Bellary House / GRCA Architecture

About GRCA architecture

Founded by architect Gaurav Roy Choudhury, GRCA is a young architecture firm with experience in architecture, graphic design, interior design, house projects. They take projects mainly in and around Bangalore, India.

The firm’s main goal is to transform the design from “said” to the “unsaid” making use of their experience and creativity.

With the hopes of redefining honest architecture through a process of re-invention and storytelling, GRCA strives to absorb all domains of influence and exposure. Its path lies in the understood, and its eyes on the unexplored.

About Bellary House

Area: 3700 sqft

Location: Bellary, Karnataka, INDIA

Duration of Construction: March ’14 to August ‘17

Cost of Project: Rs. 82,00,000 (Eighty Two Lakhs)

Project Team: Gaurav Roy Choudhury, Vijay Rai, Abhishek Pawar, Satyanarayan, Stefan Fernandes, Sachin Gujjar

Photograph Credits: Niveditaa Gupta

Bellary, a small town known for its Iron Ore mines, boulder landscape, historic ruins and its hot and dry climate is the location of Bellary House.

The house is located in one of Bellary’s transforming neighborhoods, which is currently seeing a lot of the older modest houses give way to grander villas. The house sits on a corner site on edge of this slow but steady transformation.

The site with its dimensions of 60 x 40 ft has its longer edge towards the busier west street and its quieter shorter edge towards the north street.

A convectional micro-climate in the Bellary House

The house is designed to form a convectional micro-climate, meaning it can stave off the outside heat and create cool currents within. The outside walls wrap the house in this gesture of protection, pierced only with small and mass-produced precast concrete windows that dot this exterior. In order to keep away the harsh sun, the windows are kept small with heavy eaves.

The elevated garden – a generator of the microclimate

An elevated garden is set in the northeast corner as a generator of this microclimate. In order to create currents that flow through the house, just like the light that reflects into the house of its cool surfaces, it is kept open to the sky in the shadow of the sun. This Terrace garden is on a mezzanine level as it serves both the ground and the first floor with this generosity of spirit and soft textures.

The family is a small family of four (a couple with two children), with the grandparents having a room on the ground floor for when they visit.

Generosity and simplicity at the core of the house

At the core of this house, one can find the energy of the family and their generosity and simplicity. The spatial concept of the house was to elongate the experience of the house along the length of the site; to create ephemeral stretched out memories along this length of laughter and fun, of busy-ness and lethargy, of daily rituals and ‘those special days’.

This length is opened up by lowering the east half of the house, by tucking in the car park, the helper’s room, stores and the utility areas under it. The Terrace Garden, the Family Room and the Kitchen line up north to south as the spaces along this length with a Bedroom coming at the southern end of this mezzanine. The kitchen here is kept open as a cut out along this length to break certain traditional notions attached to it.

The mezzanine becomes the catalyst in developing the spaces of this house, as it hovers in between the long and open living cum dining on the ground floor and the private bedrooms on the first floor. The low height scales down the house personalizes the gaze lines of interactions and dissolves the spaces as a gradation rather than a stack.

The mezzanine Bedroom is specially designed to ‘keep an eye’ on the old grandparents residing in the ground floor bedroom through a small courtyard which also serves as their ‘private’ garden, a light well and a backdrop for Pooja / Temple.

The Western block is more traditional

The Western block of the house is more traditional in terms of the stack. The Entry has a skylight from which one sees the plants above, on entering the house. It leads to large and long Living and Dining space which becomes the more formal and grander part of the house. The grandparents’ bedroom is at the southern end of this block.

With a long passage terminating towards the north in the Reading Space, which overlooks the Terrace Garden, the upstairs houses two bedrooms in a row.

The private aspect becomes more obvious every step you make. In opposition to the sense of openness the house evokes, the use of the volumes creates imaginary lines of division in public and private access.

Big city ideas were included in this modern, yet traditional house, located in a town with small aspirations. The space and the energy of the house are the key elements that emphasize the modern aspect of Bellary House.


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