Architects: Studio Mumbai
Location: Nandgaon, Maharashtra, India
Principal Architect: Bijoy Jain
Project Team: Jeevaram Sutar, Roy Katz, Mangesh Mhatre, Samuel Barclay
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Helene Binet
Located outside of Mumbai on the Arabian Sea, Palmyra House was built as a refuge from the bustle of the busy city. The 3000 sq ft. house consists of two wooden louvered structures set inside of a functioning coconut plantation. Anchored to stone platforms, the structures overlook a network of wells and aqueducts that weave the site into an inhabitable whole. Living room, study and master bedroom are contained in the north volume, while the south volume contains the kitchen, dining, and guest bedrooms. Set in the plaza between the buildings, the pool provides a channel for swimming, with expansive views of the sea to the west and views into a dense foliage of palms to the east.
Structural framing for the house was built of ain wood, a local hardwood, and was constructed using traditional interlocking joinery. The extensive louvres were handcrafted from the outer part of the palmyra trunk (a local palm species). Exteriors are detailed with hand-worked copper flashing and standing seam aluminum roofs; interior surfaces are finished with teakwood and India Patent Stone, a refined pigmented plaster. Locally quarried black basalt was used to construct the stone plinths, aqueduct walls and pool plaza.