Current Project – City House (Site photos after a dashing rain …)

12 months have passed since we have started the above ground construction for this house and slowly one begins to see the end of the work: the civil work has been mostly completed, plaster and PoP (plaster of paris) work is going on. The elegant Omani Beige marble has been laid in the upper floor areas, the granite jambs around the openings are done. The windows (Lingel, UPVC windows in wooden finish) are ordered and being manufactured, the Statuario marble and the tiles for the bathrooms have been delivered on site and will soon be laid. Electrical and HVAC works are well on their way, water proofing is done …
The work on the additional balcony facing the street is going on (slightly different than envisioned) but overall ok in the larger picture of things … maybe another 3 months and the house could be ready for the family to move in …


The building roughly end of May …

Most of the photographs shown in this post were taken yesterday after Chennai received a particular strong bout of rain (more than 7cm per hour last Sunday to Monday night) and the site shows some of the chaos prevalent on most local construction sites after such a shower 🙂

Under a cloudy sky: The roof with the water tank, the solar water heaters and loads of pipes …
The water tank with the VRV (variable refrigerant volume) outdoor units behind …
Under the overhead water tank (capacity 5000l; another 15000l tank is in buried in the ground on the NE corner of the site).


The various pipes going in and out of one of the shafts …


Looking from the future yoga room down the internal courtyard. Visible are the granite jambs in the window openings and the PoP work on top of the regular cement plaster.


The view from the yoga room through the courtyard to the double height balcony in front of the master bedroom and the entertainment space.

This courtyard was one of the elements we insisted on (at one point the clients wanted to use these spaces for storage). Negotiating architectural ideas is always a walk on the edge which demands a lot of subtlety. There is still plenty to learn in this direction, when to let go, understanding that one is in the end more of a service provider than an “artist” but also when to insist. This was one case where in the end everyone understood the importance of the one space linking all floors, bringing in the light and lightness the otherwise quite dense program demands.


The staircase seen from the second mid-landing looking towards the courtyard. Both spaces – the stairwell and the courtyard – have large skylights allowing natural light to sink deep into the house (see section shown below).


Here the stairs were still a light-weight steel construction which changed into a cast RCC stair … (one of the points we thought we can let go 🙂 )

VIEW 1 2014-06-09

VIEW 2 2014-06-09

Two views of the staircase’s final design. More traditional for sure than our initial ideas but overall nice and elegant.

Coming back to the site photos … Another view of the stairs between Level 01 and 02.


One can see the Omani Beige marble, the effect of the daylight and the support for the false ceiling with the inserted conduits for the electrical equipment.


A detail photo of the false ceiling above the master bedroom. Visible are the various pipes for the cassette A/C unit, the cables for the lighting and the fans and the aluminium support for the actual false ceiling.


The detailing of the granite jambs (Fox Brown granite, a hard and easy to use material which goes well with the wood-finish of the window & door frames and is at the same a nice contrast to the bright Omani Beige). The windows (or in this case the sliding elements) prepared by Lingel will be just inserted and then fixed throught the granite into the masonry or the RCC lintels.


One mock-up window installed to see the combination of the Fox Brown granite and the wood finish UPVC window.


Not really clean but we still thought it looks god enough (except the rather ugly drain holes which defy all the work which went into creating the “real wood” finish. What to do …


Level 01: the connecting space between the parents’ master bedroom and the two bedrooms for their children.


One of the two eastern bedrooms. Visible on this photo are the flooring, the skirting, the metal cases for the sockets and switches, the granite for the windows, the false ceiling level. Also one can guess the quality of light in the room: most of the house will not need any artificial light during the daytime which we think is a great asset.


Climbing up one floor (or using the lift by KONE) to Level 02. The entertainment room opens up to the large tree and the road behind. Green, privacy, air & space and that in middle of Chennai. What more can one wish for 😉


The NW corner of the entertainment room which stretches almost 9m in North-South direction and has a direct step-out terrace under the crown of the tree.


A closer look at the future terrace …


The Level 02 terrace facing the road. Initially the beam on top of the I-sections was meant to be only 100mm wide (and that was pretty much what we were promised). In the end it turned out to be more than 200mm and it looks rather heavy. Similar to the detail of the turn-buckles to suspend the Level 01 balcony. The initial design was much simpler and appropriate for the weight and the overall proportion (see 3d view below) … Something got lost in the translation and in this case we thought it is acceptable to just let it go as it is …



From sketch and drawing …


… to the real thing. More rough, more heavy but to push the contractor to do it all again would have created unnecessary tensions. So, a typical case of knowing when to let it drop …

Visible here are the shutters needed to cast the 75mm RCC slab on top of the steel structure.


The massive turn-buckles, probably able to suspend a whole bridge 😉


Looking up from the Level 01 balcony …


We are looking forward to post soon more of the progressing site …






3 thoughts on “Current Project – City House (Site photos after a dashing rain …)

  1. like thre granite jamb detail and the mock up of windows, combination of wood n granite looking good..

    1. i am really looking forward when the first windows and sliding doors are getting installed … i was a bit skeptic about the use of UPVC instead of real wood but the mock-up looks fine enough.

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