PSP Architects India
Name of the project: Rajesh Ramachandran Residence
Name of client: Indu and Rajesh Ramachandran
Location: Anna Nagar, Chennai, India
Site Area: 1687.5 sq. ft.
Built up Area: 2200 sq. ft.
Cost: 40 Lakhs
Year of completion: 2011
Design Team: Ajay Sethi, Sunil Philip
Consultants: Structure, Beliappa and Associates; Plumbing, Mukund and Associates; Electrical, Eshwari and Co.
Contractors: Shriji Engineers and Contractors
The long and narrow site of the Ramachandran house helps to define both its spaces and the materials used. The original plot of 75 feet x 45 feet was divided lengthwise in two by the owners and one of the plots has an independent house built a few years ago. Working with an overall plot width of 22.5 feet, this layout tries to maximise every possible inch in this shorter direction. The common wall towards the adjoining house is a 3 inch concrete skin wall, with the structural columns a few feet inside and the beams and slabs cantilevering towards this common wall. The outer north side is a 6 inch exposed concrete wall, keeping the total width given away to the walls on both sides a minimal 9 inches. Keeping the outer walls thin contributes about 150 sq.ft. to the valuable built-up area on this tight site without compromising on thermal mass and unnecessary heat gain due to the fortunate orientation of the site with its long North face.
The narrow site posed a challenge in finding ways of bringing together the living spaces in anything other than a linear manner. This is solved by drawing the entrance towards the middle of the site and angling the walls to create wider spaces on the outside. The angled walls set up dynamic interrelationships on the inside and influence the outside. The character of the house emerges from the unconventional spaces formed between inside and outside space. The vertical circulation is also worked out towards the center of the house allowing a good connect from the formal living to the informal family room and leads into the private bedrooms.
The long side of the house faces north and brings in light through large openings. These floor to ceiling openings will also serve as connects between the inside and outside spaces as they lead into the wider landscaped spaces. Natural Teakwood furniture brings in the warmth to the house, working as an attractive contrast to the exposed concrete finishes and stained cement floors.