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Anubhuti: Reverberating the Heritage of Southern India

Envisage en tant que Architectes.

Often when individuals see the contemporary homes of today, homeowners are mesmerized by the aesthetic, functional designs of the residence, and the latest trends. Yet there is an inkling that something that isn’t whole. Designers and their clientele often glance over the importance of staying grounded and being touch with one’s roots.


Traditional methods, materials, and design elements are often ignored to achieve a modern look.  However, Anubhuti, a residence designed by Envisage, takes the traditional designs, elements, textures and augments them in a modern residence for a South Indian family. The brief of this residence was to design a residence for a family of Kerala Iyers, and to create a space which would be a place of fun, comfort and most of all, had the essence of South India.


The house, spread across 2600 sq. ft., is a south-facing property and hence, is varnished optimally to let in natural light, with glazing running across an entire side of the house. Designed to create a warm, modern and chic abode for a nuclear family, the house is varnished optimally to let in natural light, while the design palette is inspired by soft earthen and neutral hues.


Designed in an Indian Bohemian style, this residence has an ambience that accepts an individual as it is. Opening into a hallway with the living room, the viewer is greeted by an explosion of ochre, with bright Athangudi tiles native to Tamil Nadu greeting the individual to the essence of the south Indian heritage. The hallway is left uncluttered, with a shoe-rack being the only piece of furniture adorning this space. Before the entrance opening into the living room, a mural of an ancient Tamil scripture “Kandar Anubhuti” about Lord Kartikeya adds to the celebration of this family’s heritage.


Entering the living room, subtly chequered tiles snake across the periphery of the room. Created with an open layout, the walls of the living room are draped in an earthen colour, with a corner containing a white Kolam pattern which traditionally adorns houses across India during the festivities. However, the most striking object within this space is the Attukattil Jhula, crafted in wood with traditional oonjal supports done in brass. It reinforces the homeliness of the space, and adds a sense of playfulness to the volumes, giving the viewer an opportunity to unwind and feel at home. Wood has also been used carefully across the space across the living room, adding warmth to the space in a harmonious manner.


Two distinct spatial axes intersect to create a seamless living area which is split into the living room, the dining room and the spill-out zone, distinguished by their material palette, and distinct illumination characteristics, yet connected with coherence. The choice of furniture for the dining is modern yet laid out eccentrically, with dining chairs and sofa with a trellis back, inspired by Nalukettu style of architecture native to Kerala.


This space is topped off with an informal spill-out zone flanked by Chettinad Pillars, which functions as a small study space. While traditional Chettinad pillars are done in Teak, the logistical demands were too great to have them created and then transported from the South. Hence a decision was taken to create them with MDF in a concrete finish. This subsequently led to a visual break from the usage of wood through the space, while also creating a point of intrigue for the viewers.

Where the living rooms were earthen and neutral, the bedrooms of Anubhuti are an explosion of colour. Within the master bedroom, the décor has been chosen to include a multitude of patterns and textures. Elegant brass bedside lights flank the bed, with a back-wall done in a hue of red oak, creating a sense of relaxation and homeliness. Wood is used liberally throughout the space with the furniture and accessories having a distinctly Indian character.


The master bedroom is flush with natural light with glazing across two walls, with the space itself facing south east, which subsequently reduces the need for extensive lighting systems to be augmented within the space. The guest bedroom is full of warm hues in its décor and furniture. With a warm Nalukettu-inspired wooden frame going around the bedside, and with brass lighting and accessories flanking the bedside, the layout of the space is clean, open and inviting, connecting the bedroom to the rest of the house through a coherent design language.


Anubhuti reflects the lifestyle and individuality of their occupants, and pays homage to their rich culture and tradition. This residence speaks a language of its own, with the heritage, culture and tradition of the occupants echoing across every single corner and space. It is a space of belonging, comfort and acceptance, a bespoke creation amongst the masses of contemporary homes.

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