(Residential Renovation and Interiors)
The Frame House is a duplex apartment renovation project for a young couple and their daughter. The design process started even before the construction of the project starting enabling us to firstly, make customised changes as per the design and secondly and most importantly enabled us to get to know the clients better. The lull period of the project was used to discuss and dialogue and understand every grain of who they were. This was the first exercise, where we understood their liberal mindset and their take on life as a whimsical yet responsible experience. They had light hearted humour bind everything of various weights in their lives into a congealed and euphoric sanity; one which the house had to transform into. Their stresses, their releases, their passion, their interaction, their experiences, their rituals all had combined into this air of lightness which the house had to capture.
The second space was the predefined apartment itself, which under the original design was dark and dramatic, with the only face deriving light (the north face) blocked. We opened up this side and shifted the cut out to take in this light and spread it around the house. This north became important as the binding agent which we were looking for, as it soaked into the house without shadows and dramatics, exactly how we wanted their house captured.
We wanted the house to go the background, but yet have enough strength at a subconscious level to bind everything together. The objects, the rituals, the stories and movements had to take the fore ground and the house became a facilitator towards them.
All faces, heights, distances were measured and divided into an invisible parametric grid which would allow for the capture of this background. This parametric grid was overlapped with the volumes and the movements of the house and frames were derived. These frames were composed so that they let every individual could express themselves into the house. They floated within its realm as markers of ritualistic composition; the courtyard, the verandah, the daughter's niche, the daughter's study, the master study, the AV room, the breakfast counter, the kitchen, the back garden, the cut out, and the light all connected each other in a three dimensional lattice of soft dialogue.
The form created as a continuous surface in which these frames are embedded becomes the cupboards, the walls, the partitions and the general surface of the house on which the light flows on. The frames stuck on this surface overlap differently as you walk through the house creating different overlaps and occurrences. Flexibility has been imbibed into the house to open or close as required so that loops may be created as required, and the whole design is seen as a loose narrative and not a contrived discourse.
The house has two entrances, one for the pedestrian visitors and one from the parking basement. The staircase has been made into a raised courtyard to scale down the house and also create an intermediate level of experience between the lower and the upper levels. This courtyard becomes pivotal in the experience of the house as the staircase finds along it making the experience of movement more sensual. The greenery incorporated in the courtyard gives a softness in contrast with the exposed concrete and stone flooring. The steel staircase designed as a compression and tension cantilever provides the rhythm to this movement.
The dining with its double height encases the house within its volume. this double height becomes part of everything in the upper floor, and is a catalyst towards achieving the 'oneness' of the house. The living, the kitchen become peripheral frames from this main frame as they settle in with their own colours and narratives.
The lower floor also has the guest bedroom and a common toilet.
The upper floor holds the master bedroom with its study, wardrobes and bathroom on one side and the daughter's bedroom on the other which overlooks into the verandah.
Both these bedrooms are connected by a passage which overlooks the cut out and also holds the AV room which can be closed or opened as per need.
The Frame House is a contemporary social statement rooting itself in sensibilities questioning the formality of typologies which seem to plague our general housing today. It is inspired by the clients take on life and then pragmatically is taken to a more complex form of understanding through physical manifestation in its details. Houses have always been fundamentally viewed by us as social haunts, this project is formed from the same string but pushed to a level of rich subtlety and benevolent presence which can say a lot in whispers.
Photos by Shamanth J Patil