Clients asked architects to create a space for traditional Indian massage and yoga therapy. They wanted the space to be rustic, natural, minimal and ‘of earth’. The site is located next to a swimming pool in the client’s farmhouse in Bangalore (southern India).
The massage house covers about 500 square ft of area that includes central space, steam room and traditional hot water bath. The building is essentially a vault placed on perforated walls to allow ample daylight and natural ventilation. The twelve feet high roof vault is made of terracotta blocks (8"x 6"x 16") supported on load bearing terracotta block walls and RCC tie beams. The curved roof was cast using traditional mud form work prevalent in India.
The terracotta block walls have fixed glass slits which bring in filtered day light like traditional jalis (perforated tiles) in traditional Indian buildings. Terracotta perforated tiles have also been embedded in the vault roof to bring direct light at massage table and other task areas. Framed steel mesh and glass covers the gable ends to provide natural light and ventilation. The clay flooring tiles, exposed natural bricks, stones, pine wood mill work and ‘green’ light from thick vegetation collaborate to create intimate rustic space for massage and therapy.