Illumination Is The Key

Dipesh Kheni


Use of natural light and minimal play on colours and textures give this bungalow its simple yet dramatic appeal. 

Excellent use of natural light, an imposing spatial volume and a dramatic ambience characterise this elegant residence in Surat. The client’s main requirement of ‘a simple but dramatic ambience’ was brought to life by the team at Design Ritmo.

Sitting on a south-east facing plot, the house had natural access to ventilation and lighting from two sides. The ceiling to floor glass façade on the south was built to bring in copious amount of natural light. To offset this brightness, grey slate stone has been used to clad the walls, while the steps have been covered with dark polished wood. Wood plate lights arranged with an intentional randomness on the wall not just work as foot guide lights in the evening, but also bring in an old-world rustic charm to the narrow spaces.

Another interesting approach to illumination is the use of sky lights in the library on the second floor. Adjoining the book shelf is an exposed brick wall against which a comfy white-and-grey couch rests. But the crown of glory clearly rests on the majestic ceiling, which lets you believe you are reading in the outdoors with its bird shaped hanging lights.

The layout of this bungalow is neatly segregated - while the ground floor contributes to the spatial configuration and the three car-parks, the first floor is where the living space begins. There are four bedrooms, of which the master bedroom and the son’s bedroom are on the third level. Just below, on the second level, are the library and the younger child’s bedroom.

The first level has a voluminous appearance; however it is compartmentalised into public (living and family seating area), private (grandfather’s bedroom) and semi-private (kitchen and dining) spaces.

Open bedroom planning is a clever design feature - huge ceiling-to-floor closets run parallel in each bedroom with a central, continuous space running from the balcony window and leading into the bath zone. Glass partitions and wooden frames serve as segregation indicators.

The design team chose to go ahead with a minimal palette and used only one type of teak veneer throughout the house. In the interiors, too, continuity in colour palette is retained with similar beige and white tones.