Murali architects

Murali architects

Chennai, IN


Residence for Mrs. Shanthi Priya

“Where daylight floods in

 And the cool breeze blows,

 Nature peeks in

 And just flows.”

The house designed by Architect Murali for the young “IT couple” 

Mrs. Shantipriya and Mr. Mohan, boldly voices the thought above.

Music is liquid architecture and architecture - frozen music.

As the saying goes, this residence built for the couple is music to eyes, with nature playing the tunes. The architect as the real composer has orchestrated every note of this Concrete melody.

The clients turned out as NATURE LOVERS and had good beliefs in concepts like recycling, conserving energy, and use of natural materials etc. They wanted a house that shared its space with nature, native plants, birds, and hugged natural cycles, ecology and order to its bosom.


Integrating these ideas in mind the architect has Designed the residence in such a way that, it is

   Ø Open ended

   Ø Free flowing

   Ø Visually interconnecting 

   Ø Natural and organic


The house is minimalistic, well ventilated and very well secured as the clients wanted. The IT couple were on a lot of onsite assignments. They also have a young baby. Many a times one of them used to be away while the baby stayed with the other. When on work the grandmother stayed at home taking care of the baby. Relating to this situation the architect has catered to the security needs in quite a remarkable way. The balconies overlooking the sea are covered with bamboo grills for VISUAL CONNECTION and safety. A gabion wall acts as the compound wall, serving as a secure barricade around the house with windows inside, without grills. The wall has irregular perforations along with beautifully cut bamboo pieces facilitating a good air flow and casting interesting shadows that are a visual delight.The staircase handrails made of bamboo run long and tall for the safety of the young ones who are vulnerable to a fall.


The site where the entire residence stands has a proximity to the sea. The clients always loved to have a morning stroll in the beach. Wrapping up this idea, the architect has tactfully connected spaces in the residence with the exterior and beyond. He has designed spaces in a way that it connects with the nature all around. Thereby all interior spaces are connected to the green spaces, and the water bodies through the large French doors. The bamboo pergolas let the warm daylight in, livening up the spaces with a play of shadows. These are composite bamboo pergolas along with concealed M.S rod and concrete. Spaces such as the bedroom, dining and living, virtually extend out connecting to the sky and sea.


And one of the highpoints of this well executed project is that the architect wanted to give an opportunity for the local craftsmen to chip-in, in the making of the entire house. So he has gone a step further, giving life to dying local craftsmanship such as making of stone walls, stone masonry, etc in the house.

Solving one wish after another with his easy design solutions, the architect felt that all the requirements could fit in only by creatinga house in multi levels, as the land available was not lavish. So as one moves around the entire house, it takes you on levels and planes.


The architect has also diplomatically brought in all the setbacks required to satisfy the corporation norms, into the design of the entire residence, owing to the 1450 sq. Ft of area that was available to him. Thus, showing no wastage of spaces anywhere.


This is a reminder, of how the architect has sensitively employed the concept of recycling in many parts of the design on more than one instance. The cut bamboos that were left over after the making of staircase handrails, balcony grills and pergolas were inserted in the gabion walls to let in more air and facilitate a good air flow. The stones used in the gabion wall were leftover small broken pieces, supplied by the client’s father, a road contractor by profession. The residuals were used as fillers for the pavement.


This concept of multi use has been mirrored into the interiors as well. The island kitchen with a counter that doubles up as the dining and a study

Working table. The mother’s room flexibly merges into a family get together space when she is out of town. Even the staircase mid landing is extendable to form a media room where television and movie projections could be entertained. And there is something for the kids too. The car park could also be used as a sand pit (partly green) for children to play in.


The residence also takes on its shoulders, the task of conserving energy. Solar panels operate at the terrace providing solar power for basic lighting and water heating needs. Daylight floods in all spaces possible, minimising the usage of artificial lighting anywhere, during the day. And owing to the numerous openings, there is constant flow of cool breeze in all the spaces making one think twice on switching on the fan.

The house has a raw feel like everything natural does with unpainted plastered walls, exposed concrete ceiling; rough stone finishes and cement flooring. It generates a palette of natural colours ranging from grey, white, and brown to cream, yellow, and green’s to one’s eyes. Organic materials are used in many a places in the residence.


Last but not least, the architect has also added special design elements all over the house such as glass floors, bamboo handrails, gabion walls, built in open air Jacuzzi tub on the terrace and an outdoor landscaped eat out .The double height ceiling spaces have glass floor at the first floor level to provide large spatial connections and a kids play area.


Thus, the house stands true to the testament of HOW MUCH DESIGN COULD INSPIRE A COMMON MAN AND HIS LIFESTYLE. It wraps up everything natural along with it. And as the architect perceived, the house stands tall and boldly claims “live and let live”.

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Status: Built
Location: ECR, Chennai, IN
Firm Role: Chief architect