In recent days, Hyderabad is lacking the verandahs in houses. These evironmental-free relaxing area of a house isvanishing its existence. Due various reasons the verandah culture is getting neglected. #Khabarlive delves into this matter and found some interesting information.

The disappearance of the veranda is a loss for Hyderabad architecture. The veranda is a unique space that provides a sense of community and connection. It is a place where people can relax, socialize, and enjoy the outdoors. The loss of the veranda is a sign of the changing nature of Indian society, but it is also a reminder of the importance of these spaces.

The verandah is a unique and important part of Hyderabadi architecture. It is a reminder of the city’s rich history and culture, and it continues to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The veranda is a transitional space that serves as a vital bridge between private and public life. It is a place where people can relax, socialize, and connect with their community. However, in recent years, the veranda has been disappearing from Indian architecture.

There are several reasons for this. One reason is urbanization. As cities have grown, the gap between public and private life has widened. This has led to a decline in the use of verandas, as people are now more likely to spend their time indoors.

Another reason for the disappearance of verandas is the changing nature of Indian society. In the past, verandas were used as a place for people to gather and socialize. However, with the rise of television, air conditioning, and the internet, people are now more likely to spend their time indoors.

Finally, the veranda has also been affected by changes in the built environment. In the past, verandas were often used as a way to cool homes. However, with the advent of new technologies, such as air conditioning, verandas are no longer necessary for this purpose.

The verandah is an important part of Hyderabadi architecture, and it has a long and storied history. The Nizams, the rulers of Hyderabad for over 200 years, were particularly fond of verandahs, and they commissioned many beautiful examples to be built throughout the city.

There are several reasons why the Nizams valued verandahs so highly. First, they provided a cool and shady place to relax and socialize during the hot summer months. Second, they served as a buffer between the inside and outside of the home, providing privacy and security. Third, they were a status symbol, and the larger and more elaborate the verandah, the wealthier and more powerful the owner was perceived to be.

Today, verandahs are still an important part of Hyderabadi architecture, and they can be found in homes, mosques, and other buildings throughout the city. They are a reminder of the city’s rich history and culture, and they continue to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Here are some of the ways in which the Nizams used verandahs:

  • As a place to relax and socialize. The verandah was a popular spot for the Nizams and their guests to relax and socialize. They would often spend hours sitting on the verandah, talking, playing games, and enjoying the views of the city.
  • As a place to entertain guests. The verandah was also used to entertain guests. The Nizams would often host lavish parties on their verandahs, complete with food, music, and dancing.
  • As a place to conduct business. The verandah was also used for business purposes. The Nizams would often meet with their advisors and ministers on the verandah to discuss important matters of state.
  • As a place to display wealth and power. The size and grandeur of a verandah was often seen as a reflection of the wealth and power of its owner. The Nizams were known for their lavish spending, and their verandahs were no exception. They often had large verandahs that were decorated with expensive furniture, carpets, and other furnishings.
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Here are some ways to bring back the veranda:

  • Design homes with verandas. When designing new homes, architects should consider including verandas. Verandas can be used as a place to relax, socialize, and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Renovate existing homes with verandas. If you live in a home with a veranda, consider renovating it to make it more usable. You can add new furniture, plants, and decorations to make the veranda a more inviting space.
  • Encourage your neighbors to build verandas. When your neighbors build verandas, it creates a more welcoming environment for everyone. Talk to your neighbors about the benefits of verandas and encourage them to build one.

By bringing back the veranda, we can create more livable and connected communities.

There are a number of reasons why verandahs are vanishing from present houses.

  • Cost: Verandahs can be expensive to build and maintain. They require additional materials, such as lumber and roofing, and they must be regularly cleaned and painted.
  • Space: Verandahs can take up valuable space on a lot. In today’s crowded housing market, many people are looking for houses with the most possible living space, and a verandah can be seen as a luxury that can be sacrificed.
  • Style: Verandahs are often seen as old-fashioned or outdated. Many people prefer the sleek, modern look of a house without a verandah.
  • Climate: Verandahs are not as useful in some climates as they are in others. In cold climates, they can be cold and uncomfortable in the winter, and in hot climates, they can be hot and humid.

