Project: Samudra Residence
Architects: Urban Workshop
Location: Chennai, India
Photographs by: Niveditaa Gupta
Samudra Residence by Urban Workshop
Samudra is a coastal home in Akkarai, Chennai, designed with an informal and intimate atmosphere. The house features a close arrangement of rooms, minimizing the use of corridors, and large glass doors, creating a connection between the house and the garden. The singular sloped roof and bricks draw on associations of a house from our memory, providing a sense of warmth and harmony with the wooden detailing.
The dining room is a deeply recessed space, creating contrast, and the bedrooms have softer stucco walls for a sense of lightness. Corten steel, stone, and concrete complement the character of the brick and gain beauty with age. The home is situated in a growing and green neighborhood with a better quality of life, inviting people to live more outdoors.
Samudra is located in Akkarai, a coastal suburb of Chennai along the East Coast Road. The city has been growing towards the south with the development of housing, commonly used as second homes. Some of the city residents moved towards the coast for a better quality of life. The pandemic saw a lot more people moving, contributing to the growth of the surrounding neighborhoods. The atmosphere is quiet, open, and green inviting people to live more outdoors.
The architecture of the home was formed by a close arrangement of rooms where one room leads to the next. The intention was to minimize the use of corridors, originally intended to separate served and service spaces, in favor of a more informal & intimate environment. The house sits in the middle of the plot of land, with a garden on both sides. The edges are open and porous with large glass doors, creating a multiplicity of relationships between the house and the garden.
A part of the brief was to build a house with a sloped roof. The singular sloped roof and bricks draw on associations of a house from our memory. The roof extends over a verandah at the entrance where we placed a swing. The bricks were combined with a framed structure to provide large openings in all the rooms. We explored the material in different forms in the house. The staff block carries a load-bearing brick wall, broken bricks were transformed to create a mud plaster used on other structures.
The living room and study have high ceilings, brick walls, and large glass doors where you can face the garden. The dining room is a deeply recessed space in contrast and we introduced wood paneling to create a sense of warmth. A dark passage connects the two spaces that are the silence. You need silence to appreciate the notes. We treated the bedrooms with softer stucco walls to provide a sense of lightness.
The wooden detailing is harmonious with the linear character of the bricks. The main door is made of strips of wood joined together. On the other hand, the scale of the brass railing is kept larger to offset the fine scale of the bricks. We introduced materials like corten steel for the gate and stone walls & floors to complement the character of the brick and concrete that gain beauty with age.