A while ago, I got in touch with an architect from the city for a shoot of a residence – Mangalam House – that broke away from a lot of architectural stereotypes, becoming a beacon for change in the way we design our buildings.
The Mangalam house, completed a year ago, was conceived into a home that rose as a three storied space, broken on the exterior by a large projecting roof supported on leaning circular columns spanning an entire floor.
Breaking down the facade helped create geometries that scale the entire structure while also creating a play of solids and voids. With vaastu being an important element in the planning of the project, spaces noticeably follow a hierarchy in terms of circulation and the interlace of single and double height volumes within the house.
On the ground floor, the entire space is oriented along a courtyard that opens from a double height living room. With galleries on the upper floor looking into the double height space below, the entire house remains connected to a central node from every room and circulation spine.
The language of architecture that was portrayed reflected a great deal of cohesiveness and a great amount of attention to detail. The interiors and exteriors see a generous use of wood, glass and steel that create warm and contemporary spaces throughout. The staircase that flows through vertically, is a mix of wooden treads with clean metal and glass railings. A lavish terrace garden forms the roof of the house, with a bedroom and study opening out into the green.
The Mangalam house is a thought-out design for a residence. In many ways, it fights to break away from the typical and the everyday and I personally believe that it does. It is a perfect example of achieving more with less and using the limitations in a brief to one’s advantage.
In several ways, the architecture of this building is a gesture of promise. It is a gesture of hope in the architecture that is filling up the concrete jungle. At the end of the day, it is a reminder that we can do better, and we will.