— Photo: AFP
How far is elevation a sampling of the house inside? Does every good elevation speak of good design elements inside? Or, does a commonplace elevation throw feelers of a humdrum plan? Maybe there is no correlation at all between the exterior and the interior. And it depends on one’s taste to see if decoration is given as much importance as the practical design too. But how far do external looks matter for a home?
Says M. Murali, Chief Architect of Murali Architects, “I believe that what looks good, tastes good. It holds good with respect to buildings too. An architect constructs a building not just to make it usable and comfortable, but to make it a piece of art or a prized possession for the inmates. So, the exterior massing proportions, fenestrations, colour and texture and the cladding and roofing design are paramount to a building.”
If all the houses have a flat, just-enough roof to take an ordinary elevation, nothing would really stand out. Fashioning a look to make it look different is an art that would make the piece a stand alone construct.
“Again this wouldn’t mean outlandish and bizarre elevations that would look visually weird and out of place. But some creative concepts have to be thought of to make it look novel,” says Murali.
Simple and novel
Architect K. Jaisim of Jaisim Fountainhead has created a dome-and-den-like appearance for C.R.Simha’s house on the bustling Ring Road in Banashankari III Stage which is aptly named ‘Guhe.’ We are speaking of theatre and film personality C. R. Simha’s residential den, the nature-friendly ethnic wonder built 17 years ago, that has been bagging quite a few looks from the media even now.
Spotting the elevation for the roof-cover from the gate isn’t easy at Simha’s house. Look up and you’ll realise that sky is the limit for creativity in this two-level house. The dome-like come-down roof, with concrete and hollow bricks (to trap heat from outside), is open-to-the-sky in the middle with a circular fibre-glass fitted for sunlight’s entry and hot air exit.
“Follow the spirit of the subject matter and you will automatically think of good ideas, but do not just finish a house and then try to copy some other good elevation. Creativity lies in bringing in originality and seeing a thematic approach in your construct,” advises Jaisim, who believes certain projects need good elevation. There would be plans where elevation need not be given too much of significance. “Don’t follow the same rules in every assignment,” he exhorts.
Says Murali, “Contemporary elements are also important. This is the time we can bring in columns and beams with sterilised treatments for the surface with double-height wooden windows for dramatic exteriors, instead of the time-bound false or pseudo columns with a Doric head that would tend to fade away.”
No wonder, modern architects are itching to bring in cascading terraces or double height entrance canopies to get some signature creations. Deep projections that shade the balconies, or the use of stone and earthy material to clad the exterior portions of the columns, beams and free-standing wall will lend a robust look, rather than have a plain and weak painted surface which is no longer the trick of the brick-and-mortar beauty trade.
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