The Bridge House

Baba Sashank & Vindhya Guduru Spacefiction studio

Baba Sashank & Vindhya Guduru
Spacefiction studio

When the site, located in one of the prime locations of the city, a similar amount of extravagance was expected out of the client’s requirements. Contrary to that impression, the client who is an avid traveler had a simple brief. He wanted a house which reflected his lifestyle– minimal yet experiential, modern yet rooted.

The house now rests on a linear piece of land whose length is almost twice the road facing width. It is a plot away from a bustling, main city road. With a clear need for architectural introversion, the house is planned to wrap around a large North court. Privacy is created by a high neighbour wall abutting it. Most of the house looks into this court with a particular definitive experience. Either through a window while walking over a bridge, from sitting in a glass box reading a book or glimpses through the openings of a glass jaali door; the awareness of the court is always present when moving through the house. The landscape is kept minimal so the expanse is experienced while sitting on the wooden deck; which is always in shade.

Climatologically, the house is designed to absorb the best and purge the uncomfortable.The least used rooms on the first floor facing the noisy road act as buffer spaces to keep the house quiet. The East sun first hits the teak louvers which cover these entirely cantilevered rooms. These cantilevered rooms shade the verandas below.  The more frequented bedrooms are put at the back away from the noise. A linear court is created between the bedrooms so the ones away from the court have a visual access to greenery. The harsh Hyderabad Western sun never gets into the house, always stopped by blank walls or buffer spaces like toilets and closets.

The elegant exterior spells minimalism with its clean lines and simple form– a mix of planes, projections and voids. As one enters the house, a visual axis is lead through the court between the bedrooms at the back and beyond; by a hanging bridge of the first floor which is the crux of this building. The bridge, which has wooden flooring on top and concrete finish at the bottom, connects the bedrooms at the back to the recreation rooms at the front. This long bridge splits into a family and study on the first floor which are its only support to the super structure. As opposed to the normal division of spaces by vertical walls or partitions, the only division of space here is this horizontal bridge. This divides the space as above and below, while through the rest of the house, Italian marble flows seamlessly through, where only the function and placement divides space.

The play of light happens in all the courts, creating multiplicity of experience throughout the day. Square skylights created on the terrace slab cast dramatic light projections on the south facing wall, observed well whilst walking on the bridge above. These reach all the way down through the voids during noon. The concrete finished court near the dining gets similar light created by the pergolas holding glass above. A local artist was commissioned to create the metal birds flying to reach the sky between the bedrooms, all emphasized by the southern light from above.

Internally, the challenge was to convey a sense of richness through a limited palette of materials; complimenting the simplistic, spacious planning. The teak wood frames, white plastered walls and the concrete finished surfaces form the majority of the palette used along with glass, beige marble and engineered wooden floor. The only dominant colour is that of the neighbour wall; painted off yellow which makes the court seem like a single entity. All these materials form a cohesive mix against the backdrop of the major material; the lush green landscape.

Fact File
Architects: Spacefiction Studio 
Location: Hyderabad, India
Principal Designers: Baba Sashank, Vindhya Guduru
Area: 650 sq m
Year: 2015
Structural Consultants: Sysplan Associates
Construction: Orchid Avenues
Photographs: Santhosh Kandanala, KattelaVivek, UdayAnand


About The Author
Spacefiction studio was started in 2014 by Baba Sashank and Vindhya Guduru. Intended to be a blend of design disciplines with architecture as the base, the firm handles projects of various scales and nature. The architecture produced here is a direct derivative of nature and its relationship with the five human senses. Experienced in shaping the architecture and interiors of large scale housing, institutions, research labs and commercial spaces, the studio often dabbles with everything related to design and art. The studio is situated in Hyderabad where a young, enthusiastic, like-minded group of people are tirelessly working on new ideas every day.Baba Sashank graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad in 2010. He interned and worked at Mindspace Architects, Bangalore with Ar. Sanjay Mohe till 2014. An avid reader and illustrator of comics since childhood, he occasionally squeezes out graphic novel or two when not consumed by architecture. His other passions include graphic design, script writing and street magic.Vindhya Guduru got her bachelors in architecture from C.S.I.I.T, Hyderabad in 2009. In the course of her extensive travel, she worked with many prominent firms in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Auroville on projects scaling from high end developments to contemporary interiors. She graduated from Pratt institute in New York with Masters in Interior Design. Developing patterns and exhibition spaces has always been a passion for her, leading to recognition and publication of her works.

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