Excerpt: Brick Lattice House designed by Srijit Srinivas – Architects opted for a cuboid envelope, perforated with a brick lattice façade. The minimalist nature of the design philosophy deployed finds further expression in the custom-built furniture used throughout the house. This approach also finds expression in the interior design- from the color of kitchen cabinets to wardrobes, the soft furnishing et al – to blend well with the inviting color of brick and plaster finish.
[Text as submitted by architect] The house sited on a small 222m2 plot in a very crowded semi-urban locality in Kerala’s capital city is overlooked by three floors of classrooms of an adjacent educational institution.
The Clients – a small family comprising of an engineer, a doctor & their son, wanted their home to be a private and homely oasis amidst the crowded bustle of their busy locality. This presented an acute design challenge but was also typical for residential briefs in dense urban contexts.
The design solution that evolved opted for a cuboid envelope, perforated with a brick lattice façade for the front elevation. This approach helped maximize built-up area, whilst allowing for air circulation without sacrificing privacy for the occupants.
The ground floor has a covered double-car porch, sit-out, separate living, and dining rooms, two bedrooms with dress rooms and toilets, an open kitchen, and adjacent work and utility areas. Both the Living Room and Guest Bedroom on the ground floor open out to the front lawn via large windows, thereby benefiting from a perception of extended space. The first floor has two ensuite bedrooms with a walk-through dress area, as well as ‘combo spaces’ for a home library, study, and gym.
Vertically the internal spaces are tied together employing the double-height exposed brick finished light well visibly expanding the dining room upwards, and experientially making it the anchor point of the home. This is accentuated by bringing landscaping into the building envelope via a narrow internal courtyard decked with planting bathed with sunlight from above -thus creating a changing but pleasing effect across the day. The open kitchen plan further extends out the adjacent dining room along one axis, and then also opens out to a landscaped deck towards the rear.
The minimalist nature of the design philosophy deployed finds further expression in the custom-built furniture used throughout the house. This approach also finds expression in the interior design- from the color of kitchen cabinets to wardrobes, the soft furnishing et al – to blend well with the inviting color of brick and plaster finish. Similarly, an open kitchen and its careful interior detailing give a wonderful aesthetic feel dovetailed with functionality.
The juxtaposition of exposed brickwork with alternating plastered surfaces endows a subtle touch on both internal and external facades. This house is an example of how an exposed brick house can be very modern and not necessarily rustic. The overall form of the house has been kept simple- platonic cuboid with a slight slant in front, as dictated by the site. This is complemented by the use of brick lattice treatment on the front façade to engender much-needed privacy for living and sleeping spaces on the upper floor, whilst allowing unhindered entry of cooling breezes for air circulation.
The planning scheme employed allows spaces to flow into one other, whilst keeping circulation and living spaces well defined. Every place in the house calmly radiates charm and visual beauty and has elegantly addressed the original design brief for a secluded, homely sanctuary even in the crowded setting of its dense urban milieu.