The Outside-Inside Link
Architecture + Design|December 2020
Project: Enrich Salon, Bengaluru.Architects: Group DCA, New Delhi

The site for Salon, Koramangala in Bangalore, consisted of an old bungalow at the centre of an urban site with an extensive open backyard and frontage. Covered in greenscape and shrouded with native trees and plants, the space has been envisaged as a fusion of the site with the tropical character that is intrinsic to the city of Bangalore. With deference to the old structure, while mimicking the ambience and the macro climate of Bangalore with lush green flora, the client brief was developed organically to cover the available area of about 1200sq ft.

To develop a profound familiarity with the area and imbibe its essence, the architects initiated the process of design development with a stroll in the city. A restaurant in the vicinity had a minimal yet sophisticated section– a semi-covered backyard supported by a temporary structure. The Bangalore weather being relatively pleasant throughout the year increased its effectiveness manifold. The spatial arrangement, its utility and the conviviality that such a design encouraged manifested itself as the inspiration and became an opportunity to interpret the space using the core value of biophilia, which is central to the architects’ design philosophy.

The client, initially, mandated only the inclusion of the built structure for the project to be revamped. One of the challenges was to convince the client to expand and embrace the idea of a semi-open backyard space, which was substantiated as a functional space and one that would complement the local climate while being one-of-its-kind of a salon. Moderate climate, plantation surrounding the site, the mango and coconut trees and the predicament of a stinky open-sewer at the rear end of the site, all drove the design to be instilled with a Bangalorean vitality and create a space closer to nature bringing the outside, inside. The dichotomy of the fragrance from the vivid flora subtly contributes to the vernacular character of the salon exteriors, as well as the interiors.

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