Studio Mumbai / Copper House II
Posted on 04/18/2012
The hortus conclusus unites within itself a marvellous assemblage of disparate aspects. It seeks to understand the landscape it denies, explain the world it excludes, bring in the nature it fears and summarise all this in an architectural composition.
The language and logic of the building are located in three primary architectural moves. The first is the creation of two distinct blocks, varying in width by a foot, separated by the stone-paved courtyard on the ground, and united by the cupric roof plane at the upper level. The two blocks function as discrete personal spaces on the upper level, one is a singular space of bedroom and bath, the other has an additional study.
The second definitive move is the layering of light through a series of material gestures, each one tuned to the direction that light takes and the need for changing degrees of privacy. This is articulated with screening devices made of fine netting framed in traditionally crafted wood, fluted glass which diffuses the light and greenery and hints at the absent city, and sliding and folding wooden windows, all of which allow for degrees of seclusion.
The last is the inclusion of the element of water, whether in the form of the monsoon rain which is relentless in its action on material and mood, or in the form of the well, the stream and the pool beyond the house. The seasonal ‘anxiety’ of the ground is addressed in the manner in which the paving is worked out within the courtyard in a continuous linear fashion and in a loose ring around the house, with undulations registering the flow of rainwater as it reaches for the nearest point of exit.
Architects: Studio Mumbai
Location: Chondi, Maharashtra, India
Photographs: Courtesy of Studio Mumbai