Step 1
Step 1: Build four walls using baked bricks and cement, punch equally spaced holes for windows. At bottom center take hole all the way to floor. Once walls have set place concrete lid above. Add steps to front door if desired. Preheat oven. © Gautam Bhatia
Step 2
Step 2: Fill holes with windows, and place rain protection above each. Support door projection on pillars and get contractor to add random horizontal lines wherever he wishes. Sleep over the horizontal lines and pillars. © Gautam Bhatia
Step 3
Step 3: Remove columns and horizontal lines and decorate windows with fresh early morning outlook of Classicism. Run plaster bands around windows; check central window for possible crown. Place balustrade above door projection. Sit back, relax, flip through European magazines. © Gautam Bhatia
Step 4
Step 4: For a moment forget comfort and practicality. Concentrate on 21st century ideals that should be stated on facade. Think Revival and Imitation. Knowing that the best things have already been done, start by building up cornices around windows in plaster. Add fake frame around door; stick traditional looking brackets under projection. Create artificial double corner to give depth to composition. Stir Spanish stucco onto surface, let simmer © Gautam Bhatia
Step 5
Step 5: Open up Dictionary of Classical Forms. Borrow studied and known elements from the past and apply them with scholarly flourish. Plaster panels, pediments, medallions, curls, ionic and floral patterns ... stick them self-consciously all over facade, keeping in mind that architecture is poetry in stone. Twirl plaster as window edging till it drips, add delicate Italian balusters to projections to resemble French balcoy. With no door leading to it, it becomes a French balcony that can't be used but don't fret. As long as it's art, it's OK. © Gautam Bhatia
Step 6
Step 6: Finally release all pent-up ideas from system. All images of building collected over years of foreign travel, bits of detail picked up from French cathedrals and Gujarati havelies, and other memories and lurking desires. Use Greek columns and capitals liberally to frame composition. Statuary may be applied according to taste. Sprinkle Indian terracotta and filigreed screens as garnishing. The final flavour should give off deep whiffs of European history emanating from a traditional Indian present. let dry for a day. Serves family of six. © Gautam Bhatia