The Library House

Seeking a peaceful oasis from the stresses of life, the homeowners wanted space to breathe, a verandah to watch the rain fall and a garden to potter about in. They wanted an ecologically sensitive house, contemporary yet nostalgic about old Bangalore; and since they were avid readers, a space to accommodate their ever-growing collection of books.

From the road, a modest colonnaded Mangalore tiled walkway with wooden columns traverses a tropical courtyard and one enters the home via a light filled foyer.

The Library is given importance as a central space as it combines various activities for the family and provides an anchor to the house. The 750 sft area has a 25ft high gabled roof with wooden trusses and a bookshelf spanning over 30 feet. It is a casual space where the family congregates, where carefully demarcated areas for lounging, studying, listening to music, playing the piano, and entertaining are carved out in an open plan layout. The generosity of space gently spills out via large sliding doors into an ample verandah, pool deck and garden. The interconnectedness of these areas allow for a grand and seamless living space. Comfortable clusters of seating in the verandah and deck interact with the library as well as the garden.

The house achieves a great degree of efficiency in generating most of it’s own electricity via photovoltaic solar panels, and stores excess rainwater in a large underground sump.

The Library house juxtaposes different moods within its plan, modulating scale and creating an element of surprise as you enter, and a process of discovery as you move along. There is a layering of space and a continuing bricolage of old and new, global and Indian, that extends through all the spaces.

ClientNikhil Kumar
& Lavanya Sankaran

Project Details 12,500 sq. ft.
Bangalore, 2013

Photographer Shamanth Patil J.

Each room in the house tells a distinct story, creates a specific setting, while linking to an overarching architectural narrative. It addresses all our unique, idiosyncratic needs and does so with a surprising universal appeal. The house, like all great architecture, has a powerful transformative quality to it, altering human consciousness and energy.

Lavanya Sankaran, Home Owner