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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The house on the hill

Text: Courtesy Studio PKA
Photography: Amit Pasricha; courtesy Studio PKA
Read Time: 3 mins
"five elements house studio PKA indiaartndesign"
5 Element House (inset) Ar. Puran Kumar

Very few architects have a way with walls. The way they chisel the built form speaks volumes for the spaces carved, the human interaction with them and the surrounds. The 5 Element House by Studio PKA is one such abode…

Nestled amid the lush landscape of the Sahayadri mountains and overlooking the man-made marvel of Pawana Lake in Maharashtra, India, stands this beautifully segmented home that is strategically planned as separate zones – living, kids’, master zone, guest zone… 

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"entrance five elements house studio PKA indiaartndesign"
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The footprint ensures that the site is altered to a bare minimum. Each zone spills out into an informal space - the aangan (a small courtyard), the pool, the lily pond – that ensures the continuity and flow of spaces from the interior to the exterior. A divide between the guest block and the living block acts as a magnet and constitutes the true entrance to the house – enticing and pulling the user in, towards the view of the lake and the range – bringing forth an element of surprise in the form of the silhouette that is the house itself.

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"living area five elements house studio PKA indiaartndesign"
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The living area acts as the fulcrum of the house, asserting itself as the warm, welcoming haven, while the remaining three zones provide privacy, and are reserved to retreat to at night. Nestled between the double storeyed M-block and the low-height K-Block, the aangan is envisioned as an informal yet deeply personal space for the family of four – a place for quiet contemplation as well as invigorating conversations, bringing the residents together.

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"staircase five elements house studio PKA indiaartndesign"
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The very form of the design tries to embrace the landscape, creating multiple vantage points from within - making it easy to forget where the house ends, and the outside begins. The house continues to respond, adapt and live in harmony with the elements as spaces develop and narrate their own story over time – as the seasons change - in sync with the natural environment.

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"view from the master bedroom five elements house studio PKA indiaartndesign"
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A simple and earthy palette of materials and tones – limestone (Shahabad & Kadappa), sandstone, slate, teak wood, terracotta tiles, exposed brick, cement plaster, mild steel - complement and respect the site and its surroundings. The unbuilt open spaces act as natural extensions that exist as distinct entities which seamlessly merge to convey the duality of space.  As the extensions branch out in the form of bridges, the disparate blocks come together, effectively eliminating the sense of distance one would expect to feel in a space of this scale.  

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And the showstopper is - an edgeless cantilevered swimming pool, that breaks forth and juts out towards the crystalline lake, an invitation for the water body to enter the house; a vast pervasive expanse yet seemingly only a stone’s throw away.  As a direct response to the site – the altitude and the prevailing climatic conditions – currents of wind can flow through the numerous openings and are directed along the two main axes of the site – from the aangan to the entrance and from the pool to lily pond.

The house on top of the hill, reminiscent of the forts in the horizon, revels in its ability to become one with the land and is a pure reflection of the realm that surrounds it.

Fact File:
Project name: 5 Element House
Architect’s Firm: Studio PKA
Principal Architect: Puran Kumar 
Design team: Preethi Krishnan, Sonali Nimbalkar, Revina Soni
Gross Area: 10,000 sq. ft.
Location: Pavana, Maharashtra, India


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