Thursday, June 20, 2024

Brick House by The Purple Ink Studio: The Legacy of Brick in Architecture

The Brick House by The Purple Ink Studio is located in the coastal town of Mangalore, in southern Karnataka, India. Known for its rich cultural tapestry and historic charm, Mangalore provided a vibrant backdrop for this architectural project. Situated in a densely populated urban area, the design sought to recapture the city’s lost character and heritage, offering a retreat for the client returning from Saudi Arabia to reconnect with his roots.

Enduring Appeal of Brick Masonry

The timeless appeal of brick masonry is evident in the works of architects like Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright. In India, architects such as Laurie Baker and Joseph Allen Stein have left their mark, inspiring contemporary architects like Vinu Daniel to continue exploring brick’s potential. These architects have demonstrated the discipline and warmth that brick can bring to a structure.

The Brick House is situated within a dense urban sprawl in the coastal town of Mangalore, in southern Karnataka, India

The Brick House by The Purple Ink Studio

The Purple Ink Studio’s recent project, The Brick House, taps into the modesty and influence of brick. Situated in the dense urban sprawl of Mangalore, Karnataka, this residential architecture reflects the rich cultural heritage of the region. The design team drew inspiration from the city’s historical landscape and lamented the loss of its clear urban character over the years.

A Tribute to Indian Craftsmanship

According to The Purple Ink Studio, the heart of The Brick House project is a celebration of Indian craftsmanship. The design team cited the timelessness of the region’s culture and the distinct aesthetic of brick architecture. The process was layered and curated, aiming to create a structure that would age gracefully while embodying the past.

BrickHouse 7
The dwelling features varied courts that intercept across multiple levels and volumes

The Client’s Vision and Design Brief

The client, who had relocated to Saudi Arabia, desired a family and holiday home in his native coastal Karnataka. His brief included nostalgic elements from his formative years, such as old brick factories, red-oxide flooring, and lime-plaster-finished walls. The design envisioned a house that would evoke these memories while being unique and aesthetically modern.

Layered Design and Spatial Organization

Nestled on a corner plot, The Brick House features an inward-looking plan. The design includes several layers, with semi-private programming on the bottom levels and complete privacy on the upper levels. The sloping topography allowed access at different levels, with parking and an entertainment den on the lower ground and formal living areas on the upper level.

Inside The Brick House

Courtyard House Inspiration

The design draws from the Thotti Mane (Courtyard House) concept, with courtyards at multiple levels and volumes. These courtyards allow natural light and breezes to filter through the brick screens, creating dynamic and experiential spaces.

Passive Design Strategies

Given Mangalore’s tropical climate, the design incorporates passive strategies to ensure cross-ventilation and cooling. The brick wall skin is constructed in layers to keep the interior cool and insulated. Triple-layered walls with laterite masonry and brick jaalis provide insulation and control rain seepage.

Harmonious Interiors and Materiality

The Brick House’s interiors reflect its exterior materiality, with calming greys and browns creating a cohesive harmony. Light and shadow interplay to carve out spaces, and angled windows ensure connectivity with the outside while providing necessary screening.

Close-up of the house’s facade

Sustainability and Local Craftsmanship

The project emphasizes sustainability through the use of local materials and craftsmen. The design principles highlight the importance of regional materials that have stood the test of time. The facade’s handcrafted, course-by-course brick arrangement and the bare internal walls celebrate the material’s originality.

Sophisticated Yet Earthy Interiors

Natural materials dominate the interior design, with black limestone and grey tandur stone forming the canvas for plaster-finished walls. Cotton and jute drapes soften the angularity of the spaces, and commissioned artwork continues the design philosophy.

The Brick House is designed ‘outside-in’ with the materiality of the exterior reflecting in its insides

A Design Studio Inspired by Music

The Purple Ink Studio draws inspiration from music, specifically the 1960s band Led Zeppelin. The studio’s name and ethos reflect a desire to be identified by their work rather than their name. Their design process is contextual and revolves around storytelling, striving to create timeless, future-ready structures.

Redefining Architectural Paradigms

The Purple Ink Studio’s approach is to experiment and explore alternate solutions with each project. Their goal is to redefine architectural paradigms and envisage change, creating structures that are both timeless and forward-thinking.


Related Articles

Latest Articles