Type: Private Residence Location: Coonoor, Tamilnadu, INDIA Year: 2016 Area: 3500 Sq.ft. Budget: 1.1 Crore Rupees The site sits on a hill slope between two adjoining roads sandwiching it. The plot is divided into two. One that is built serves as a private residence and the second to serve as a guesthouse/homestay for the future. The private residence is accessed from the road on top while the guesthouse is accessed from the road at the bottom. To retain the nature of the sloping site and to play with it there is least possible cut and fill between two plots.
As soon as one enters the car park from the access road above on the east, a series of landscaped steps go down to lead to the main door. The plan is programmed to act as two volumes, one for the living spaces, bedrooms, toilets etc. and the other volume housing the service areas like the kitchen, dining and utility. The two volumes are bridged together by a third transparent volume that both acts to provide enclosure and also opens up the interior into the exterior. While looking outside from this space one will be able to perceive the moving clouds /rain/sun as though it is moving through the house.
The top level of the residence has the living room, kitchen, dining, master bedroom and toilets. All of the spaces are oriented and open towards the valley on the west while the other side of the building is visually blocked from the access road by blank walls comparable to the human head that looks towards the valley while one cannot know what it looks at from behind. The living room and the master bedroom open up into a large balcony/deck. All the living, the services and the transparent volume that connects it open towards the west that brings in an ample and ever changing drama of evening light into the house.
The main living room at the top level has an east oriented curved roof with a skylight that brings in the morning sunlight into the space while also enclosing the passage to the terrace above. The roof of the dining curves in opposite direction to the living area roof to depict the volumetric play that happens between two hills. This is evidently seen from the section of the building and from the terrace.
The bottom level has a family room, two bedrooms with toilets and a sit out space that opens to the garden outside. The difference in levels between the spaces is perceived through the visual connection that is established from the cutouts in the floor plates while the physical connection is made through the main staircase.
The windows are conceived as an ever changing portrait of the landscape from the inside. The central idea of framing the views of the landscape through architectural articulation is seen through all the spaces.
The existing trees at the site are embedded into and form the essential members of the design starting right from the entry till reaching the garden at the lowest point of the site. The bottom floor is differentiated in colour on the exterior to give an effect of the upper volume floating over the landscape.
The residence sits in mediation between the modern contrasts that it poses with the region while embracing the natural elements of the landscape.