Architects: Studio Mumbai
Location: Belavali, Maharashtra, India
Principal Architect: Bijoy Jain
Project Team: Jeevaram Suthar, Punamchand Suthar, Bhasker Raut
Structural Engineer: Shishir Kulkarni
Photographers: Helene Binet, Studio Mumbai
Belavali house occupies a five-acre rice plantation in the district of Alibaug. Conceived as a pavilion in the garden, the house is positioned between the forest to the east and the terraced rice fields to the west. The house is anchored to a series of undulating stone walls, carefully positioned to mediate the landscape. The functions of the house are carefully organized responding to the levels of the terraced paddy.
Floor and walls are rendered seamlessly in pigmented cement plaster and the basic steel structure supports a single roof plane. Masonry walls, glass, wood and timber louvers form the enclosure of the house. The operable facades adjust to changing weather conditions, framing views of the surrounding garden and distant mountains. Farm-like buildings set aside of the main structure, house additional living and sleeping spaces for the extended family and guests.
Each building footprint has been minimized to maintain the agricultural landscape. Large stone decks made from reclaimed stone have been created to provide space for inhabitation in an open agrarian landscape. The walkways and walls that once were used to traverse the fields have been reconstructed and added to and integrate the natural and built environments.