Under the Indian sun: MuseLAB designs a Spanish hacienda inspired home in Coimbatore expressing architectural artistry
JAN 19, 2024 | By Shriti Das
Their most ambitious project was also their greatest challenge. It isn’t just MuseLAB’s largest so far, but also their first of its kind. The homeowners wanted a Spanish Hacienda, it was going to be their first home but with vacation vibes.
All while adhering to the principles of Manaiyadi Shastram, an ancient science that is native to Southern India, which mandated certain sizes and specifications in the layout.
Located in Coimbatore, the sprawling 39,400 sq ft plot may have definitely been a delight to design upon, to contextualise the home to the city’s geography. Charming courtyards, lofty arched openings, sloping roofs and the indoor outdoor spaces — despite cues from the Spanish inspirations, “the layout of the home is a fitting tribute to a Chettinad home,” mentions Jasem Pirani, the cofounder of MuseLAB with Huzefa Rangwala.
The 12,000 sq ft home is planned keeping the central courtyard as the focal point, connecting the social spaces on the ground floor — the open-to-sky pool, its lounge, dining area and family room, nestled in landscaped pockets.
The pool offers itself as a vantage to the daughters’ bedrooms on the upper floor, which also accommodates the master bedroom and library.
The design mostly hinges on dynamic spatial interplay between the spaces and the gestures that unfold within. “This home is not a distinct departure from our usual gestures but a conscious one where we have tried to hero the floor, focus on the forms (vaults) and select elements within each space where we have collaborated with a lot of local artists and craftsmen,” explains Jasem.
With a skilful play of light and spatiality, the swimming pool is the “boldest thing” they have ever done, laughs Huzefa. The 75 ft long vault is clad in a single finish — black and white mosaic tiles. Owing to its multiple curves, the MuseLAB team travelled to Morbi where they translated it into tiles. In the library, the experience of the vault begins with the staircase leading the user upward.
But it is at the midlanding that the depth reveals itself. As one approaches the library, sunrays from the skylights find their way indoors, bouncing off the walls, onto the floors, creating a constantly evolving visual experience.
“It was a conscious effort to keep the palette neutral, there are pops of colour, but there is a lot of play of light that happens in the space,” explains Jasem. He continues, “The moodboard started with monochromes, layered with some pops of colour — there’s pink, aqua, teal blue and greens.”
However, they did go to town with the floors. A spin on the conventional black and white transpires across the home. From the traditional chequered pattern in the kitchen and dining to a distorted hexagon in the living area.
In the midst of the design elements, the family’s personal touch is also evident. The husband’s love for the outdoors, especially swimming, found its (larger than life) reflection in the design.
The daughters, each with her unique interests of painting and dressing up, influenced their rooms, be it the blue bathroom or the art-inspired elements. However what makes the project truly special, was being led by architecture, allowing a seamless whole for everything else to fall in place.
The home as it stands today, while it doesn’t speak about the process, it does speak the language of artistry, and the multiple facets of design that transcends boundaries. When it comes to the home, both the architecture and the interiors are not regarded as isolated entities, but rather as part of a continuous journey — a conversation unfolding between the spaces.