- region :
6275 square feet
Manufacturers: tutuAnd the fab indiaAnd the Freedom TreeAnd the home CenterAnd the Kalinga StonesAnd the LightscapeAnd the Nixion
Ammar Chowdhury and Meridula S Chowdhury
Architecture and Interior Design:
Manu Bharati, Sai Malavika, Purva Bendi
Text description provided by the architects. Located at the end of a quiet residential street in Chennai, overlooking the ocean – the project site evoked a house that opened and introduced itself to its surroundings but also covered with layers of privacy and barriers protecting itself from the open environment. The design brief was so simple that made it even more challenging – a gift from a father to his daughter who was getting married, and the house would be the starting point on her new journey. The 39’x93′ linear plot had its larger side facing the ocean with a beautiful view of the Bay of Bengal. Like every beachfront property, the default requirement was to ensure that every part of the house had ocean views.
design layout. The entire house was raised by 1.5 meters with a pedestrian approach winding through an entry garden that led the user into the house. Services and amenities such as car park, assistant accommodation, and battery backup room were placed in a partial vault. The entry garden takes the user into a small foyer which leads one to a large large room. It is from this great room that the project got its name – “The Gully Home”. The cool room is inspired by a vibrant street (canyons) in the old parts of the city. The street is where all the residents gather – conversations take place, bonds are formed, one hears the sound of laughter, children play, a lot of joy. Likewise, the great room is conceived as the place where most of the happy memories of the users are made and is the core of all the activities of the house. The three-height space features an open plan living, dining and kitchen layout, opening onto a linear garden with sea views beyond. Once inside the space, users are isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city and enter a world of their own.
Traditional housing may include floor planes stacked across three levels. But to enhance the vertical cross connection, the floorboards stagger 5 feet on either side of the triple height space, creating views of the large room from the other spaces. The floorboards connect to an open metal staircase with dog legs with each journey leading the user into the bedroom. A set of large windows inside each bedroom overlooks the large room making the entire space visually and physically connected. In addition to the interior bay windows, there is a set of exterior windows that expose themselves for a 180 view of the surroundings with a small bench that makes for a cozy reading/coffee nook.
The master bedroom has a flight of private stairs that lead to a private balcony sandwiched between the lobby and the pool. The balcony has a direct view of the ocean from the front, the entrance garden is on the right, and a large window looks out into the large room on the left, making it truly a prime space for a couple. The upper floor hosts the lounge room overlooking the pool. the glaze is carried out in such a way that it was opened once; The roof becomes part of the lounge that connects it directly to the pool. Finally, the highest level of the house is a sitting porch surrounded by leather bricks creating openings framed towards the ocean.
Bioclimate design approaches and materials. While the east facing building does well in creating direct views towards the ocean, it also faces the wrath of the hot morning sun causing a massive increase in heat. The entire facade is double-skinned with a layer of parterme blocks forming the inner core and half-cut bricks on both sides. The use of natural clay materials for the exterior skin of the building results in the cooling of the interior spaces and also the retention of heat within the walls rather than transferring it. While this solves heat gain within the solid walls area, it is necessary to provide large heat gain glazing within the spaces to obtain expansive ocean views. The window system is designed where each window consists of an inward opening glass shutter and an aluminum external shutter with operable openings. As a result, the following six permutations were possible – 1. Fully closed with no visibility and ventilation 2. Fully open with visibility and airflow 3. Optically open but no airflow 4. Partial vision with 50% airflow 5. No visibility By 25% airflow 6. 50% visibility with no airflow. This system allows the user to change the in-room experience based on requirements and ease of use.
The interior walls are also a mixture of brick slats and lime walls that continue the material from the outside to the inside. Polished natural cotta floors reflect heat and stay cool all the time. The bedrooms are finished with terrazzo floors in different patterns. Usually the roof of a building contributes to the majority of heat gain. Thus, to reduce this, the panels are doubly insulated by introducing terracotta pots as a filler that reduces the volume of concrete used in the panels as well. The roof of the balcony is covered with solar panels so the entire house can be powered using only solar energy.
interior design. The Gully Home is a one-off project where architecture defines its entire interiors. With the internal and external connection, there is no difference between external and internal materials. Slab brick cladding and lime clad walls together with exposed concrete structural elements form the main interior materials. Terracotta pots on the ceiling highlight this material and add an interesting touch to the space. False ceilings are not used inside the house and all panels are exposed concrete. The furniture is a mixture of wood with fabric and cane to continue the rustic look inside the house. Most of the furniture is custom made using artisan carpenters and designed according to the specific requirements of the users. Gully Home is an attempt to reimagine how the modern family can live in a sustainable way. It is a house rooted contextually and responds to all surrounding architectural and climatic requirements, making it the embodiment of functional and climate-responsive design principles.