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Verandah on the Roof, in Pune

Located on a high-rise apartment in Pune, ‘Verandah on a roof’ is a terrace revamped by Architect Kalpak Shah of Studio Course. The client’s brief entailed an area that revolved around books, food and plants. The studio designed and conceived this space to recreate a traditional ‘verandah’.

A SERIES OF TRANSITION SPACES

The resultant terrace was designed as a series of transition spaces. A roof was created to accommodate the library.

The Pantry

A pantry is provided outdoors but sheltered underneath the roof. A gravel bed from the pantry culminates into rough granite flooring as the user is lead to the open terrace. The sensory experience of walking on gravel and granite recreate the feeling of being outdoors.

A BEFORE IMAGE OF THE TERRACE

The walls were bare and the floor was covered with fake grass carpet. The space with much potential was left stark and uninspiring by its previous owners.

An After Image of the Terrace

Plants and landscaping - Green pockets are created at every nook and corner. Natural stone, stacked one above another is used to create a cascading waterfall in the outdoor area next to the pantry. Pergolas are created to provide semi-shaded seating areas near the waterbody.

A BEFORE IMAGE OF THE LIBRARY AREA

Lacklustre and monotonous; the space was enclosed by glass doors and covered with a roof and made into the library.

An After Image of the Library

A roof was created to accommodate a library. The library is enclosed on all sides but it overlooks the open terrace. The open terrace frames the race-course. Glass doors separate the library from the open areas but ensure an unobstructed line of vision that travels from the terrace to the racecourse.

The Library staircase

The library unit was designed in conjunction with a staircase. Each shelf on the library unit aligns with the staircase tread. The library is constructed in sheesham wood and the beams are cladded in the same wood. The doors are windows are framed in teakwood. Both woods are finished in natural polish and exhibit different colour palettes. Sheesham is red tinged and teakwood is orange. The slight dissimilarity ensures that the identity of different woods is maintained.

A terrace and a veranda in a metro city is a rarity. More so; when these terms are associated with a high-rise building! But the mix of materials and textures complement the vibe of being on a high-rise terrace yet keep the senses rooted. And when the senses – visual, tactile, and sound – are so in-sync with function, aesthetics seamlessly fall in place.

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Workspace 23 Jun 2017

Repurposed: A Contemporary Spin to the Traditional Verandah

CQ talks to Kalpak Shah of Studio Course, a Pune-based architecture practice about a verandah devised on a roof. Designed to recreate the outdoors at a lofty height, we delve into ideas and concepts that shaped the space into its current avatar.

Are Terraces the new Verandahs?

A veranda on a roof brings to mind the play of paradoxes. “Verandah” conjures the visual of a space that is nestled between the home and the immediate outdoors. It may be partially covered with a roof and wrap itself around the building – a place for conversations, play and leisure. Conversely, the word “roof”or “terrace” invokes a visual of views and vistas at lofty heights. But this space conceived by intermingling the ‘verandah’ on a ‘roof’ is no wordplay. The term ‘veranda’ roots from the Persian word “Bar-Amada” that translates to ‘a place which leads outside’. This concept was fused by Studio Course with the client’s brief for a space that revolved around books, food and plants.

The ‘Verandah on a Roof’ is a privately owned terrace on a high-rise apartment in Pune, overlooking the racecourse. Architect Kalpak Shah of Studio Course was brought on to overhaul the terrace into an enriching addition to the occupants’ lifestyle. To add function and meaning to the terrace, Kalpak introduced a ‘verandah’.

Verandah on the Roof, in Pune

Located on a high-rise apartment in Pune, ‘Verandah on a roof’ is a terrace revamped by Architect Kalpak Shah of Studio Course. The client’s brief entailed an area that revolved around books, food and plants. The studio designed and conceived this space to recreate a traditional ‘verandah’.

A SERIES OF TRANSITION SPACES

The resultant terrace was designed as a series of transition spaces. A roof was created to accommodate the library.

The resultant terrace was designed as a series of transition spaces. A roof was created to accommodate the library. The library is enclosed on all sides but it overlooks the open terrace. The open terrace frames the race-course. Glass doors framed in teakwood ensure an unobstructed line of vision.

The Pantry

A pantry is provided outdoors but sheltered underneath the roof. A gravel bed from the pantry culminates into rough granite flooring as the user is lead to the open terrace. The sensory experience of walking on gravel and granite recreate the feeling of being outdoors.

A gravel bed from the pantry culminates into rough granite flooring as the user is lead to the open terrace. The sensory experience of walking on gravel and granite recreate the feeling of being outdoors.

