The client’s brief was rather precise: to create a fairytale.

A 4000sqm compound has been turned into an interior world consisting of 3 houses, pool with pavilion, small forest, rock – tropical - and suspended gardens, sunken garden around a deep well, outdoor bathrooms, savanna and water-tank all of it assembled to provide views on the nearby holy mountain and yet creating privacy in its different indoor and outdoor spaces. Sloping roof-gardens provide natural connectivity from the living quarters on the first floors down to the common spaces on the ground-floor and the visitor discovers a new space or a new vista around every corner.

The buildings draw on traditional construction technique combined with large Roof-overhangs and high thermal mass thus ensuring cool interiors in the very hot climate of the south Indian countryside. All architectural and interior elements are custom designed and manufactured by local craftsmen whereas the infrastructural elements rely on technology to ensure environmental sustainability.

Technical features:
- 90-35cm thick load bearing brickwork structure = high thermal mass
- 60cm thick soil fill for roof-gardens to shade the mass below and minimize storm-water-run-off
- ground-floor rooms surrounded by internal and external water-channels respectively to ward of insects
- lime/mud plaster for improved humidity control
- black-cement-oxide flooring, hand-polished
- 10ft height louvered shutters for control of air and light made entirely from reclaimed Burma-teak
- locally crafted and hand-dressed solid granite sinks/floors
- 300 tons of locally available granite boulders to form the topography and provide niche-habitat to fauna and flora
- custom designed, locally crafted brass and steel hardware
- 100% of waste water recycled and used for irrigation
- gardens displaying a diversity of over 150 exotic and indigenous species

Source: Mancini
Image: Mancini

Project Team:

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