The Brick house, personifies the idea of "optimum" achieved through layered "negotiations". The negotiation with the "normal" started with the program, when a 57 yr old matron (The client) wanted to build her retirement home in her ancestral property in the suburbs of Chennai. The requirement was to build a 3 bedroom house with plenty of light, ventilation and a space for Garden, in or under 40 lakhs. The foot print of the house is only 600 Sft and grows into a 3 bedroom unit in two levels. The larger depth of the property is dedicated to the commercial part, to take advantage of the land use and to provide a steady income to the soon-to-retire client.
In the place of building boundary walls and a steady setback-i.e. offset of the boundary wall, the project staggers its spaces, creating courts and socializing spots with the neighbors. Thus the project was inserted at site, as set of solid and voids, protecting the internal spaces from direct glare, providing privacy and creating visual relief within its edge.
It also adjusted itself to sit amidst the old well, and the drinking water sump (Around which the garden is built), reminiscences of the previous development. Given the plot had a house built by, the client's father, every piece retrieved was treated as a relic and reused in the new house. Reclaimed bricks were reused at the foundation, the demolished debris were used to fill and raise the level of the site, all the wooden sections retrieved from the old madras roof terrace, were reused as frames for doors and cabins. The steel sections were used as frames for the main gate and the court grill etc, extending the shelf life of the material and repainting the memories from the old house.