By Anuradha K R
Photography: Ravi Kanade; courtesy the architect
A city-dwellers’ craving for a reunion with nature is quite understandable. In an effort to satiate one such craving, Ar. Rajesh Patel designs ‘Pavana Bungalow’, a 5000 sqft. getaway-home, constructed on a 3-acre farmland in Lonavala that door-delivers ‘balmy nature’ to its inmates!
Set amidst enviously serene environs, and drawing it all into its folds, Pavana Bungalow does complete justice to the role that it has set out to play, that of a weekend retreat. As the role implies inherent upkeep issues, the design gives equal weightage to this aspect as well, if not more.
With minimization of maintenance-related activities assuming importance, making the structure monsoon-proof was a priority. In line with this, a traditional hut-style ceiling has been preferred over slab roofing and becomes the signature-feature of the bungalow, structured using RCC girders and steel roof. With waterproofing ply, shuttering ply and corrugated bitumen sheets, adding up layers on the steel roof, the design counters the onslaught of monsoon from above, while sizeable (2m) cantilevered protrusions of the roof on the eastern and western fronts counter its horizontal onslaught.
Internal walls of the house negate the effects of monsoon through a lining of waterproofing material, while the external walls do so by means of cladding of the entire façade with stone, coated with cement epoxy. To prevent seepage from below, the architect has opted for slab casting of floor at all levels. Huge, west-facing windows and bitumen sheets on the roof serve to insulate the house from harsh sunrays.
The location of the plot, a vantage point that offers a breath-taking view of a huge lake on the west, guides the decision on the east-west orientation of the bungalow. Full-length windows on the western front of the living room present a seamless view of the lake, distant mountains and a sinuous mini-pool on the terrace deck. Minimalist, un-invasive design and a neutral colour palette of beige and brown serve to highlight the picturesque outdoors.