01 Jul Vault House / Manthan Design Studio
Vault House / Manthan Design Studio
Text description provided by the architects. Every house essentially has a similar program with the only difference being the scales, but it is the client’s brief and an architect’s response to it that brings about the myriad variations of space-making that is extremely personal and yet feel universal. The vault house (1700sft) is one such response to its site which is contoured with a lake view on the West and roads on all three sides. The plan is organized around a central spine running North and south, with wings on each side. Public areas on the East and the private zone on the West give it the ease of connection while keeping the privacy intact. North entry with a set of steps set in stone leads up to the main door with a low height slab over verandah that marks the entrance.
Central North-south Axis has a double-height atrium housing a staircase with a skylight above. The quality of light in the house keeps changing throughout the day and over the various seasons, adding a dynamic to the otherwise simple space. As one enters the house through the double-height atrium and turns to the public areas on East, the volume is modulated by a set of vaults perched over the living and kitchen dining areas, releasing the space into a small garden. The vaults offer a unique seamless quality to the space without overpowering the context.
The North-South running staircase is fabricated as a single flight that culminates into a landing connecting the public and private areas. This staircase hangs in a double-height space with a skylight running over it and both the bedrooms on the upper floor have tiny balconies coming out, with seats that open up in this staircase atrium making it an interesting interactive space. Towards the West are all private areas, bedrooms, study, etc. Also, the west corner on the ground floor, adjoining the living has a covered deck that opens up to the lake views. This deck also has an exposed brick vaulted roof running on the north-south axis. The upper floor has a guest room and a study with a shared toilet. The staircase axis is changed for the upper floor which leads into a mezzanine floor for kids to enjoy the attic kind of space.
The material palette is simple and local. The ferrocement vaults are finished with smooth finished gypsum stucco inside. Exposed brick cladding on the East facades adds depth to the layering of masses. Accentuating the free-flowing curves of the vaults separated by a clerestory. The vault on the west deck is done in bricks and walls finished with IPS to contrast and complement the palette, while keeping it simple and local. Flooring has been done in concrete finish tile with fabricated staircases finished in recycled wood. The exterior paving and stairs are all done with local black basalt stones recovered from old demolished old bungalows/wadas. This house was an experiment in restrain and minimalism while fulfilling the client’s needs and aspirations.