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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Moonlight – Rhythm in Form


By Savitha Hira
Photographs: Asim S. Wadkar; Courtesy the architect


Inspired by the topography of Kot, its flora & fauna,  panoramic view of the sunrise till sunset, sound of the flowing river below... akin to a Beethoven symphony... architect Mahesh Naik orchestrates ‘Moonlight’...

It grows out of the site enhancing the grace of the surrounding nature. Architect Mahesh Naik’s ‘Moonlight’ - the farmhouse in Kot, Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, sees him using a simple approach to designing - without defined lines of front, rear or side. The architecture of Moonlight has no beginning nor ending. The outside and inside merge seamlessly; the architecture of the site and that of the structure becomes one.

An expression of a purist model, the retreat does not allude to any particular historical style, social pattern or precondition. It stands apart for its sheer form and oneness with nature, born of locally available materials and bred on ancient construction methods. “You can call it the “revival of expressionism movement in organic manner,” says the architect.

“I believe that ‘form’ is something which is in man, which grows when man grows, and declines when man declines,” reflects Mahesh. The prelude to Moonlight was the charter of a space that was extrovert in its makeup but internalized the character of its inhabitants. A tall order that is accomplished with ease: the mood within the home keeps changing as the sun crosses from the east to west infusing the spaces with energy and dynamism. Just as dynamic is the skylight from the domed roof along with eight circular windows that represents the nav-gharah (nine planets) in the solar system.

The major axis of Moonlight is aligned in east-west direction, parallel to the valley and river below so that each room gets a panoramic view of the sunrise till sunset. Planning is open, symmetric and based on a combination of square and circular grids, making it functionally efficient. The house consists of an entrance veranda opening into a massive hall leading to a veranda on both sides - one towards the valley, with access to the swimming pool below and the other into the arena towards the water fountain. Bedrooms are designed with brick-vault and provide a cosy cave feeling with views on both sides. Bathrooms and kitchen are circular in form and advantaged with plumbing, as pipes here have few right angle turns, maintaining uniformity in water pressure throughout. A skylight domed roof provides a natural setting for a circular library cum meditation space at the mezzanine level, where balcony projections from wooden railway sleeper deck wood present panoramic views of the scenic surrounds.  


The home responds bucolically to the climatic conditions as strategically placed huge openings cater to fast air change. While prevailing breeze passes through the swimming pool and water-fountain keeping the surrounding temperature comparatively cool, the huge scale of spaces creates air mass and consequently acts as thermal insulation. Concrete shell roof over mezzanine floor cantilevers more than six meters (20ft) on either side to provide ample shade on the veranda, shielding the home from severe monsoon rains and hot afternoon sunrays. Privacy from outsiders is ensured as the concrete shell roof tapers down towards the entrance on the east and west sides.

Drawing its spirit from its honest use of natural local materials, Moonlight has a raw, rustic and monumental character born out of Black Basalt, red bricks, concrete and wood complemented by a wild and natural landscape.



And the architect has his final word, “Except for the initial conceptual layout plan and elevations, I prefer not to make any further detailed drawings; this facilitates work on-site with curiosity  and anticipation... growing and changing as per the site.”

13 comments :

  1. The exterior is so amazingly done. Must be so much fun living here. And much more fun creating this structure.

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  2. Hey superb exterior i love at in first look awesome i really like this please keep posting more posts like this

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  3. Beautiful curves & forms in this design...great architecture...so curvaceous yet strong...

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  4. Loved everything about it.
    Dnyaneshwari

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  5. Blog on Moonlight-Rhythm in Form is well written and well presented.
    thank you very much to support such work.
    with regards
    architectmaheshnaik

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  6. I am reminded of what Frank Lloyd Wright said when he was asked, What do you think of Mies' directive, Less is More?
    Wright replied, Less IS more, more or less. So, do I agree that organic architecture almost always has good answers to all our problems? Yes, more or less.

    Robert Brown Butler, author of Architecture Laid Bare!
    Posted by Robert Butler on linkedin Group: Residential Renovation Design Group.

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  7. Really cool. Unfortunately, in places like Montreal, you couldn't get a building permit for it. ..I can see this in venues like Costa Rica, Belize or California where there are less design constaints..
    Posted by andre ewert on LinkedIn Group: Residential Renovation Design Group

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  8. Le Corbusier did build organic shapes. Check out the image of this church in France.. http://www.wayfaring.info/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/26033027.jpg
    Posted by andre ewert on LinkedIn Group: Residential Renovation Design Group

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  9. Andre, you get points for finding that one. Based on your comment about having less restrictions I'm guessing you don't work here in California.
    As to the original question: organic (in form) architecture is typically more expensive to construct than planar building shapes. I don't think organic architecture answers all our problems, especially affordability. Robert is familiar with Wright's work in hexagons. If hexagons are defined as organic rather than geometric the hypothesis has more merit.
    Posted by Scott Cunningham on LinkedIn Group: Residential Renovation Design Group in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Would you agree that organic architecture almost always has good answers to all our problems?

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  10. Yes I have seen a number of Wright's "hex homes" and am familiar with them; but while they are elegant, gorgeous, very hexy (sorry, I couldn't resist) and reveal how profoundly artistic and ingenious Wright was as an architect, they don't ALWAYS have good answers to ALL our problems. While "elegant" and "practical" are superlative traits, they do not always coexist well —like putting catsup on lobster thermador.
    Posted by Robert Butler on LinkedIn Group: Residential Renovation Design Group in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Would you agree that organic architecture almost always has good answers to all our problems?

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  11. Interesting forms that architect Mahesh Naik created in this Indian hillside home. Although the statement: "An expression of a purist model, the retreat does not allude to any particular historical style, social pattern or precondition." is a blantan falsehood, as American architect and teacher, Louis Kahn, created these forms in India half a century ago, in his capital complex. It is still a fine example of residentially inspired classic Kahn forms.
    Posted by John Tregidga on LinkedIn Group: Residential Renovation Design Group in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Would you agree that organic architecture almost always has good answers to all our problems?

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  12. I do not see much 'organic' architectural design. I see high tech machine driven design that uses convoluted scultural shapes to push the limits of materials to then house some building functions. Am I alone in this view?
    Posted by Garry Baker on LinkedIn Group: Residential Renovation Design Group in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Would you agree that organic architecture almost always has good answers to all our problems?

    ReplyDelete

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