Context and design
The architects were well aware of the challenges offered by the terrain and
design evolved around these questions on: “how to place the building here
without creating chaos and how to essentially connect the building, the
reservoir, and the landscape?”
“Our primary design focus was to utilise the maximum potential of the site
with minimal alterations to the sloping terrain with a sustainable approach
along with securing the unobstructed beautiful mountainscape from all the
levels.” Says Ar. Sebastian, our principal architect. “Thus, the design was
further developed as staggered blocks placed in multiple levels, anchored to
the ground by a central wall.”
Site and the terrain
The conscious decision to design with
minimum distortion to the site
meant the house would need to be
spread out along numerous levels. Thus, multiple planes were added along the
sloping terrain, and the split levels developed in turn helped in delivering
adequate head rooms for these successive floors.
Approach and Landscape
To retain the original landscape in its raw state, a curved driveway that
gradually ascends the slope was proposed along the terrain. The lush green
lawn, along with the grey and white stone paved driveway, effortlessly
transition into a beautiful garden. With over eighty newly planted trees like
mangos, jackfruits, and plantains and a separate vegetable garden
accompanied by a viridescent vast lawn, the design attempts to reconnect with
Massing: the public, the private and the nature corridor.
Set in the highest contour of the site, and gradually diverging down along the
slopes, the structure was visualized as cubes floating along the terrain, gently
embracing it. The design further developed around the two larger volumes,
each for public and private spaces, and a relatively smaller volume in between,
demarcating the semi-private areas within the design.
The public block is occupied by the drawing-room on one side and the private
block occupied by the family room and bedrooms on the other, are bridged
together by the semi-private block comprising the stairway and dining space.
With a central wall on one side and openings that span in height and width of
walls on opposite sides, this semi-private area acts as a nature corridor,
connecting the front yard with the backyard channelling in the fresh air.
The design ‘element’
This rust-coloured central wall placed
along the edge of the semi-private
spaces becomes a cardinal feature of the
house. Along with neatly dividing these
spaces, this wall brings in an element of
drama for the otherwise subtle interiors.
It stands out as a prominent design
feature throughout the monotonous
exterior. Extending laterally into the
house throughout its length, the wall not
only acts as an aesthetic feature but also
as a visual barrier extending vertically
The large wooden entrance door opens out into a long corridor that runs
parallel to the central wall extending from the entrance foyer to the kitchen.
The enclosure within
In between the formal and informal
living areas, the linear C-shaped open
space behind the central wall has a large
pool neatly tucked away from the public
eyes. It is perceived as an exclusive
leisure spot where none of the daily
household activities would interfere and
thus, locating it into the basement level.
The two double-height walls extending
along with the pool, besides creating a
sense of enclosure, softly assimilate the
exterior landscape into the designed environment.
Material and colour palette
The whole house sneaks in a subtle charm caressed with a verdant hue. The
thought to bring in nature, eliminating the inner clutter by avoiding the
unwanted need for heavily ornamented interiors, helped us derive the neutral
interior palette. In mere words, the idea was to keep it simple, avoiding chaos.
Though the palette is kept very light, the rust-coloured central wall against the
pale tones dictates the atmosphere of the living room. The furniture is kept
functional and minimalistic. The natural light and fresh breeze that are swept
in through the large sliding windows equally reign the warmth offered within
the room. Placed throughout the house, these openings are designed to be
larger, with glazed sliding doors to bring in ambient light, ample air, and the
Adjoining the living space, the tiny
water body laid out in black ceramic
tiles is designed to retrieve a piece of
the outdoor inside. The soothing
sunlight seeping in through the
pergolas, the play of light and
shadows brings in a sense of
dynamics to the space.
Dining, kitchen and stairway
The double-height dining area further
opens into a cozy patio overlooking
the backyard and the opposite wall
with large windows frames in the
serene mountain view. These openings ensure maximum natural light and
proper ventilation into the dining area. Positioned right next to the dining
space, the island kitchen with a breakfast counter in white coloured porcelain
tiles is proposed in harmony with pure white cabinets in place.
Sprung out on multiple levels, the 5-bedroom house is designed with an array
of staircases connecting each of them. Placed against an entrancing backdrop,
the network of steel fabricated staircases explicitly engages with the doubleheight void bringing in an air of grandeur to the room.
Each flight of stairs leads to a significant level on a particular floor, which
directly links to each of the rooms. This was done to avoid unnecessary
climbing, making it easier to ascend these levels
Each bedroom has been designed with minimal furniture and large sliding
windows. The master bedroom opens out into a balcony with a view to the
pool beneath and a verdant landscape outside. The wide openings running
throughout the length of the wall keeps the rooms well-lit and ventilated.
With minimum light points
ensuring efficient lighting, the cot
is placed in the centre of the
room, facing the wall-mounted
with an exquisite set of paintings.
A pair of deep red upholstered
chairs placed along with these
paintings adds contrast to the
monotonous interior palette of
The built - unbuilt
The stone-cladded façade, deep balconies, multiple levels, the wide openings,
flat roofs, terrace gardens, the neutral palette, along with the serene
landscape creates a calm and soothing vibe radiating from every corner of the
house. We believe this architecture vocabulary evolved and maintained
throughout the design truly adheres to the context-specific approach: to build
along the terrain.