- Structure: Upendra Gokhale
- Concept Design: Aadil Salim, Principal, Dean D’Cruz
- Drawings And Implementation: Aadil Salim, Principal, Minnu Verghese
- Interior Design: Alice Von Baum
- City: Moira
- Country: India
Text description provided by the architects. Playfully combining nature with geometry, this residence in Goa gives a perception of living in your surroundings within the modern comforts of your home. Built as a second home for a family of four from Mumbai, ‘Freshness of Style and Comfort of Living’ were the two most important criteria.
The site runs along the slope of a hill and is naturally divided into two levels by a three meter high laterite wall running along the North South width. Other existing features included a well and a fig tree on the lower level of the Laterite Wall and a huge jackfruit tree immediately on the upper level of the Laterite Wall. The house was planned around these features, forming the core and creating a ‘split level courtyard.’
The entrance lobby visually invites you to the split level courtyard which can easily be mistaken for the outdoors as it exposes all the existing natural elements. This courtyard is physically secured by a metal cage acting like louvers in order not to visually disconnect the outdoors. The cage which brings in light and breeze is also a strong design element. The staircase and glass lift which connects the house is an integral part of this courtyard and is covered with a glass roof, exposing the trees and sky above.
Warm-Humid climates give architects an opportunity to play with both indoor and outdoor living simultaneously. The day spaces such as living and dining rooms are on the lower level opening out onto the front garden and deck on the east and to the split level courtyard on the west encouraging day light and cross ventilation.
The upper level comprises of a large wooden deck on the terrace above the lower floor and the bedroom units surrounding the jackfruit tree in the split level courtyard. All bathrooms have private secluded courtyards with planters which bring in daylight and give one a feeling of being in the tropics and ‘aesthetic appeal’. The bedrooms have louvered wooden shutters in order to bring in constant breeze even when shut.
The Lower and Upper blocks are connected through a wooden bridge. One enters the upper unit through a TV lounge which in turn guides you to the laterite steps and onto the landscaped pathway and to the various pavilions. From the decks of the bedrooms, you get unobstructed views of the paddy fields towards the east.