In search of a fresh start, a family in Chennai demolished their home for a clean slate they could rebuild on. Connecting their old and new abodes is a large Nagalingam tree, considered auspicious for its fragrant flowers that resemble the hood of a naga (cobra), which is commonly associated with Shiva. “It was important to our client that the tree kept a prominent place in the garden,” says Amaresh Anand, partner and lead designer at AD100 Khosla Associates. The new 12,000 square foot house, dubbed ‘Nagalingam Veedu’ (the house with the Nagalingam tree), was thus built in a C-shape around the northeast garden where the tree stood, its design being a version of the tree. modern traditional courtyard. house commonly seen in southern India and Gujarat. “We located the puja room and the tulsi factory in the same auspicious direction to facilitate their daily rituals,” he adds.
The garden and tree, first planted in the late 1990s, are easily visible from both levels of the house, emphasizing their importance. The ground floor hall opens onto a veranda that faces the garden, and on the first floor, the family room and master bedroom give way to large terraces that overlook this greenery. With some architectural interventions, they protect the house from extreme Chennai monsoons and hot and humid summers. “The north garden offers a respite [from the weather], and the glazing on [the facade] this side is protected by the large timber-clad overhang of the angular roof. The morning light is soft and the house is additionally shaded by the tree, which keeps it relatively cool, ”explains Anand.