Amidst the beauty of Cochin, sits an experimental house. Designed by Jacob George of Metaspace, the residence is a manifestation of the architect’s ideas that challenged conventional designs. Every designer wishes for a dream client who gives the designer free rein to bring innovative, and unique ideas to life. Jacob George became that client for himself. He dove into his treasure of ideas that he had carefully amassed over the years and wove them into a beautiful story. The house explores new materials and techniques such as prefabricated bison boards, and also explores often used materials like glass in a truly unique way. A reflection of his core principles of comfort, ease of maintenance, and sustainability, the award-winning project celebrates design in a very creative way.
The house sits lightly on the ground, taking care not to disturb the natural beauty around. Large fenestrations paneled with glass act as the passageway between inside and outside. In a break from convention, Jacob George explores sustainability and a truce between nature and architecture through contemporary design. The modern design of the house is masterfully appropriated to fit into current times while also being in perfect harmony with the natural surroundings. And glass plays a huge role in doing that.
As we enter the residence, the house skillfully brings the outside in. A warm, neutral and earthy colour scheme is followed throughout, drawing from the natural surroundings. Glass fenestrations offer a window to the breathtaking views from all spaces. The abundant natural light that enters is further reflected by the water body that is present in the living room. And as one stands to admire the light bouncing off the shimmering pond, one witnesses the most understated and subtle design elements in the house - the glass staircase.
The floating staircase winds up over the water body, supported on a delicate metal frame. The treads, in an extremely contemporary take, are glass, fixed onto timber clad frames. Walking on the glass staircase feels like walking on the water below, equal parts wonderment and delight. The light that filters through the window in front, breaks into different fragments at the glass treads and creates a mesmerizing play of light and shadows on the bison board panelled walls.
The openness of the house does not compromise privacy. The layout divides public and private spaces into two floors, with the ground floor housing the kitchen, living room, dining area and guest bedroom, and the first floor making space for the master bedroom and study. Double height spaces in the kitchen and the staircase block, panelled with seamless glass facades create a friendly vertical connection.
Glass is a regular occurrence in Jacob George’s design and material palette. With the vision of showcasing glass in its whole, glorious form, toughened glass is often used seamlessly in facades, with minimum fittings obscuring the surface.
The architect’s residence in Kochi is an exploration of form, material, space and sustainable living. The beauty of the project lies in its simplicity and the brilliance that goes behind creating it. By making glass act as a mediator between nature and the contemporary design, the house successfully sits as a bridge between the two entities, with one foot on either side, perfectly balanced. Transparent, yet veiled, Jacob George’s house quietly celebrates the beauty of design that stands with nature, truly, the architect’s masterpiece.
Isha is a graduate of architecture from PVPCOA, Pune. Ever curious about people and places, she daylights as an architect and moonlights as a writer and musician. She wears many hats, but the one she wears most proudly is that of a storyteller.