The roof extends outward over the open space sheltering the pantry and protecting the enclosed space from rains. A gravel bed from the pantry culminates into rough granite flooring as the user is lead to the open terrace. The sensory experience of walking on gravel and granite recreate the feeling of being outdoors.

A BEFORE IMAGE OF THE TERRACE

The walls were bare and the floor was covered with fake grass carpet. The space with much potential was left stark and uninspiring by its previous owners.

Kalpak mentions that he consciously incorporated natural materials and finishes to achieve an open and organic aesthetic. He says, “We are not dependent upon the market and the trends that they advocate. We analyse what is available in the natural palette and set our own trends.”

Ghotai – the cement mix; and some other  finishes

He used cement ‘ghotai’ on the floor and walls as opposed to tiles and paint. Cement ‘ghotai’ is a mix of fine cement, water and mud. It is applied manually or by trowels and constantly levelled by hand. The process takes three to four days. The end result is a uniform grey textured finish with a unique character as the hand movements create semi-circular patterns.

The slightly rough finish settles into a smooth polished surface with time and usage. The procedure is an age old technique and relies completely on the masons to control the mixture proportions and application. “The masons have been doing this since 20 years. We can learn the technique and apply it, but they have better judgement given their experience and it is in their hands to mix and implement it to perfection.” He also uses natural stone, stacked one above another, to create a cascading waterfall in the outdoor area next to the pantry. Pergolas are created to provide semi-shaded seating areas near the waterbody.

An After Image of the Terrace

Plants and landscaping - Green pockets are created at every nook and corner. Natural stone, stacked one above another is used to create a cascading waterfall in the outdoor area next to the pantry. Pergolas are created to provide semi-shaded seating areas near the waterbody.

A terrace and a veranda in a metro city is a rarity. More so; when these terms are associated with a high-rise building! But the mix of materials and textures complement the vibe of being on a high-rise terrace yet keep the senses rooted.

Minimalist Detailing & the idea of Fading Away

Another salient feature is the library unit amalgamated with a staircase. The client’s brief clearly called for a library unit. An overhead storeroom dictated the need for a staircase. The Studio integrated both entities and created a metal staircase juxtaposed with the library unit. Every tread aligns with the library unit shelf. Its slanting profile adds movement to an otherwise monotonous and orderly shelf. But the decision to deploy a metal staircase against sheesham wood unit was not the preliminary concept. Kalpak wished to construct the staircase in sheesham wood to complement the unit. But with the course of work he realised that the treads would have a very thick profile. Subsequently, he introduced metal.

A BEFORE IMAGE OF THE LIBRARY AREA

Lacklustre and monotonous; the space was enclosed by glass doors and covered with a roof and made into the library.

The staircase, library and other elements are crafted with the idea of ‘fading away’. Minimalist details are utilised to reduce visual bulk. Details are done in a manner that they disappear. Door handles are created in the same finish as the doors. The door stopper is flushed with the door. Grooves are added to wooden columns to reduce mass. However, the idea was not forcefully superimposed onto the space.

An After Image of the Library

A roof was created to accommodate a library. The library is enclosed on all sides but it overlooks the open terrace. The open terrace frames the race-course. Glass doors separate the library from the open areas but ensure an unobstructed line of vision that travels from the terrace to the racecourse.

The Library staircase

The library unit was designed in conjunction with a staircase. Each shelf on the library unit aligns with the staircase tread. The library is constructed in sheesham wood and the beams are cladded in the same wood. The doors are windows are framed in teakwood. Both woods are finished in natural polish and exhibit different colour palettes. Sheesham is red tinged and teakwood is orange. The slight dissimilarity ensures that the identity of different woods is maintained.

For example, the library unit and beams are finished in sheesham wood but the doors and windows are constructed in teakwood. Both woods are finished in natural polish and exhibit different colour palettes. Sheesham is red tinged and teakwood is orange. Their slight dissimilarity ensures that the identity of different woods is maintained and also brings us back to the paradox we encountered at the onset.

A terrace and a contemporary veranda in a metro city is a rarity. More so; when these terms are associated with a high-rise building! But the mix of materials and textures complement the vibe of being on a high-rise terrace yet keep the senses rooted. And when the senses – visual, tactile, and sound – are so in-sync with function, aesthetics seamlessly fall in place.

A terrace and a veranda in a metro city is a rarity. More so; when these terms are associated with a high-rise building! But the mix of materials and textures complement the vibe of being on a high-rise terrace yet keep the senses rooted. And when the senses – visual, tactile, and sound – are so in-sync with function, aesthetics seamlessly fall in place.

To keep track of upcoming projects by Studio Course and to know more about them, visit www.studio-course.com.