Name of the project: A9 Concept
Architect: ANNKUR KHOSLA
Area (Sq.ft): 1300 sqft
The client specified that they wanted an ‘INDIAN HOUSE’ and it should be designed such that it could suit the modern day world conveniences and aesthetics.
The planning of the bungalow was conforming to the Vastu locations as far as allocation of functional spaces is concerned. Various Indian symbols of tradition are used to strengthen the concept. The entrance welcomes you with a grand processional feeling as of like in the palaces in Rajasthan. The very older forms of living were adobe houses with just a plastered rough feel with colors tending to merge with the sand. Using the same analogy the external walls of the entire bungalow has the adobe rough texture with two miniature elephants and the chattris pronounced in the entrance. The use of elephants can be traced to engravings on the gateways of the stupas in the earlier centuries. The entry is augmented by welcoming ‘YAKSHIS’ who in the Indian context are the goddesses at the entrances of temples welcoming visitors and ensure auspiciousness on the site. In Buddhist stupas yakshis were across the gateways held up as bracket figures representing female tree spirits. In order to have multiple effects, the linear rows of figurines are placed as their historical significance is that they are celestial singers, magical beings and knowledge holders and who have immensely powerful hands.
The lord of ‘GANA’ also known as ‘KUBERA’ is always revered by the Yakshis and they are usually pot-bellied and notorious in nature but form the complementing element in the placement of goddesses. Hence placed at the end of the row.
The ‘AJANTA’ art from the caves of Aurangabad was inspired to form a wall art for a dresser enclosure. This being the most ancient art form visible around the 3rd- 5th centuries and marks significant beginnings in History of Art. The antiquity with reference to its modern expression provides the necessary contrast. The caves show their sculptural qualities and hence the vanity was created by using sadarali granite, a local material of the city to create the resemblance to the old. Interestingly the mirror is mounted on an easel to reflect it's contemporary context.
The method of construction using ‘ARCHWAYS’ holding slabs above was a repetitive feature in most palaces and monumental works. The rationalization of a single arch and analyzing the entrance of a South Indian temple gave the result of the wooden portal in the dining area.
‘YANTRA AND TANTRA’ have been forms of ancient Indian mysticism which have been esoteric and the understanding of few. The use of a Yantra, a cosmic entity interpreted in 2D for the realization of one’s spiritual manifestation along with a light installation of two iconic figurines provides a contrasting backdrop to an Indian bed with wooden legs.
The ‘NATRAJA’ also in iconography is the dance of bliss, or the ANANDA TANDAVAM of Shiva and is said to symbolize the five divine acts (pancha krityas) of creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealment and bestowment of grace. The dance of Shiva has been frozen in bronze and several bronzes have been traced to South India. The non-anthromorphic form of Shiva is the lingam and it represents the SHIVA and SHAKTI, energies of Yin and Yang in an individual. The staircase wall is the abode of the heavens and is characterized by the various ‘DEITIES’ uncovered from different temples all mounted on stands – rejoicing in the glory of the skylights. The geometric skylights represent the various forms of the temple plans as representation to show ‘AXIS MUNDI’ (cosmic connection).
Also stone carving, blue pottery enamelling, metalware – all traditional crafts of Rajasthan have been used for the furniture and accessories.
The materials used are rough plaster, adobe araish finish made with shell, yellow jaisalmer, fossil stone, desert sandstone, Indian white marble, old burma teak etc.
The architect attended one year post graduation diploma course in Indian aesthetic at Jnanpravaha, Mumbai and thus the ideas are derived according to the theme.
The surroundings are individually owned plots and is flanked by road on two sides to facilitate two entries. Natural light filters in all spaces. Solar panels are provided additionally. Rain water harvesting is carried out to recharge the soil. Waste water is recycled to provide landscape water.
Defining it further by adding “TO BRING GLORY TO OUR PAST AND LOST TRADITION WITH THE USE OF ICONOGRAPHY IN INDIAN TEMPLES/ CAVES SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL. SILPSHSTRAS AND ANCIENT TEXTS HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO UNDERSTAND THE SOUL AND MEANING OF THE ICONS AND THEIR LOCATIONS IN INDIAN TEMPLE CONTEXT. ALSO INDIA IS A LAND FILLED WITH MYTHS OF SEVERAL DEITIES SO THEIR INTRODUCTION GAVE REASON TO VISITORS OF THE SPACE TO LEARN THEIR HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE”. In addition was the aspect of ‘MODERN' since the clients are global in approach.
The aspect of response to the jury criteria was given to the client and their remark was that they were marvelled to see such a beautiful synergy of space, design and detail from concept to execution.