-by Anusha Hemanth
A potpourri of influences from Spain, Italy, Portugal and other countries around the Mediterranean region of the world is found in the architectural style that today bears the same name.Mediterranean architecture was extremely popular and echoed the haciendas in the Spanish New World with their red tile roofs, arches and plaster made rough to resemble plastered adobe. Many homes in North America, which have Spanish histories, were built in this style.
Over time, flourishes from other European countries could be found in the houses. Asian inspirations from Turkey, Cypress and Lebanon joined North African countries like Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria in the mix.Today, many ornate homes that combine elements from any of those countries are called Mediterranean (or Neo-Mediterranean) because of the composite of cultural influences from that region. Houses may feature terraces or courtyards, stucco finishes, porticos, balconies or any number of elements inspired by houses on the Mediterranean.
“Some of the earliest Mediterranean is Churrigueresque,” says an eminent professor of history, explaining that the Spanish Baroque styles in grand buildings stemmed from Mexico and Peru. “In the 1920s, people didn’t want to talk about copying Mexican things, so they called it Spanish revival. Houses with classical columns around the driveway picked up from northern Italy. The greater formality came from Italy or North Africa.”
Due to the World War II, the emphasis was moved to other styles of architecture. But in the 1960s, Mediterranean homes began gaining in popularity again. Mediterranean style might be the ultimate melting pot. It travels between Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and the other countries on the fringe of the Mediterranean Sea, picking up the unique influences of each as it goes. Emphatic and evocative, this look bears hints of Moorish grace, Spanish flamboyance, French elegance, and more.Ornamental detail. Houses usually feature flourishes ranging from large, heavy wooden doors with ornate carvings to the use of multicolored tiles for the risers of staircases.
A number of movies featured romantic Mediterranean sets and magazines showed stars living in Spanish Colonial, Tudor or small castle-like houses, creating the peak period for construction of Mediterranean homes. India being one of the few countries to have diverse architecture styles even in the smallest of the construction, also welcomed the Mediterranean style of architecture. Today we say many Mediterranean homes intelligently entwined with the Indian culture.
Jyaamiti Architectural Studio, a Bangalore based architectural studio helps us to further understand the Mediterranean style of architecture in one of their residential project.Owning to their stay abroad, the clients expressed their desire to adorn their home in the Mediterranean style. The Architect creates spaces, keeping the style intact throughout the house. The Anita Ajit house is unlike any run of the houses around the area. At one of the tranquil lane in Bangalore, shaded by the greens and cooled by its manicured landscape, the house exudes warmth from the word go.
What catches one’s attention instantly are the Arches, a feature that goes back to Roman times, and is a self-supporting element that allows building of lighter weight and sturdier walls. It is the architect’s perception to have A modern rendering of the arches that open out to balconies. Red tiled roof copied those of Spanish and Mexican missions, which were made out of clay pots and bricks adorn the roof and elevation.
A massiveset of woodendoors ushers one inside the abode. Greeted by a foyer holding intricate interiors the building gives attention to details such as aesthetics, an indication of what is to come. The Mediterranean style is followed in the interiors as well. The 7053 sft abode consist of a large living area. The dining lounge and kitchen seamlessly merge into each other. Four bedrooms, an office space and a home theater that is nestled in the basement of the abode. The furnishings, colours, drapes, spaces and intricate details in front create an ensemble.
The selection of door handles, door/window latches, wood mouldings and door polishes is integral and provides for an understanding of the architect’s vision. Care is taken with intricate details of staircase railings, its’ mild steel work lending unique identity and building to a sense of space. The flooring is neat with a combination of vitrified tiles and wooden flooring that blends with the rest of the house.
It has Four Bedrooms and an office room, all the room decors keep with the house. The colours used are bright enough and yet not loud. The spaces are independent; the rooms are a careful mix of colours and wallpapers. Can a space be united in its theme and yet unique individually! Yes. Most of the furniture inside is handpicked from furniture hubs around the country. Some of it is handcrafted.
Judicious incorporation of landscape is seen both inside and outside. Bathrooms have a green aesthetics in them. Terrace garden another feature that adds to the tranquility of the spaces. A series of sun – kissed arches open out to the lush green backyard.
For final suggestions for homeowners “because it is such an important investment, you need an expert…there is much disparity in prices…one doesn’t even get to know… don’t shy away from spending a little extra, make sure you’re happy…” Details, furnishings, use of color and sense of space all play out to make this an exciting space to live in. One couldn’t agree less that house reflects one’s personality…in this case large hearted, open and warm and the architect has left no stone unturned to realize the vision.