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  • Writer's pictureNitin Bopanna T.R

The Place of a Home

When a project begins to emerge …

Most often it's a set of requirements; living-dining bedrooms bathrooms etc with which we start the conversations around building one’s home … How many bedrooms are you looking for? Is it a G+1 or G+2 we could think of an elevator as it would be tough to add one on later… Gradually I guide the discussion toward the occupants, members of the family, possible visitors, events, etc. We then plunge in and go with the flow to begin the process of ideation, imagining the flavor, fleshing out spaces, a few ideas on functional and structural aspects definitively and the remaining ideas loosely to take back to the clients to play around with and refine…

I am here to record a client meeting that was unlike usual.

Walking through a grassy clearing with bounders strewn around, with majestic views of the hills beyond, a gentle breeze with the buzz of the windmills that sound like the sea is near, the conversation starts with a life story. The journey from a middle-class life in Mumbai without hope of ever owning a home (as is the case with most of our cities today where affordable segment housing starts at 30L for a matchbox and especially so in Mumbai) to living in an off-grid community, exploring oneself deeper, working with others and searching for meaning… About the emergence of a sense of belonging that then brings to life the need for a home, a home as a womb, holding, caring, allowing to be oneself, and welcoming those who can’t find space and privacy to just be with themselves… about warmth, empathy, openness, sharing and allowing for things to emerge.

Left me quiet, pensive longing to find this home that holds so much beyond just the space. I hope to explore a different design process, to allow myself to sink in to spontaneously respond to such a profound start to an idea!

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