Despite these factors, there are still some people who appreciate the value of a verandah. They can provide a pleasant place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, and they can add to the curb appeal of a home. If you are considering building a new house, you may want to consider including a verandah. It may be an investment that you will appreciate for years to come.

Here are some additional reasons why verandahs are vanishing from present houses:

  • Building codes: Some building codes now require that verandahs be enclosed, which can make them less attractive and less useful.
  • Insurance premiums: Homeowners insurance premiums may be higher for houses with verandahs, due to the increased risk of fire or damage from storms.
  • Security concerns: Verandahs can provide easy access for burglars, so some people choose to build them without doors or windows.

Despite these challenges, there are still many people who love the idea of having a verandah. If you are one of those people, there are a few things you can do to make it happen.

Talk to your builder: When you are planning your new home, be sure to discuss the possibility of including a verandah. Your builder may be able to work with you to find a way to include one without sacrificing too much space or cost.

  • Choose the right location: If you are able to choose the location of your verandah, be sure to pick a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and has a nice view.
  • Make it inviting: Add comfortable seating, plants, and other features to make your verandah a welcoming place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Let us try imagining a magnificent monument. Among the obvious choices are buildings with lofty columns supporting a majestic high roof with a deep set-in space, may be with some dignitaries waving at us. If we are walking in a poor village, surprisingly, there too we find hutments with pillars supporting a thatch roof, with a shaded space beneath, may be with a child playing there.

From palaces to huts, verandahs have been omnipresent around the world.

The spaces between two major activity spaces are important in good architecture, verandah being one of them connecting the inside and the outside. They complement the two, automatically becoming multifunctional spaces serving varied purposes. However, their significance goes beyond architecture, in them being possibly the only place in a building where all design factors blend – social, cultural, spatial, functional, cost effective and of course, climatic considerations.

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In our region, a south facing room with verandah is best suited to get wind and light, even while avoiding glare and direct rain. East facing verandah creates one of the best sense of entry with morning sunrays peeing through the columns. One can enjoy the setting sun in the west, doing any odd job there, with sun going low without unpleasant heat. Finally, with neither direct rain nor hot sun from the north, verandahs there are open for any idea from active to passive use.

If the interiors need to be inevitably air conditioned, verandahs can act like a buffer between inside and outside. While the human body is made to live both in open and enclosed spaces, ideally it cannot take sudden variations in temperatures, light intensities and humidity. A smoother transition from open to enclosed via a semi-open space is a comforting factor for us, which only a verandah can provide.

Despite these accolades, why are verandahs vanishing? Architects feel they predetermine the elevation; owners say they may not use this space, mostly living indoors; developers find it difficult to fit them in multi-storey buildings; they are kept empty with no objects due to security worries; and those with low budget, of course, simply avoid it. Incidentally, most of these apprehensions can be resolved.

As we learnt how to control climate, using electrical and mechanical means, the passive ideas like verandahs got ignored. We could control climate, which is now revengefully hitting us back with climate change.

Unfortunately, instead of retreating from our high energy consuming lifestyle and regretfully accepting our mistakes in controlling climate, we continue to be defensive, trying to find ways of mitigating climate change.

We need not prove that humans are mightier than nature, even if such impossibility were to be true.

Alternatively, we can try proving how humans can live with nature. Returning to verandahs could be a minuscule example of such ideology, where the rays of hope for a safer future may begin.

Threshold architectural spaces have always held deep cultural meaning to the people of India. In-between spaces are found in the midst of daily activities as courtyards, stairways, and verandas. The entrance to the house is revered by Indians of all social backgrounds. Throughout the country’s varied landscape, transitional entry spaces are flanked by distinctive front verandas that merge the street with the house.

