A cricket crazy architect goes all out in designing his own home. The home of architect Anjith Augustine is situated in Neerikodu, near Alwaye. It was his father P.C. Augustine who showed us around the house.
The father beams with pride and says, 'Anjith designed this house while he was in the first year of M.Arch. Once the construction started, he would come in between to supervise. He used to be exceptional in drawing while he was young and has got many prizes too. We channelled this talent into Architecture. He passed his M.Arch with a first rank from the Delhi School of Planning & Architecture. He completed his B.Arch from the same institute.'Anjith was lucky that the first project he got to do was his own home. The other projects are progressing well.
Both exciting & challenging
Getting to design his own home at the start of his career was both exciting and at the same time challenging too, says Anjith, 'I was clear about what I wanted right from the start, I wanted a home that was suitable for the climate, nature and the surroundings, unlike modern styles and blindly copying trends. I did not want a home design that did not allow in ample air or one that gave more weightage to interiors.'
The design peculiarities of the 2300 sq. ft. home built on 10 cents starts right at the exterior gate. The compound wall given is small and not one that disrupts the view of the house. In between the wall he has given a partition modelled after the cricket stump. The house was built during Sachin Tendulkar's retirement and Anjith being an ardent cricket fan dedicates this design element to the god of cricket.
From the sit out, there are two entry points, these doors lead to the office room and to the living room. The living and office room is at a lower level than the rest of the house. The dining area which is at a higher level opens onto a delightful swimming pool.
You can also directly enter the dining area from the car porch through a ramp built here. The ramp makes it easier for older people to go out of the home and it is ideal during the rains, when you want to slip into the home easily from the porch. This doubles up as a service entry. A commendable idea indeed when you think of the other practical uses that the ramp can have, like bringing in or taking out a gas cylinder.
A swimming pool 'Nadumuttam'!
Having the rooms at different levels was for the ease to accommodate a swimming pool. A believer in the virtues of the traditional Vaasthu practices, Anjith loved the idea of having a 'Nadumuttam'(central courtyard).
He feels the 'Nadumuttam' plays an important role in reinforcing the family members bonds and communication. Constraints in space and security made it impossible to have a courtyard here. To make up for this, he built a C shaped block and made a pool here. When you include the houses in the surroundings, this area can give the feel of a 'Nadumuttam.' These homes belong to his uncles and so the pool area turns into a place where the extended family congregates. You can enter the kitchen, and to the two bedrooms on the ground floor through the dining room, and so all the rooms open into the swimming pool that is located centrally.
The design of the interiors and the exterior of the house are in harmony and this makes the house look larger. Both are sides of the same coin and hence the design should flow effortlessly and synchronised, says Anjith. The pool helps to cool the insides of the home and also gives the impression of different elevation when seen from various angles.
As the kitchen happens to be the second most used room; it has been given large proportions. It is even bigger than the bedrooms. The decors of the bedrooms are pretty ordinary without much fancy elements, but every wall in each room has a canvas that has been left empty for now. As and when time favours, Anjith would like to fill those with murals or contemporary art. With changes like that, the home will get a new and fresh look.
The linear style of architecture is adept at making house seem bigger. The beauty of the linear elements is visible in the Louver, the pergola, or the stone cladding.
The top floor has two attached bedrooms and a family living room. In order to reduce the heat, these rooms have been given a high ceiling. On the top of the wall, there is a window with bars given as blinds for ventilation and letting in enough light. The roofing done with brick tiles adds to the cooling effect in the rooms.
The rains are a source of energy for Anjith. In this home, you can enjoy the view of the rains from any spot and this is intentionally designed too.
'When you take into consideration the wind direction and sun's rays, it is possible to come up with wonders in design'
Anjith Augustine, City+Futures Collaborative, Alwaye