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  • Rosemary Joseph

A subtle play of arches

For a 1200sqft country home with an axial internal layout, there was a need to highlight the importance of the public realm of the house; the front porch, the living room, and open kitchen and dining.

Given the existing size constants, our gaze shifted upwards. The porch with its lower height would lead one into a double-height space, directing the eye upwards and thus giving a sense of spaciousness. But how can this transition be made smoothly, in the midst of the rigid edges of the rectangular rooms and diagonals of the sloped roof?

Segmental arches of varying scale, depth, and composition were introduced and this brought a more refined form of verticality to the space. It would direct the viewer’s eye inwards in a smoother manner.

3 segmental arches flanked the shorter sides of the entrance porch, two at the North-eastern corner, close to the entrance, and the other at the South-eastern corner. The narrow nature of the main porch with arches at only the corner entices one to move along the path.

Upon entering the living, the two large arches, which appear to be recessed further into the open living room, add to the depth and volume of the space, and so making it seem larger than it is. Thus, this subtle play of arches enhances the quality of a seemly narrow living space by breaking up the space in a clean manner

Rosemary Joseph is an intern in her 5th year in architecture who is interested in sustainable construction practices and designs that focus on the human experience.

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