REVISIT MEMORIES #1
Written by Preeti Shibu, Intern Architect- MURALI ARCHITECTS, Chennai.
It was a bright and cheerful morning on Thursday, when a small group of us from MURALI ARCHITECTS, Chennai set out along the ECR to Neelankarai. The occasion was definitely special- a revisit to one of our completed residences, designed for Mr. & Mrs. SURESH and family on Blue Beach Road.
Being an intern at Murali Architects, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of our Revisit, and it was a rewarding experience, seeing how the spaces within this home were so uniquely responsive to the tastes of its homeowners, dignified and steeped in rich tradition, just as they are.
The shaded walkway drew us inwards, with tall bamboo shoots on both sides, and soft light streaming in through the bamboo pergola overhead. The local granite used to accentuate the pathway struck a rich contrast to this.
Through low windows to one side, we could see the large and spacious living room, with dashes of color calling out attention to the curios and memorabilia that the family so lovingly cherished. As we reached the thinnai, we could hear the faint strains of Carnatic music, playing from the puja.
We were warmly welcomed by the lady of the house, Mrs. Malini Suresh, who graciously allowed us to experience their home, even amidst their busy schedule. We realised that the design of their home started as a response to their respect for tradition and passion for Bharatanatyam- their daughter is an exponent of this dance form.
The classic foyer with its marble clad walls lead to the living rooms, and a remarkable puja room with a glass pavilion, leading out to a small shrine, where the family worships together,
The color palette of the interiors was set by the tone of earthy marble, wood and cool white walls, with glass being used to create the maximum transparency and openness within the house.
We got the distinct feeling that one would not need lighting for the most part of the day, as the sunlight streamed in through shaded openings and the windows that faced the landscape courtyards.
The play of levels was another interesting facet of this home, where the stairs at midlanding drew us out into a lush green terrace garden, where one could enjoy nature and fresh air, without being watched, behind the screen walls with playful punctures that framed views of the distance.
The bedrooms got the privacy and quiet they needed, connected by a wooden deck, from where one could see the double height living spaces on both sides. The bedrooms were softly lit, with infusions of colour, echoing the tones of the rest of the home.
As we bid the family goodbye and walked back through the bamboo gateway, we had a common thought in our minds- how comforting it must feel to have a patch of heaven on earth, in an abode that rang true to its very soul...