A serene lake fed by incessant rain transforms into a shimmering stream within a deep valley. A site abutting this lake, surrounded by mesmerising flora and fauna offers an immersive experience in the real world at Sakleshpur, Karnataka. A setting apt for a vaulting performance where one could dine and wine to tranquillity.
An organically evolved, homestay has transformed into a resort on a 10-acre property which called for a dining space above an existing stream. Capable of serving up to 50 guests, this dining space constitutes a square deck with a hovering roof covering two-third of the floor area, weaving and integrating seamlessly into the landscape by retaining the existing landform and flora. The open deck overlooks the lake on the west and a rear deck connects the structure to the existing services on the north eastern sides. Beneath the deck is an unusual, informal space for exploration and engagement with nature.
Two independent structural systems were identified, relieving the base floor plate from the roof thereby making each system efficient and cost effective. A forest of thin columns in recycled steel visually merging with the existing trees supports a deck slab in 32 mm thick locally available granite. A 150 mm thick doubly curved timbrel vault roof (no reinforcing steel) in 5 layers of 15 mm thick ribbed clay tiles, spanning 16.5 m springs independently from four corners over RCC pedestals negating a challenging terrain and creating a sense of floatation, enabling a column-free interior layout, allowing flexibility in furniture arrangements. The minimal form work in steel employed in the vault construction is repurposed in to furniture, railing and other components of the structure.
Built hands-on with the locals, this catenary based doubly curved thin tile vault in axial compression reflects on the principles of ‘resistance through form’. Inspired by nature, its geometry and forces, this dining space connects the inside to outside seamlessly which eventually merges and becomes one with it.