Vastu Constraints Frame House
A great example of limitations turned opportunities, this lovely house has a plan strictly dictated by Vastu mandates for orientations and placements, but the result flows with an elegance that looks loosely organic.
Cantilevered roofs, copious trees and indoor/outdoor water features blend the distinction between house and garden, creating a series of seemingly-infinite loops, lines and angles, despite the theoretical rigidity of the layout formulated by Khosla Associates.
The mild climate of Bangalore, India lends itself to such treatment, while a range of materials helps mix and match experiences as well: chiseled stone columns teak furniture, polished concrete floors mingle man-made with natural elements.
But returning again to Vastu: it is incredible how specific some of the requirements for spatial use and circulation are, but it goes to show that these kinds of restrictions can become liberating, letting architects worry about the details and connections.
“In keeping with the clients desire for a strictly Vastu compliant house, the placement of spaces in the house are in synch with the plan of the Vastu Purusha Mandala (the ancient Indian science of orientation and placement).”
“Thus apart from positioning the main areas of the house according to the elements – Master bedroom in the Earth zone (SW), kitchen in the Fire zone (SE), and the pool and entrance in the Water zone and Air zones (N and NE), – even positions of doors, the direction of the stairs, location of beds, wardrobes and desks and the positions of the wc’s in the bathrooms had to be in accordance with the correct energy flows. In all other respects however, the clients gave us complete aesthetic freedom.”
“The biggest challenge while designing the house was to arrive at a visually appealing piece of architecture from a rigid program that dictated the specific locations of various spaces. Our approach was to respond to the traditional science, extract its essence yet arrive at a fresh and innovative interpretation of the same.”