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The Cove House by Red Brick Studio benefits from hilly slope and captures picturesque views in India
India Architecture News - Aug 18, 2021 - 12:13 4168 views
Pune-based architecture practice Red Brick Studio has designed a weekend home nestled in a site swaddled by the mountains of the Western Ghats in Pune, India, benefitting from a hilly terrain and capturing picturesque views with its curved-profile roof.
Named The Cove House, the 170-square-metre building was designed for a client who wants to live in a building allowing him to escape from the hustle of the city life.
While creating a silent shelter for him, the builidng would provide him an opportunity to soak in the picturesque views of the backwaters of the Panshet Dam the site overlooked.
To build this project, the architects faced with a limitation of a tight constructible area, on the other hand the client also wished to have open spaces which could be integrated with the house to be able to host a larger gathering of friends and family.
After the team saw the site and its surrounds, the architects intended to create a built-form which would try and blend in rather than stand out.
Instead of typically creating the flat part for construction, the architects proposed to set the house beyond this zone and used the natural topography of the site to tuck away majority of the house from the view at the entrance.
The studio embedded a large part of the house into the ground covered by a single mono-roof with an inverted curved profile spanning across the length of the house.
This roof is separated from the built mass by a continuous clearstory window on all sides. Placed strategically at the level at which one enters at the site, the clearstory allows the viewer to look through the house and catch glimpses of the valley across it.
"The reason we believe the project is unique is because it primarily breaks the notion of how a house is typically expected to be. It attempts to be more of a non-building, much in contrast to the conventional ways of looking at architecture," said Red Brick Studio.
"Also, it aims to respond to the rich site and surrounds it is nestled within, with a lot of sensitivity. It allows for the client to take advantage of the location but at no point does it interfere with the larger environmental fabric around it," the studio added.
The entrance of the house is discreet and is accessed through a series of steps in a courtyard build in a natural setting with vegetation and boulders found on the site itself. It leads to the heart of the house which is the open and spacious living area, flanked by bedrooms and kitchen on its sides.
In order to achieve the requirements of the client, the design team designed a custom-made entrance door. These were built in folded metal sheets, so as to cover the entire length of the living room (30’ or 10m) and when slid open, the panels disappear in the cavity walls; seamlessly blending the inside and outside of the house. On the other side, the living room as flanked by a large deck which allows one to soak in the views of the backwaters and the valley around.
For material approach, the studio used local and natural materials to ensure that the aging on the house is beautiful and helps it blend in.
While externally the entire house is finished in grit finished plaster, they also used a deep red pigment which allows the house to match the tonality of the natural terrain of the region.
"The coarse finish also allows for very good weather resistance to the extreme seasons of rain and summer in the region. Internally, all walls are finished in a combination of white and colored polished oxide," added the firm.
The most innovative part of the house is the structure, according to the studio. For example, the approximately 70' long (25-metre) ferro-cement roof is constructed in a structural thickness of 50mm only, making it a very cost effective and sustainable alternative to the conventional RCC (reinforced concrete) technology.
The roof's inverted shape also allows it to harvest the rain water which is further channeled and stored in a series of water bodies, allowing water to be available for irrigation in the drier months.
Project name: The Cove House
Architects: Red Brick Studio
Location: Pune, India
All images © Hemant Patil
All drawings © Red Brick Studio
> via Red Brick Studio