Institutionalising the Home

The journey till now had been on the development of the imagination and construction of my childhood home, set in the context of my original childhood home. Now was the time to move from that atmosphere of nostalgia and reminiscence to come back to present where the main occupants of the space are my grandparents, not me, whose teenage self has moved out for higher studies. The building from the ground up had to be rethought and modified as a public institution that responds and addressed the needs of the neighbouring society.

The beginning of the development of a commercial institution in the space of a private home began by thinking on the program of the space- the type of activities that can be carried for the society within the footprint of the building on two storeys above the ground. I began with the idea by deciding the primary users as the elderly people and children of the surrounding, since they are primarily present at home, while the middle aged people go to work. With that, the building was designed to incorporate a verandah space with seating steps in the front of the house, while a VR gaming space for the children. With the restriction of not having more than 30% of the roof as flat, the roof was designed as sloping and stepped on the two blocks of the house at its two ends. But while I had thought and spent considerable time on the architecture of the space, I had missed out on the effectiveness of the program, where the indoor meeting space for the elders would be likable for them to be outdoors where they can see the passer-by and activities on the street, while the video gaming space for the children would be negatively encouraging space for their productivity of time.

Axonometric view of first iteration: A meeting space for the elders on the ground floor, and VR gaming space for the children in the next level.

Having rethought on the program, I decided on shifting the primary focus to use the agricultural produce for the adjacent farming land of my grandparents. The building included space for processing the vegetables and pulses harvested to make processed snacks, that is liked by people of all age groups in the locality. The entrance to the institution exhibits the processed food for one to buy along the underside shelf, within the stairs. The treads of the stairs lead one to a café area on the top with a live counter, to serve the snacks hot, while the level looks onto the ground through the interior double volume space, while the seating looks on to the surrounding under the shelter of the traditional mangalore tile pitch roof. The processing of the food is kept on the other side of the plot, away from maximum public circulation. This space is modified to allow the children of the locality to spend time with the elder while learning a new skill, in the form of cooking, when they are free and alone in the house without their working parents. This space is enclosed under a sloping terrace with roof gardening to introduce the children to another method of cultivation in addition to the one the nearby fields, while also maximising the usage of surface.

The main representation was in the form of cardboard models with each floor and the roof removable, allowing one the visualise the space in 3-dimension while their placement on one top of another gave the feeling as though I was constructing the building sequentially from the ground to roof. Apart from that, orthographic drawings were included to visually explain the interior layout of the space, which was lacking in the model that showed only the structural skeleton of the building.

Site Context: Shows how the building is responding to its surrounding.

Once the work of mine was complete, the works of my peers had to be assessed to provide commendations and recommendation while discussing it with a set of other people. As a group, we began with reviewing Anshu’s work. The site that showed the kitchen garden and greenery within which the building was set but had missed on exhibiting the type of green spaces by highlighting the ground uniformly using green However, the representation of the difference of levels of the road and inside and its setback was shown clearly in the model, something that I seek to do in my next iteration of it. The institution, a nursery space of children of below 10 years, was spread across the two floors with the main activities spaces on the above floor. While the ground floor included a kitchen and pantry area, I felt that the space could be utilised for engaging the kids and providing room for their frivolous activities, which can not happen within the cooking area. Having understood the spaces from the model, it enabled providing the feedback while discussing among peers faster. Thus, in this manner, the discussion of the works of three of the other peers were also done, enabling to gain insight into others design, which expanded the horizon of do’s and dont’s for my own design.

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