A Hyderabad home embraces eco-futurism with vast volumes and cascading terraces designed by Spacefiction Studio
NOV 23, 2023 | By Virender Singh
Echoing the staggered undulations of rice paddy fields, where human intervention strikes an equilibrium with the indigenous terrain to create a holistic design philosophy — this seven-storied ecological utopia in Hyderabad, anchored amidst the affluent neighbourhood of Jubilee Hills, is a second home for a young couple and their growing children. Crafted by Baba Sashank Sarraju and Vindhya Guduru, Founders and Principal Architects of Spacefiction Studio, their house of cascading terraces is a 25,000 sq ft masterpiece in built up area that exemplifies a functional interface between inert marble and the living environment.
An initial brief from the homeowners cavorted with verticality and a free flow of spaces but project lead Anusha Dasari quickly understood that a conventional stacked structure won’t cut it. Embracing the biophilic sensibilities that distinguishes them from their contemporaries, structural designers at Spacefiction intended that the house must recede back with every floor, an invitation for surrounding flora to blossom right through the building’s skeleton. Light itself invades the material palette, beseeched to fall upon the many indoor plants only after it is reflected by blank walls first, prudently gatekeeping heat from hijacking the microclimate within.
While the family was keen on sustaining a melange of neutral colours for the interiors, they also yearned to careen away from visual monotony, hence a splash of vibrance is infused within the décor and upholstery. The towering yellow flame trees along the northern and southern slopes contribute drama and privacy to the setting.
The modernist façade that shrouds the exterior is informed by lime plaster with metal screens, embarking upon a motif that resurfaces throughout the edifice in some capacity or other, a moiré interlocking of jenga blocks reinforced by clean and bold lines demarcating the interstices. As one ambles through the entrance gateway, the parking area clad entirely in limestone and granite cobblestone sprawls into view, a floating slab that hangs above hinting at a landscaped garden accessible from the upper living section of the house. An intimidating flush door finished in duco paint over MDF and brass fixtures segues into two lower levels unified by the space empowerment of a central double height volume. Here you will find the domain of pleasure unfolding in a medley of lounge, indoor pool, bar and services interconnected by sliding aluminium doors. Exuding a sublime eloquence, the double-height dissolves boundaries between the rooms, lending a capaciousness to the floor plan that enhances cross-ventilation and fluidity. The walls are donned sumptuously in marble with plaster of Paris grooves relieving the textural smoothness while flooring takes on a lambent Italian marble, interspersed with highlights of grey marble and brass. The top level of the recreation space incorporates a home theatre, spa, salon and quarters for the help at the back. This intrinsic refrain of marble, brass and lime plaster hums contentedly as an overarching theme in the living and resting spaces that comprise the upper 5 floors.
The central volume makes a comeback as one ascends to the formal drawing room but this time in the guise of a solitary marble wall that relays across three levels on the north end, fostering a magnificence that feels avant-garde and expansive. A sculptural staircase bends sinuously in the chiaroscuro that shapeshifts with the skylights overhead, fanning out to the first floor living room bedecked in enigmatic horse sculptures by Home Artisan, quilted pouffes by Ditre Italia and the ubiquitous presence of greenery. There are three bedrooms, two on the first floor and a third on the second, all peeking into the central volume through introspective windows. Usurping the third floor, a master bedroom finds itself graciously complemented by an attached study and a private verandah. The apex features a party room for al fresco entertaining conferred upon the family’s inner circle of friends and visitors.
Reminiscent of Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s stylistic vocabulary, the house of cascading terraces is a revelation in multiplicity of sensations through a deft play on volumes and an amelioration of nature and daylight. Climatologically designed, the luxurious residence eschews fleeting luxury trends, encapsulating timelessness instead.