Studio Mumbai’s Copper House
Studio Mumbai‘s Bijou Jain has created another of their bookish and contemplative retreats in the Copper House in Maharashtra, India.
His firm excels in a quiet and thoughtful architecture that creates a space of pause, stopping time.
At the heart of their latest tropical offering is an outdoor central courtyard ‘room’.
Traditionally, this central space, flanked by pillars, was called the naalukettu. The word also means the ‘house’ and also includes the rooms surrounding a courtyard.
In the hot and sultry climate of Chondi, dining is outdoors by necessity.
The kitchen next to it is enclosed, contained, keeping the heat of cooking away.
A highly polished concrete floor cools the breeze as it glides through the shaded dining area.
As with their other works, concrete and very dark woods predominate.
All the architectural woodwork, like these folding French doors, is crafted in-house, as part of the intrinsic architectural design.
Studio Mumbai has to be the only architectural firm in the world able to make arid dirt part of the appeal of their humble and down to earth architectural style, as they do here.
This was also an aspect of their gorgeous Kapadia House we covered last year.
A subtle celadon tint to the rough plaster walls makes an earthy counterpoint to the smooth polished concrete floor, and the rich teak wood used throughout.
Their traditionally crafted woodwork in their bookish retreats diffuses the light and greenery and hints at the absent city.
Two single rooms upstairs are housed in a sort of copper cap.
One, the master bedroom, is a reversal of Studio Mumbai usual practice, with light wooden sides and top, anchored by a dark wood floor.
Outside the bedroom windows, an almost flat roof slopes gently towards the central courtyard, defying the suggestion that you could walk on it.
Yet it encases the central empty space and, like another of theirs, also invites informal non-sanctioned roof walking on a cool evening, a ‘design that is not-design’ is completely at odds with most architecture, that pushes the viewer around demarcated pathways.
I am a big fan of Studio Mumbai.