It was a dump that was an impossible 15 feet wide at one end and 0 feet wide at the other end, and extended over 120 feet. The owner had marked the space as unusable and unsaleable, the residents of the village using it as a convenient dump for household waste and building rubble. When architects Nischal Abhaykumar and Jesal Pathak of M9 Design Studio decided to buy the property for the construction of a residence, many eyebrows were raised when they considered making such a decision.
A residence they built, with 1,500 square meters on three levels and two bedrooms, as well as the living, dining, kitchen and work area. Built in a contemporary minimalist style, the structure is designed so that the exterior is playful and hides the steep vertical expanse. The following façade has staggered windows in different sizes, which eliminates the visual assimilation of three levels. "The staggering of the windows takes away the clarity on the levels and brings an interesting design element to the white exterior," explains Pathak.
Given the triangular, narrow dimensions of the site, the structure was limited to one segment of the site where the width widened to 15 feet, while the second segment, tapering to zero, was used for the parking lot and green space. “The landscape stretches 50 feet and starts at 6 feet wide to narrow to zero at the end of the site,” Pathak adds. The traditional composite wall has been left out and replaced with trees and hedges to mark the border. The result: The white building rises elegantly on the street with an enchanting tree covering to separate it from the public space.
"The functional rooms in the building had to be distributed over 3 levels due to the narrow building location," Pathak explains. Since the building opens up to the street, the main gate is structured as a setback with an outside foyer to mark the demarcation and give the entrance a dimension.
As the entrance area is the narrowest part of the building due to its taper, the stairs and a hidden utility room open to the foyer. The wider part of the building on the ground floor houses the first of the two bedrooms. The staircase shows transparency, with light metal steps and a railing that conveys the feeling of openness and space for the interior. Natural light enters through the skylight above the stairs.
The second level houses the living and dining areas, which in turn are strategically arranged in the wider area of the site. Minimalist, portable furniture highlights the living area, and its lighter presence complements the immaculate white walls of the interior. The kitchen, which takes up much less space, is located on the narrower part of the building.
The master bedroom extends over the entire third level and opens to a small study. “The cot and the wardrobe are housed as an island in both bedrooms. While this successfully addresses the long dimensions of the room, due to its positioning, the wardrobe offers additional functionality to demarcate a dressing area within the bedroom, ”says Abhaykumar.
Complete absence of walls
Interestingly, due to the peculiarity of the location, the interiors also have no walls, so that all functional rooms are freely accessible. There is not only a seamless horizontal connection on each level, but also a vertical connection between all levels via the sky-lit staircase, which acts as the central back of the building.
“The bedrooms have sliding doors that can be pushed into the right position if necessary. The only rooms that have a conventional door are the two washrooms in the residence, ”explains Abhaykumar. “These doors also protrude to the ceiling in full height without the usual lintels. Their width gives the room a new dimension. "