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Myspace Architects builds a stairway to heaven

Photos by: Jino Sam and MidhuSreenivas

Noida-based Myspace Architects has designed a ‘Fluid House’ for a family of five in Kottayam, Kerala. The design creates space for this multi-generational family to spend time together and yet segue into their individual, private spaces.

Nestled on the gentle slope of a hill, Fluid House is a functional and efficient living environment across two floors. Rich, curvy lines abound and there is plenty of space linking indoor and outdoor and capable of hosting various family activities simultaneously, in a fluidic manner.

Minimalist in design, the volumes are mainly defined by vertical and horizontal planes. Built in concrete, these are a striking feature of the project. A series of curves on the building’s exterior soften its visual impact and help the structure meld into the surrounding landscape. These curves wrap around and lead you through the spaces, at different points revealing and framing different views as you move around the house.

Principal architect Alex Joseph says, “This was a concept-based designer home with a fluid loop starting from the landscape and merging and binding the building’s architecture and its interiors. This home, for a doctor family, is an exploration of traditional planning techniques in a modern way.”

Sleek lines create a beautiful, flowing experience, providing the house with a unique identity while being in sync with its regional and bioclimatic context, reflecting a constructive honesty in its elements and materials. The result is a home that allows the architectural languages of the contemporary and vernacular to embrace each other and form a stimulating and respectful dialogue.

The ground floor houses social functions in a welcoming double-height space where the sculptured staircase gives access to the subsequent floor. On the ground level, the family living room, dining room, kitchen, and two bedrooms are snugly placed along with a separate drawing room for guests. Extra wide windows with a narrow grill bring the outside in. Thus, the vegetable garden establishes a dialogue for living and dining areas. On the upper level of the house, the bedrooms, study and a library are all organized around the central void. The double heighted space along with glass balustrade provides visual connectivity between the two floors functioning as a grand living unit. An interplay of large and small apertures contribute to a low energy dwelling, naturally flooded with air and light. The windows and doors that open onto decks and balconies, the walls that extend out of the house and into the site, the curved profile which responds to the surrounding hillsides, all blend this home seamlessly into its site.

The interior takes the same design cues, blending harmoniously with the exterior. Usage of materials such as glass, wood, and metal contribute to the volumetric definition of the composition. A modern minimalistic theme keeps the interior simple but warmth envelopes the interiors through contemporary furnishings. The vogue of the house lies in the bold usage of a simple colour palette in the exterior as well as in the interior.

The home has a unique stairway featuring exposed steel and organic wood timbers, seemingly floating to the level above with punctures creating a dance of light and shadows. The usage of wood and metal in the cantilever staircase further heightens the eclectic character. The strategically placed mirror creates a mirage of an unending staircase, rising up to the heavens. This reflection adds to the grandeur of the overall space.  Materials are selected for their robust and tonal hue responding to the beautiful native flora of locality of site.