor laid with geometric cement tiles bridges the two bedrooms. On one end of this corridor lies the minimalistic floral Master bedroom and on the other end is the subtle and cozy Daughters’ bedroom. The spaces on the upper floors are highlighted by using lime plaster in a variety of shades to give an earthy ambiance.
Environment-Conscious Design Takeaways
The architects have played with a lot of elements throughout the house, be it the light and shadow of the tactile brick walls or the unconventional laying of the structure, but the actual life of the house lies in the Mango trees around which the house is designed. As the Architect rightly mentions “Wherever you are in the house, you are always aware of these Mango trees, either through sound or visually, or through shadows” This essentially captures their passion to design with and around nature.
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