Artist Viswanadhan's house is as much an aesthetic creation as his other productions, reports Hema Vijay
Location: Cholamandal Artists' Village, ECR
This is a living space that meets itself across elements. First, the western block — a sloping and tile-roofed sunken studio painted in yellow ochre, it supports a cozy sleeping nook under its sloping roof and a kitchen counter at its far end — altogether making for a lovely shelter for famous artist Vishwanadhan and his friends who come seeking a peaceful place from which to work.
The studio steps up to meet the garden with its random greenery and a brick-lined, sunken adda or hangout.
“The steps of the adda have seen many interesting conversations”, says Vishwanadhan, who divides his time between Paris and this house.
Perhaps the only aspect that strikes a sore note to the untutored eye is the disconnected, closed commode you find on the northern margins of the garden.
Explains Vishwanadhan, “There was a toilet there earlier. When I built this place, I decided to retain the commode in homage to late Marcel Duchamps, father of conceptual art, who stood for recognizing aesthetics in practical objects”.
The eastern block across the garden is the main block, with its façade done up in rich red to demarcate it from the studio space. Seen from the studio, this brilliant red wall looks like a painting, as it appears framed by the studio doorway.
The red wall kindles a mood of creativity and emotion, especially at dusk, when sunbeams bounce off it. This block is an artist's den, built around a central storeroom (for paintings) held up by pillars and surrounded by a gallery-like working space.
A wooden flight of steps leads up to a living space which integrates the living, dining, and kitchen areas into one huge space, and also opens out to a small but lovely balcony that looks towards the sea. Halfway across, the flight of steps detours into a mezzanine space devoted to the study.