A look at how our houses and apartments have changed in the recent years
Ever wonder how fast the faces of urban neighbourhoods are changing? Today, if you take a round of the proverbial mile-around-your-home, chances are you will come across ten different architectural styles of seven different origins. The so called Indian-urban has always been a potpourri of European, South Asian and of course, Middle Eastern styles. Now it’s getting even more fabulous. Here’s a quick look at the how and why.
Mr Corbusier – The man who changed everything
Practically, all of it goes back to the French-Swiss maestro of modern architecture, Le Corbusier. His Five Points changed the face of cities around the world, and this country is no exception. In fact, we were amongst the first to admire and adapt to what he was doing. Chandigarh was designed in its entirety by him, and went on to be hailed as the best planned city in the subcontinent. Great architects change the course of modern living.
Today, at Cybercity, we are keeping that tradition alive by involving master architects like Hafeez Contractor in the designing of our landmark residences, such as Marina Skies.
So what were the famous five points? Well, to put in a nutshell, Corbusier's five points were about space-managing in an ever crowding urban scape. He said, let’s free up the spaces by putting buildings on pillars instead of walls, let’s keep the ground floor free for all purposes, let’s change the walls into facades, and so on and so forth. Now, what does it all mean? Here goes…
We went from windows to wow-walls
Notice how the windows these days are sliding ones? From the Venetian blinds of colonial times and the Long Street types of the late thirties, we have come a long way. These days, buildings are designed to welcome more light and air so the interiors stay healthier. Floor to ceiling windows are not just façade fashion: they are a modern day architectural achievement made possible because walls are no longer the support for the entire building, and hence, don’t need to be made solid.
Commercial meets residential now
In more and more modern day apartment houses you will find open ended wet and dry kitchens, terrace pools and open air lounges. What this trend brings forth is the marriage of commercial and residential styles. What used to be the favourite space enhancing techniques of restaurants and IKEA stores is now the hot trend of high-rise bedrooms. Less interior walls, more sliding glass, more space, more liveliness... And it works, because one reason we love the commercial places such as furniture showrooms, is because they are arranged in a lovely manner with all the stuff we have in our homes: so why not steal the trick and arrange homes that way?
Energy saving efficiency
Once, buildings were made with plenty of wiring and wall cabinet support to have space and arrangement for ACs. Now, we see and do it another way. Now we are more conscious about the environment, and we are committed to leave a tinier carbon footprint. Hence, we now strive for greener architecture. Instead of having walls with AC ventilators, we now have walls with creepers and false facades and rainwater harvesting systems underground. Same goes with the roofs. Once it was Malabar tiles. Now, we have a trend of rooftop gardens and mini forests. The buildings are being crafted to blend better to the environment. To utilize more daylight. To heat less. To carry their own insulation. The rising use of Blackstone is a good example of this earth consciousness in the kitchen.
From gardens to garages
All in all, the idea that modern day housing for humans has to be more tomorrow-aware and today-smart has caught up with us. We have RFID parking and water resilient grass work on lawns now. And that’s just two attributes we have named. There are plenty more, which make for the fancy Balinese, Mediterranean and other names that you witness on brochures these days.
High rises themselves are a great step towards conservation of space and opening up views that were once unavailable to kings. The Nizam never relaxed with a coffee, looking at bustling Hyderabad from a thirty storey balcony.
Those were a few of the emerging and popular trends in modern housing market for you. It remains to be seen how the next decade unfolds. We are sure there will be more changes under way as new innovations and ideas make their entry. You can be assured we will be at the frontline, bringing them to you. Until later, then...