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A home in Surat, designed to be relevant and elegant for generations

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A well-designed house is a reflection of the people who live within it. Kalpak Shah, Principal Architect of Studio Course, Pune, ensured his style didn’t subsume his clients’ when he designed T-house, on the outskirts of Surat. Though it is part of a suburban community development, this house in particular stands out from among the 15 other bungalows around it. The 5,000 sq. ft. plot is blessed with ample natural light and lots of trees surrounding it. What makes it unique though is the restrained simple interior design that feels like Modern Revivalist design, marked by the features that were first introduced in this country by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. 

The home is tailor-made to suit the client’s lifestyle and preferences. Their brief was simple, open-ended enough for possible additions and alterations in the future. Homes usually outlive the people who build them, living on through generations with different tastes and inclinations. In this case the clients were very aware of that, and wanted to consider that within their design choices. Modernist design, particularly elements that mark mid-century modernism, is classic, in that it always remains relevant to Indian conditions and tastes. When it is treated with a minimalist’s hand, then the result is simple, practical and elegant.


Wood is the dominant element of the house interiors adding warmth to the house design - Beautiful Homes

Wood, the dominant element, has been used extensively throughout the house and adds warmth to the space.

The name T-House came from the T-shaped layout of the plot. Instead of thinking of it as a restriction, the team took the parameters on as inspiration. All the circulation zones and passages form the centre of the house and the living spaces surround it. This way the whole house opens up to a lot of natural light and ventilation.

Dining room interior design features a beautiful wooden dining table with metallic lamps - Beautiful Homes

The dining room features a beautiful wooden set up, paired with metallic lamps.

The staircase design is wooden & leads to the upper level of the house interiors - Beautiful Homes

The staircase leads to the upper level of the house, which has the private spaces of the residents.

The bedroom interior design has a calm colour palette for the perfect home design - Beautiful Homes

The bedrooms have a calmer colour palette for a restful experience.

The materials involved are key contributors to the look of the space. Wood, the dominant element, has been used extensively throughout the house. The warmth of the brown tones have been juxtaposed with a neutral colour palette. The walls for example, are painted in light grey and have a concrete finish achieved by Asian Paints Stucco Marmelano, while the floors are black granite. The grey is the perfect partner to the warmth of the wood in the room; if Kalpak had used a cream or white, as people often do, the contrast would have been distracting and unpleasant. Instead, the warm neutral colours work brilliantly with the vibrant artwork and lively installations. It also allows the clients to add, move and change things out as time goes by.

The mood-board of the house is heavily inspired by nature and so the colours and finishes align with that vision. The wooden finishes bring in the brown, while pops of green are attained with indoor plants in several corners. The walls and ceiling have a concrete finish giving a raw earthy feeling throughout the house. The washrooms on the other hand have white marble walls with very light grey kota stone floors, to respect the smaller volume of those spaces. The little details play important roles in the design language of this project. The height of the skirting in particular, which is higher than the norm, gives solidity to the space.

Most of the furniture in the house was custom designed by the team at Studio Course. Skilled local craftsmanship played a pivotal role in successfully executing every detail. Hans Wegner, George Nakashima, and Pierre Jeanneret pieces were handpicked, some of which have been altered to suit Indian anthropometry. A celebration of modernism through and through.


Fabien Charuau

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