In India, the vernacular entrance veranda emerged out of a need for outdoor space that would be cooler than the indoors. To avoid the heat, people would spend most of their day in this space. The in-between space hosted activities from early morning chores to evening lessons for children of the community. Liminal spaces in the urban environment are activated by the buzz of daily life.

Lining the street edge with a permeable thickness, the veranda mediated the public realm with the private home. Constant activity on the street would pour onto the space and vice versa. The threshold space was an activator of public activity, keeping streets alive at an arm’s length from the sheltered interiors. The sounds and smells from the constant movement of people were shared between the public and semi-public areas. Pritzker laureate B V Doshi describes verandas as “the meeting place between the sacred and profane; the house and the street”.

The mysticism of the in-between is a recurring theme in Indian philosophy. The veranda receives special attention every morning through worship and decoration, especially during festivities. The threshold was also a space to extend hospitality, one where neighbors and passers-by could stop for spontaneous conversation. The space formed an integral part of traditional houses, celebrating the culture of generosity and community. Legally, the veranda belonged to the owner of the dwelling. Socially, it was seen as an extension of the street, a public space for the community to work, gather, and gossip.

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With varying climates, the veranda took on different forms and sizes throughout the country while maintaining the same function. Typologies generally denoted the transition of the street to the house with a change in material and elevation. “The thinnai of South Indian colonies, the otla of North Indian pol residences, and the Portuguese-inspired balcao vary in ornamentation and socio-cultural influences” shares Lester Silveira of The Balcao. Verandas were profusely decorated by residents to express their cultural values.

The transitional space served as a vital bridge between private and public life. With urbanization, there has been a widening of the gap between public and private life and along with it, the disappearance of the veranda. Notions about privacy and socializing have changed over the last few generations. In parallel, new forms of habitation have emerged in cities, dictated more by economics than socio-cultural patterns.

The advent of cities and modernized forms of construction has pushed vernacular Indian architecture into history. “Local architecture takes on a more universal language and material palette, paying lesser attention to threshold spaces”, Silveira states. Apartment and house designs maximize on indoor living, leaving outdoor spaces as an afterthought. While the front veranda shrunk, large patios and balconies grew at the back of the house, offering a more private outdoor experience. In buildings where the veranda has been counterfeited, they are cut off from the street by compound walls and gates.

Technology has also fueled the gradual decline of architecture’s ability to engage with the public realm. Air-conditioners, television, and the internet have created more comfortable indoors, making outdoor living spaces redundant. Alternative architectural shading devices challenged the veranda’s ability to cool spaces. Streets are no longer filled with the chatter of pedestrians and hawkers. The noise from vehicular traffic keeps dwellings turned away from the street. Being visually cut-off, buildings are engaging lesser with the urban fabric than ever before. 

A modern rendition of the veranda is the entry foyer, a closed-off space one first walks into that is more secure for the deliveries and transactional conversations of today. Indian villages still hold onto traditional ways of life and the architecture that supports them, but cities respond to privatized lifestyles. One may occasionally find a person enjoying a newspaper in their apartment corridor or shouting to a vendor passing through the street. The bustle of interlinked spaces, however, is rare to come across. 

The loss of transition space between the private and public sphere has depleted the sense of community in shared environments. Structures that scoop out pockets for organic activity have been replaced by introverted buildings surrounded by mechanical public spaces. Architects may use the veranda as memorabilia – from a time of blurred boundaries and togetherness – but the space is devoid of its intended character. Is the charm of the veranda lost forever?

Built environments echo the cultural and practical needs of fleeting generations. While looking upon the past with nostalgia, clues to better cities and communities reveal themselves. The example of the veranda highlights architecture as more dynamic, activating spaces around it in humane scales, and around daily activity. Buildings that externally relate to each other automatically produce active in-between zones. Transition spaces can regulate the pace between busy public areas and slower dwellings, smoothly translating one into the other.

Simply bringing back the veranda cannot patch the fork between public and private life. What architects can take forward is not a transitional space, but a transitional place that can nurture community, invite lingering, and hold the character of the mystical in-between. #hydnews #khabarlive