House of Tropics by Rohit Suraj
Inspired by nature in the tropics, this residence was designed to be warm and inviting with open spaces
The House of Tropics is a classic design, inspired by nature in the tropics. Designed by Rohit Suraj, the home is warm and inviting, reminiscent of a farmhouse, where the interior interacts with the outdoors. It uses straight lines and open spaces, complemented by elegant décor.
Starting from the ground level of the house, there are garden spaces all around, which are lifted up from street level, enabling a good flow of light into the home while giving ample ‘breathing space’ in the living area. As we move further indoors, the double-height dining area is picture perfect, aided with a concoction of indoors and outdoors coming across through the glazed framing overlooking the trees in the podium garden. The open kitchen attached to the dining area also adds a picturesque element.
Heading upstairs, the staircase of the house is one of the main elements designed. It occupies a prominent central location in the house. The detail is inspired by the tree top perspective in a forest. It is composed of metal wires in tension kept in place with small anchors on the side of each tread. The variation of colour on the wooden parquet flooring adds to the dramatic space, making it a highlight. Sketching an art centric view while climbing up from the stilt floor to the ground floor, the details of the staircase are combined with the beauty of the pool outside, consisting of colourful koi fish for therapeutic purposes and an aesthetically pleasing set-up.
Approaching the private space, luxurious bedrooms are designed with a focus on natural materials. Materials like rough-cut stone, heavy-grained timber and bamboo have been used throughout the house to bring in the look and feel of the tropics. The ceiling has 3D wood tiles to give a rich, dense feel of timber and to make the living areas appear distinctive. The stone backdrop of the wall, where the head of the master bed rests, is a modern-rustic design, lending a touch of natural texture to a contemporary space.
The semi-private space on the floor above is inspired from the tropical plantain leaf. The folded wooden partitions have been designed to screen certain areas like the drawing room and first floor corridor for privacy and aesthetics. The spotlights on the floor and ceiling illuminate these panels, forming an interesting diagrid pattern on the plain white gypsum board ceiling. To break free from the traditional doorway entrance, provide a modern twist and maintain the flow of living spaces on the ground floor, rotatable panels have been designed.
Shifting to the outdoors, the species of plants chosen for the front garden are also inspired by the interior theme. Temple trees, low-height palms, ferns and water plants like lotus and water lilies have been planted. The low-height pool is edged with local grey granite stone, forming the central element of the garden. Stepping stones and white pebbles patches add an interesting nuance to the space, creating a variety of surfaces that one can look at, feel and touch. The space, on one side of the entrance gate frame, is designed with knotted wooden planks so that it blends in with the garden on the inside.
A marble outdoor sculpture of a holy Hindu cow feeding her calf is the key focus of the garden. The serenity of Mother Nature is framed perfectly with the sculpture, landscape and greenery coming together in harmony.
Name of the project: House of Tropics
Area: 13,000 sq-ft
Designer: Rohit Suraj