Indian Architecture: 10 Striking Rural Residences

Blending vernacular and modern techniques and styles, these projects showcase brilliant designs across India’s vast countryside.

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

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India’s architecture has evolved over millennia. Renowned worldwide for hundreds of ancient temples and shrines, including the Taj Mahal, India also boasts impressive modern works. From Charles Correa’s Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya to Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh City, India holds a history of multiculturalist design and monumental projects. But the country is also home to incredible residential designs, private projects that are made with intimate scales around everyday life.

Exploring India’s residential designs, the following collection looks at rural retreats across the country. Blending vernacular and modern techniques and styles, these projects showcase diverse spatial and formal approaches. Emerging from India’s landscape while integrating with it, these novel projects embrace their surroundings. Oriented to views, waterways and prevailing winds, these homes showcase some of the best residential design in India.

Tomoe Villas by Note Design, Alibag, India

Completed as a luxury villa in Alibag, this residence blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior space. Formed with a spiral geometry, the project was based on a typical Indian courtyard house.

The house cast in liquid stone by SPASM Design Architects, Khopoli, India

Created on a rocky outcrop in Maharashtra, this project was designed around basalt rock to recall the local site and region. The house’s concrete was mixed with basalt, water and cement, while the building was conceived as a refuge from the surrounding climatic conditions.

House on a Stream by Architecture BRIO, Mumbai, India

Designed as a retreat in Alibag, this home opens up to its surroundings while resting atop a stream. The project was made as two parts separated by a bridge, each reaching out into the landscape to capture views and embrace the site’s natural elements.

The Riparian House by Architecture BRIO, Karjat, India

Sited at the foothills of the Western Ghats, this house looks out to the Irshalgad hill fortress and river landscape. Built with a vegetated roof that merges with its surroundings, the residence includes a sky courtyard and stone boulder walls.

The Running Wall Residence by LIJO RENY ARCHITECTS, Alleppey, India

Made with exposed laterite stone and plaster, the Running Wall Residence’s exterior wall surrounds the building as a flowing sculpture in the landscape. Inside, the project includes hidden courts, a glass bridge, badminton court, pool and living quarters.

DIYA by SPASM Design Architects, Ahmedabad, India

DIYA was made as a family home that preserves its surrounding environment. Weaved around 248 trees and built with hand-dug foundations to protect roots, the residence embraces vistas and the open sky with courtyards and interconnected spaces.

Hornbill House by Biome Environmental, Tamilnadu, India

The Hornbill House was created on a coffee and tea plantation in the Nilgiris Mountains. Surrounded by forests and spectacular views, the project is sited on an old drying yard at the edge of a waterfall. Each room was laid out to capture views while the structure’s soaring roof was made to invoke a sense of flight.

House by the Ganges by Rajiv saini + associates, Delhi, India

House by the Ganges was designed as an integrated living environment within the landscape. A series of concrete walls partition the project while expansive glazing opens up to dramatic views.

House with Balls by Matharoo Associates, Ahmedabad, India

Matharoo’s house is located 20 minutes outside Ahmedabad city as a place to breed fish. The weekend retreat features a number of holding tanks and top-hung metal shutters held by handmade concrete baubles.

The Cliff House by Khosla Associates, Chowara, India

Located in a fishing village 30 minutes from Thiruvananthapuram, the Cliff House is perched above the Arabian Sea coast. Built with an asymmetrical sloping roof and skewed 150-foot-long sheer concrete wall, the house focuses on the natural environment.

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