Part 1 – Out of the Box by Cadence Architects

Out Of The Box by Cadence Architects (Ground Floor)
Out Of The Box by Cadence Architects (First Floor)
Out Of The Box by Cadence Architects (Second Floor)

  • Grace

    WOW I love it! I’m especially taken by the slots in the concrete. They look the way light looks filtered through trees in full leaf. It’s a stylized forest in the middle of a congested city. Those openings transform the whole into a tree house. Thanks to Jim for sharing this wonderfully imaginative house!

  • Adam G

    It’s really quite beautiful.

    What strikes me, (and I say this with the Charles/Rogers/Chelsea Barracks controversy bubbling in the back of my head), is that this is a successful marriage of traditional design principles with modernist ideas. It’s good to see that it can be done.

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    The beauty is what first caught my eye. But after I’d stepped back for a moment, I realized that the courtyard plays an important cooling effect for the home as well. It is a solar chimney so it pulls the hot stale air up out of the house. How cool is that! Passive designs don’t have to be ugly.
    The sculpture also appears to be a table as well. It looks like there is room to put your feet in and under the one end.

  • James Scott

    It is so easy to adopt some of these ideas to allow the free flow from the inside to the outside and back making the connection completely transparent.

    It’s unfortunate that in “usual” North American house design the only extension toward the outside is standard windows, faux stained glass doors and the odd skylight. There almost seems to be a fear that we’ll upset the established ennui by doing something different whether it’s for the benefit of the resident or not.

    On a side note forty years ago in India the only people who had cars where wealthy, town doctors or the like. And most didn’t actually drive, they were chauffeured. It’s unfortunate that India is going down the same path as many countries in Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere. There’s no money to be made in maintaining available and affordable transit for the masses therefore the individual family car is fast taking over the country. Hopefully they come to their senses and realize the true cost of the automobile before it’s too late.

  • John Brown

    Thanks for bringing up the passive solar component of the courtyard. It is easy to get caught up in the space and not realize the technical importance of the design.

  • John Y

    This looks to me like an excellent design — it really makes you realize what can happen with a talented architect and a site that’s not governed by an “architectural review board” who seem primarily interested in making everything look exactly the same.

  • Jim H

    I am going to play the devil’s advocate.

    My first thought after seeing the exterior elevations, someone has placed a piece of art on a street corner. My second thought, there is a prison in suburbia. Humans are social, curious creatures that crave interaction with our surroundings. This structure forces the occupants to be isolated from the outside world.

    When looking at the artificial green space surrounded by tall walls with no view, I can not help but to think of how a prisoner must feel, isolated from the outside world. I want to live in a community where I see and interact with my neighbors, I see the kids playing in the streets, I feel and hear the wind blowing threw the trees, I see the rain drops hitting the window panes….just a thought

  • John Y

    Jim H, I don’t necessarily disagree with you… but walk down a city street sometime and tell me just how many windows you walk past that don’t have tightly-drawn curtains.

  • Cat

    This house feels like a beautiful, quiet place of refuge. It really works in this dense, urban setting. The courtyard design is nice from a private security point of view, but tends to make the street less secure with fewer eyes on it. But this house seems to work well in its context.

    What are the considerations for ventilation for a courtyard home? This house does not appear to have air conditioning, since the bedroom opens directly to the courtyard and seems to have shutters to close, but no glass doors, as the first floor had. I see a ceiling fan in the living room, but with no windows for cross ventilation, it seems like it would be stuffy. I can see that hot air could rise up and out in the courtyard, but where does the cool air come in?

  • Volker

    What an interesting house!
    I kinda like the straight modern design – from the outside it looks more like an addition to a museum, almost like a sculpture. So this scuplture will work as a little landmark in the neighborhood, something totally different within a neighborhood of balconies, stairs, windows, roofs, colors and so on.
    At first I thought I’d agree with Jim, it looks like a prison – but then, those people living there have choosen this kinda layout. Perhaps they have a busy business-life and want to cool down at night. It is not the layout of a prison that bothers the prisoner – it is the fact that he can’t leave this place when he wants to! Judging from the stairs and balustrades – there are no kids living there so it just a hide out for adults (with money).
    I am looking forward to see the floorplan – I really wonder what this blue wall is about and how the layout really works.
    John Y – an architectural review board might be helpful somethimes – it is not only about making everything look the same, it is about an overall layout, a theme and an idea of how living and housing should work in that area – like Jim asked for: layout the street to interact with neighbor, have kids play around and so on.

  • Kelly

    No way would a prison be this interesting. If it were surrounded by typical American-style homes, it would have a rather cold, uninviting feel, but given that they are surrounded immediatly by other homes and a hundred prying eyes, the isolation would be much more secure to inhabitants (it would to me anyway). And with the center courtyard with the sky blue wall and leafy cutouts, there is more connection to nature (although a urban sized bit) than many of our homes with the closed off drapes on all windows. It also reminds me of traditional Mexican homes that from the outside look like a big wall with a door in it, but the door opens onto a courtyard with the rooms surrounding it. The home is a more intimate space for the family rather than a showplace, and only the closest friends are invited in.

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    Had this not had the artistic details and good combinations of colors, I’d have never looked twice. But the small details of the jali wall not being as thick as the rest of the outer walls give it an object nature that draws you in. The rich colors against the white contrast. Those are the the aspects which make this not a prison. That said, the bars on the entry stairs are not all that inviting.
    I suspect that when the glass walls are open, it is not the quiet peacful place that the pictures make it out to be, but all the same, a nice refuge.

  • Terri

    What I like about this home is the way it doesn’t draw immense attention to itself on the street, yet it still makes a simple, artistic statement with those cutouts in the concrete. By contrast, too many North American homes built by the wealthy are all about “look at me” opulence.

    Then, when people come into the space, the idea of humble abode still seems more apparent. The garden space is a simple, functional kind of place, but obviously a needed refuge from the busy hurly-burly just beyond.

  • MichaelG

    What a fantastic house, for its environment. This is a perfect example of something that works because of where it is, but in a suburban, or even urban in some respects, it could present a bit prison.
    In parts of these super-dense cities, especially a city like Bangalore in a developing country (though not as bad as Dehli) the life outside is something you probably want to block out. This is a house owned by someone with a bit of money, obviously, but it is next door to a low income block of apartments. Probably there are shops across the road, a mega-office tower down the street, rickshaws and hawkers at all hours. This place will be their sanctuary, and also their safety.

    The interior and its aspect to the courtyard is very beautiful, but what hooked me is the passive cooling Jim mentions. Bangalore gets pretty hot before monsoon season, and to think this house can ventilate effectively through that courtyard using just ceiling fans (presumably), that in itself is pretty impressive. I assume the concrete exterior also play a large part in that cooling too.

  • Manas

    Just FYI – from someone living in Bangalore…most residential areas in Bangalore (and all over India for that matter) are usually 60×40 plots of land. Not a lot of space to work with and the space between two neighboring houses is usually a couple of centimeters..meaning there is not a lot of privacy – people can look into each others windows balconies/terraces. So, this design is really amazing in that it uses all the available space while maintaining privacy with the high walls. If you look at some street photos of India, you will see a lack of interesting design – at least in the suburbs in the US there is a sense of space – and virtually no space. Roads are just wide enough for one can to go past. Noise pollution is high. The high walls also help keep that factor down inside the house. Also, the weather is nice enough in Bangalore that a ceiling fan is enough for any house most of the time – an air conditioner is usually needed for only a week or two in the year.