Transitional Architecture: Regency Style Meets India in Bill Baker's Lotus House
Houses should be a reflection of the interests or background of their owners. In this case the owners had deep roots in India. In choosing Regency-style architecture, the family was able to create a house connecting stylistically with the architecture of the Raj in India and also to architecture found in Georgia. In fact, both regions have histories of this style of architecture dating back to the 1830s. This sophisticated house with its white painted brick with limestone accents would appear appropriate in either India or Georgia.
Furthermore, the family was most generous to share their new home with the community by allowing the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to use their house as the 2011 Decorator Show House. As such, the home was decorated by 29 of the country’s top designers, who embraced the house’s Indian theme in the most creative ways. Look carefully at the interiors and one can see elements of Indian design in many of the rooms, whether in the fabrics, furnishings, or architecture of the space.
The house is built around an interior garden courtyard with a lotus pond. This sunlit space is visible through steel casement doors from both the living and family rooms and serves as the heart of the home. Of special note is the family’s meditation room, called a Pooja room, which serves the family during its private devotion time.
To address the entertaining needs of the family, the house is designed for large groups of family and friends throughout the year. A variety of spaces were designed to create unique and special environments for these entertainments. On the first floor, the enclosed garden with its lotus pond provides a quiet retreat in the core of the house. Its steel casement doors open to the principal entertainment areas, giving good flow from room to room. On the lower level are the bar and recreation rooms, which open onto the covered open air porch for outside dining.
This porch has a fireplace to warm the guests on cooler nights. But perhaps the most popular space is roof top terrace, which can be reached by either a private elevator or by a winding stair. This roof terrace was reinforced with steel in anticipation of a large gathering of friends.
The seating around its fireplace is the perfect place to sit at night to enjoy a glass of wine and gaze up at the night sky. The view of the stars is one of the best in Atlanta as the house sits atop one of the highest points in the city and is located far enough from the glow of urban lights that the stars can be seen clearly.