Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
ENIGMA in Colombo, Sri Lanka by Narein Perera
June 12th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Narein Perera
The form of the house is primarily generated in creating the concept of an “Enigma” in the mind of the person entering. Guided by intermediate open spaces, the entrance court, the pool, subsequently arriving at the main volume of the living room where the climax of the ‘hidden’ garden is fully experienced. The entrance court envisioned as a part of the street on which the 20perch site forms the end block, defined by the continued building lines of the adjoining plots, the random rubble vertical envelope and pergola horizontal plane, serve to contain, pause, experience the powerful shadows the sun paints, overwhelm, announcing arrival.
Entrance to the inner spaces is through an almost hidden main door directed alongside the rubble wall plane. Upon entry the second open space is experienced defined by the continuation of the vertical rubble plane, framed by the steel /timber bridge and the colour of the pool, inviting, drawing towards the main volume of the living room.
Arrival at the living room reveals the focus of the journey – the garden, kept minimal, creating a green breathing space in the urban context of the house.
The bedroom spaces are zoned at the ends of the simple asymmetric “T” form of the house creating specific domains that open out at least two of the open spaces created within. Windows or doors become mere screens that slide, open, letting the outside in and the inside out, blurring, making them merge, causing the filtered rays of light and energy of the place to flow through.
The materiality used adopts a down-to-earth simplicity, to create a living-friendly atmosphere, one that is timeless, functional, stylistic and affordable. The ‘Raw’ palette is not meant to be rustic, unfinished or untreated, rather to connect with the rhythms of the natural environment, to have materials imbued with ‘good vibrations’ and on a deep level, materials that nurture and nourish the soul.
“A home for the soul has character and personality. It contains rich textures and colours that invite the hand and delight the eye. It reflects subtle gradations of light that range from murky shadows to shimmering points of illumination. Forms are imaginative and reveal how they support activity. There is care and attention to detail. Natural materials such as wood and stone are used to create an environment that opens to the vitality of the sunlight and fresh air. A home for the soul is a sensuous dwelling place that urges us to savour the mingling of spirit and matter”.(Lawlor. A, A Home for the Soul, Clarkson N. Potter, NY, 1997)
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