Varsha and Pradeep’s ‘glass house’ has been designed to make the most of the handsome views of the Okkiam stream

Location: Karapakkam

Architects: Varsha and Pradeep

The house rises by the Okkiam stream, with a lot of glass gleaming on its façade and interiors. However, the glassy, transparent look that gives Varsha and Pradeep’s house a modern ambience is not a design stunt. On the contrary, this was a ‘material’ decision, to keep the living spaces within the house remain connected, rather than walled-off, closed worlds.

There is another reason for the glassy outlook — to make the most of the view of the Okkiam stream, which runs to the north of the house, just beyond the road. From many a spot in the house, you get handsome views of the stream through toughened glass walls. This includes a range of perspectives. There are narrow frames of glass that create the visual effect of a framed painting of the stream; there are also sweeping panoramic views through glass walls stretching from floor to ceiling, which virtually sets you on the riverside. “Luckily, the house faces the north, so we could manage to incorporate glass walls without the house getting heated up too much”, says Pradeep. The house also uses several deep verandas and balconies to shield it from the direct impact of the sun’s rays.

The house is built around a central courtyard, from where the living areas of the house radiate out, over two floor levels. All the living spaces in the ground floor sport glass walls towards their insides, so that, in effect, the ground floor is one sweeping living space, with niches for dining, working, etc. The wall areas have been left un-plastered in strategic areas, such as the columns around the courtyard, portions of walls, carved-in display areas, etc. This enlists the rich shade of grey of the cement in creating an inherent colour and textural scheme, without resorting to superfluous coats of paints.