How to create a multi-purpose terrace

The layout of a terrace is determined by a building’s vantage points, say experts.
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 00:01 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 00:01 IST

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Are you planning a new house? You can transform your terrace into a haven for relaxation and entertainment, featuring pools, gardens, and dining spaces. It can also be a spot for stargazing. Experts share tips on how you can build a multi-purpose terrace on a modest budget.

Semi-open spaces

Smaran Mallesh, principal architect with Cadence Architects in Bengaluru, draws inspiration from traditional Bengaluru homes to create an indoor-outdoor interplay on the terrace. In his recent project, Pattern Land, located in a densely populated area in Bengaluru, Mallesh built a pergola on the terrace. It provides a gentle enclosure and also creates beautiful shadows as sunlight streams through it.

Follow the sun

Goonmeet Singh Chauhan recommends shielding two or three sides with tall plants and keeping the side with the best view open. The founding partner of Design Forum International in New Delhi says, “This approach cleverly manages airflow, cutting down excessive wind on the terrace.”

He has integrated this concept at a Delhi home, where the terrace also features a kitchen for hosting parties, a bar counter, and a lawn area for alfresco dining.

Chauhan also considers the sun’s angle to delineate shaded and sunny areas. “We allocate hard surfaces to sunlit spots and green spaces to shaded areas,” he notes.

Natural construction elements like rocks, stones, and timber lend a rustic charm to the terrace and also create a relaxed ambience, he continues. He advises against the use of dark colours as they absorb too much heat. Earthy tones like brick and terracotta, on the other hand, help reduce glare.

Clever seating

For the same project, Mallesh’s team designed furniture that can be used as a table, bench, ledge, and planter as the need arises. For smaller terraces where residents want to linger and socialise, he prefers elaborate seating and large pergolas to shield against harsh sunlight during daytime.

His team applied this concept to another Bengaluru home, a villa. They created a versatile space for socialising, reading, and dining. The interplay of light and shade on the terrace enhances its charm, he adds.

Greenery and usability

Mallesh says the aim should be to balance greenery with usability. Gowri Rao, senior associate architect at Bengaluru-based Gayathri and Namith Architects, concurs. She recollects a terrace design her firm developed a few years ago. It had a dining-cum-meeting area that seemed to float on a pond while the sidewalls were enveloped in greenery. “The greenery also buffered the noise originating from the busy road below,” Gowri shares.

Since terraces are open spaces, her firm ensures to add a roof cover while allowing the greenery to stand out.

Smart zoning

Gowri likes to divide up big terraces into sections. “Think of multiple cosy spots for hanging out, like a barbecue area. Using a combination of fixed seating and movable furniture also helps in creating ‘zones’,” she adds.

This is determined by how people want to use the space. “If the terrace is spacious, we go beyond regular seating and add a coffee table or a small dining setup,” she explains.

Layout matters

The layout of a terrace is determined by a building’s vantage points, says Rishad Khergamwala, director of developments for Bengaluru-based MAIA Estates.

His firm is currently working on a residential project in the city, 27 Summit. It will have a pool, gym, and bar on the terrace. “We typically position gyms and lounge areas near infinity pools for a seamless indoor-outdoor experience. At the same time, we create intimate spaces within the building or terrace to offer privacy,” he explains about the design.

Personal corner 

Pavan Kumar, founder & CEO of White Lotus Group in Bengaluru, stresses on the importance of tailoring terrace designs according to clients’ lifestyles. “Some prioritise hosting social gatherings and desire features like bar areas and ample seating. Others seek swimming pools or gardens for relaxation. Understanding these preferences and planning the space accordingly is essential to meet the family’s needs,” he says.

In a recent city project, Kumar created a versatile space that catered to both children and adults. A pool tucked away in a corner offers a playful zone for kids, while on the opposite end, a bar area, sheltered by a roof combining Mangalore tiles with glass, provides an escape for grown-ups. He likes to keep the parapet walls low but bolstered by railings, so the children can enjoy the views from the terrace safely.

He underscores the necessity of incorporating electrical outlets and powder rooms. This would eliminate the need to go downstairs for essential amenities.

Design challenges

• Waterproofing

• Selecting materials for durability

Wallet factor

Set aside Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per sq ft.

Published 01 June 2024, 00:01 IST

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