Beautiful Homes: This Chandigarh Home is an Atypical Ode to simplicity and Whimsy.
Think architecture in Chandigarh and it is but a short step to contemplating on Le Corbusier and the impact he has had on this planned city, and the generations of architects that came after him. His unornamented aesthetic is the primer for many who chose to craft homes using humble materials as their canvas. The Tapered House, all exposed red brick and sweeping symmetric roofs, is evocative of just this legacy, in spirit certainly if not entirely in form. Because this house in a central sector in Chandigarh is a hybrid of sorts: It is an ode to the simplicity of material and an expression of the homeowners’ penchant for whimsy, which is glued together with the design sensibility of Studio Mohenjodaro, the firm that designed it.
Tarunpreet Singh Bhatia, architect and founder of the studio, decided to bring something uncommon to the all-around ordinariness of the home’s immediate environment, sitting as it does on a regular street amid regular homes. The final result was quite in keeping with the seven-year-old practice’s penchant of “going for a natural material palette in its attempt to achieve a balance between raw and finished surfaces”.
MATERIAL GAINS The idea was to create a structure that was interesting in its architecture but did so without screaming from the proverbial rooftop. Hence the choice of exposed red brick for the facade and the “ground-floor level butterfly roof which flanks open to either side of the house. The intent for the house was to create a sculptural monolith without overpowering the surroundings,” he explains. That installation-like quality is evident in the roofing that lends the distinct look to the house, with the upper-storey “tapering upwards and outwards on the front facade”. Bhatia does succeed in creating an attention-grabbing exterior, open yet closed off, its sculptural quality and rigorous modernism concealing a well-planned space. Spreading across 4,500 square
feet, the house is neatly laid out with mindful layering of spaces. The public living and dining areas at the front, bifurcated by the front entrance, followed by the kitchen, a family lobby (which has a second entrance) and a private courtyard, finally ending in three bedrooms towards the rear.