”When a client gives you a brief that is more like a carte blanche to un-build rather than actually build, what will you actually do?
When the site is a pristine almost untouched piece of contoured land;
Where experiences of unfettered landscape becomes the focus, rather than the built form… a change from the concrete density of the city allowing you to ‘Do something that you’ve never done before…’
Villa 19 is a design attempt to closely integrate architecture into the existing natural setting, or rather to create ‘architecture as landscape’. It is a part of a community which consists of 31 independent villas and a club-house as a gated weekend retreat, housed on a 10 acre plot in Lonavla. The master planning of the site has been dictated by the contours.
External cladding done using slatted natural stone blends with the mountain backdrop. The natural rock excavated from site is reused as a construction material and a landscape feature; likewise the existing mango trees have been built around; in keeping with the brief of retaining the natural elements existing on site. Using the naturally available materials’ on site - that is the stone and trees; with minimal intervention in the natural topography of the site and harnessing the existing energy resources; i.e. the light, natural ventilation and the water that flows through the site has been the shifting goal of the project. In terms of technology, the constructions methods have been on par with the latest available in the region.
Villa 19# is located on the highest contour of the site. The entry to the villa is from the lowest level, thereby slowly unveiling the spaces as one transpires in. It leads to a double height sky-lit lobby. The design blurs the lines between the interior and the exterior spaces. It’s a 3-storey villa including a basement (as a result of the contour); spread over ½ an acre. 4 large bedrooms & the living room overlook the poolside garden. Large span windows allow views of the surrounding from the first floor. On the ground floor the windows simply slide way to include the poolside deck and garden as an extension of the living area. A waterfall silently spills from the edge of the pool along the staircase directing to the entry point again. A wooden deck and the pool side here connect to the private garden.
Typology | Residential
Site Area | 2020.571 SQ.MT.
Built Up Area | 701.827 SQ.MT.
The design process was an attempt to strike balance between the existing topography and creating an architecture that went in tandem with it.
• Maintaining contours in the master plan. Using the levels to achieve privacy. Blurring boundaries between the Inside and outside. “Inside is Outside is Inside”.
• Using sleek window profiles for large vision panels; thereby facilitating natural ventilation.
• Introducing skylight in the double height connecting spaces. Creating ambient lighting at different times reducing the dependency on artificial means.
• Shifting Sunshade panels as weather protection.
• Large covered decks. Infinity pool to aerate the water.
• State-of-art elevators, integrated mechanical services.
• Basement Recreation zone created as a result of topography and natural contours of the site.
• Use of acoustic and insulation panels hence creating a ambient micro-climate inside.
Soyuz Talib, Kavita Parwani Talib, Vikrant Patil