The City Beautiful and its first cousins, Panchkula-Mohali, have always taken pride in their sprawling Bungalows*.These elite single family homes today, are custom designed and built, to meet individual family’s needs and aspirations. It is delightful to see how the average private residence in the Tricity has evolved over the years absorbing multiple cultural influences and advances in technology, creating what we today identify as the Chandigarh Ambience.
A custom designed house provides a perfect opportunity to a family to indulge themselves, express their unique identity and to achieve a home best suited to their lifestyle. A successful partnership between an Architect and the prospective home Owner is the basis, of the success, of each such endeavour .Though an ideal abode has been a perennial quest for man, there is always scope for innovation, improvisation and new interpretations. New techniques, materials, use of space, light and nature, can each be used to enhance the living experience, be it the creature comforts or in terms of adding vibrancy and the feeling of well being and happiness. It is heartening to see more number of people, in the tricity, becoming aware of their requirements and seeking professional advice to achieve the same.
There is one area where I personally like to put more emphasis and that is the connection we achieve between our everyday living and the outdoors. As we are getting more and more accustomed to artificially regulated environments at work and at home, there is a shift towards cutting out the nature in the way we’re building our houses. Though this seems to suit our fast paced life style, it does leave a negative impact on our overall health and well being. Also, we are blessed to be in a region with a beautiful geographical location and a large area dedicated to low rise housing. We must continue to derive maximum advantage out of this. For example, sitting out in a verandah in good weather with a view of the mountains is a treat, especially to be cherished by all of us in this region.
Good Execution and Construction is an important part in the final realization of a dream house. Currently a large number of owners undertake the task of constructing it themselves with the help of small time contractors. It is interesting to note that the reasons for the same are different for different people. A good number of people undertake this task out of a desire, for building something best suited to their family. An equal number of people undertake this task due to a lack of better and cost efficient choices, in terms of ready to move in houses or standardized and reliable solutions. This defines an area which can benefit with Industry expertise and attention.
Owning your house is traditionally a huge event in the life of most of us in India. I have a word of caution to the people setting out towards that goal. It is about the irresistible urges that most people get during the course of construction of their house, to make changes and try alternative ideas. Correct decision making and closely following the Architect’s advice and drawings during the execution stage is crucial to achieve the desired result. It is very easy to get carried away with last minute ideas, numerous voices of advice and myriad choices of materials and finishes, any of which can hugely impact the final outcome and even cause financial losses.
*A Bungalow in the Indian context has come to mean an independent, detached house, with a garden. It could be built to 2 or 2.5 storey. It symbolizes the aspirations of almost every successful upper middle class Indian.