Halaguru Thotti Mane (WIP)

A re-imagination of the traditional 'Thotti Mane' typology

Residential, Research, Recreational
Site: 55' x 100'
Built up: 2400 sft
Location: Halaguru, KA
Status: In construction
Year: WIP
The ‘Halaguru Thotti Mane’ is a compact recreational home built on the site of the client’s ancestral home. The home was owned by the client’s grandfather- an educationist and a revered scholar, where its Jagli Katte (verandah space) served as a gathering space for the entire village, a place where people from all walks of life gathered, learned, played and held meaningful conversations. Inspired by the traditional Thotti Mane, the client wanted to build a new home for the family, a house to invoke memories of their family home and be a space for the extended family to gather and convene often
The Site

Set in a small village 70 km from Bangalore, Halaguru lies to the south of the city, and beyond the Kanakapura town. The rectangular site sits on the north-south axis, with a lake to its north, the village cross roads to the west and the Jattipalla-Kanakapura road to its south.Split across a busy highway, the village boasts of a closely knit community with old traditional houses and people who have been living in the region for several generations. With the lake and big banyan tree on the north, the site is home to cool breeze and a evergreen view throughout the year, and also the occasional monkey gang visit.

What is a Thotti Mane?

Thotti Mane (translation- 'Courtyard House') is a typology of traditional south-Indian residential buildings, planned in response to the high rainfall in areas like ‘Malnad’ in South Karnataka. The Thotti Mane typically has a pond-like structure (Thotti) in the centre, surrounded by a liminal courtyard with six, eight or twelve pillars and rooms on all four sides, all enclosed under a single hipped sloping roof.

How are we interpreting it?

Taking from the salient features of the Thotti Mane, our scheme boasts of a central courtyard, a pillared and ring-shaped liminal semi-open space, and the iconic outdoor semi-open verandah.For a weekend home of a close-knit joint family, we chose to articulate the spaces around the Thotti in a more fluid and multipurpose sense, rather than boxing out rooms with walls, with each space becoming purposeful, curated, and yet dynamic-allowing to be used in different ways, by different people spanning generations.‘Thotti Mane’s often have overhead attics used for storage and maintenance. In our take on the Thotti mane, we included a multi-purpose mezzanine space in the plan, which could be used for the family’s hobbies, as a workspace, or the client’s passion for film-watching.We also reimagined the roof of the house as an inclined hipped roof, to allow the varied volumes of the spaces to interact with one another, and simultaneously integrate the entire house under one roof like a typical Thotti Mane.

The spaces
halaguru thotti mane top viewHalaguru thotti mane outdoor view
thotti mane courtyard viewliving room view through courtyardcozy living room under a mezzaninekitchen in a courtyard house, thotti mane
The scheme

Broadly, the house is a 1BHK multipurpose weekend home for shared by an extended joint family, in the midst of a close knit village community. Along with lounging and recreational spaces, a kitchen, a single sleeping space, a multi-purpose mezzanine room, all woven around the central courtyard or ‘thotti’, we also incorporated a verandah/Jagli katte facing the main street to allow the community to gather around the home even when it isn’t being used. With a down to earth, natural, cost efficient and renewed approach to the 'Thotti Mane', the spaces within the home were designed to be more inclusive, rather than private and isolated. The plan also highlights and celebrates a key feature of the site, the ancestral home’s well, which is intact to this day.In addition to the weekend home, one half of the site is also to be used as a aeroponic farm, owing to which the residential unit is to be kept compact and optimal in size.

Architects: Netra Ajjampur, Murtaza Dhilawala, Rahul Chandrashekar, Abhishek Durani, Supreeth Suresh
Visualisation: Viraj Bhatt
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