Here's a look at some of the country's architectural splendours. And no, we're not talking about the Taj Mahal
Turning the pages of this extremely heavy coffee table book, 50 Beautiful Houses in India (Volume I), leaves you with the conclusion that water plays a central role in a well-designed house.
It surrounds some houses, flows from the main door to the second entrance in some others, and in at least one -- in Ahmedabad -- it flows into a rectangular pool inside the house, through some interesting architectural maneouvring.
Published by the media division of an enterprise that processes and manufactures glass, this book is for architects, by those-related-to-architects and of houses-that-belong-to-architects. Site plans, dimensions and a list of vendors (sanitary ware, flooring, furnishing) too have been added at the end of each chapter. Inspiration for other architectural firms, one assumes.
The recently published coffee table book takes a look at some of the most interestingly designed houses -- standalone bungalows -- in the country.
The introduction by Christopher Charles Benninger, a renowned architect, doesn't doesn't provide any explanation of the criteria on the basis of which the 50 homes were chosen, whether through similarities in design elements and architectural principles, or otherwise. At no point are you told why those homes deserve to be mentioned in the book either. Instead, the piece skims through a few decades of history since Independence to establish (with the aid of many exclamation marks) the pivotal role of the architect to define the identity of the new Indian.
What makes this book accessible to the regular reader are the photographs of the houses and interiors. From the traditionally influenced homes in Haridwar and Ahmedabad to the post modern minimalist ones in Karur, the book is a visual treat for those who are looking for ideas on what to include in their homes. Like a rectangular pool near the family baithak, or the kind of tiles that go best with an all-steel modular kitchen.
The common thread that seems to run through each of the houses shown is the way nature is integrated seamlessly into each architectural design.
50 Beautiful Houses in India
Published by White Flag.
Available for Rs 2,995
The photographs and all the details in them, right down to the last cane sofa with high back and plush red cushions, and the way plants and water have been used imaginatively inside the houses.
It would have been nice to read the concept behind the design, which a
30-word intro doesn't provide.
It comes with a CD by RAK Ceramics, suppliers of vitrified tiles.