Vernacular architecture has known what modern aesthetes often miss—that eco-sensitive design is easy to incorporate in a home. When we were presented with 16,000 sq ft of space in a leafy, gated community of Bangalore, the plot was dotted with several mature trees, which we retained and built the home around. We envisioned a relatively low-slung architectural expression that would be interpretive of a vernacular aesthetic, while accommodating its green surroundings. This also led us to create a contextually sensitive and sustainable design by maximising local materials, using clay tiled roofs to keep the house cool, large overhangs to protect against sun and rain, and cross ventilation to keep the house breathing.
As firmly as the homeowners are rooted to their traditions, they are also global travellers, equally open to an eclectic design aesthetic that is reflected in the house interiors. An architecture of sloped Mangalore tiled roofs and rough-cut shira stone cladding contrasts with floors of rough and polished Kota and a joinery of teak. The living space is a grand volume of 25 ft with two slopes of the roof at differing heights separated by a clerestory window. Large floor-to-ceiling windows with sheer linen blinds provide soft light in the mornings from the northeast. Large overhangs on the southwest protect against the harsh afternoon sun while horizontal timber louvres provide for natural cooling via a stack effect and act as sun breakers. The living areas open to a wooden deck that continues int