villa aaranyak

a weekend retreat @ rajkot

A weekend home on the edge of a dry riverbed that is meant for relaxation and rejuvenation for the family. To relax here, is to be with nature and this is the point that is guiding whole building. Conceptually the building is a shelter that is open to nature around and itself made with natural materials. A house with the nature, made from the nature and for those who love nature!

The entrance view of building has solid two story random rubble stone wall which anchors the building with earth. One enters in site in narrow  front yard, walks across the landscape design on one side of building and slowly climbs to entrance foyer. When the main door is opened, one gets full view of riverbed and garden across the ground floor space.

The ground floor is conceived as a single large space functioning as living, dinning, kitchen and bedroom space; without any partitions in-between. Whole ground floor opens up towards river bed side by full height bi-fold glass shutters. The upper floor which is accessed through an outdoor spiral stair has one bedroom space and two levels of terraces that can be used for multiple purposes from watching sunset to having a party.

In front of living room of this weekend house there is large open porch. This porch and green lawn which is directly accessible from dining and bedroom, directly connects house with garden and where most gatherings takes place. Soft paving of lawn has been selected in front of dinning and bedroom, so as to gentle the indirect sunlight and reduce heating of floor.To enhance this openness of space cast-insitu terrazzo flooring is used in flooring so that there are least joints. Terrazzo beds runs across the width of space and glass strip joints are only unidirectional.

The effort was to explore each and every material in a way that every element has its own importance and yet it is in order of the holistic idea of the building. The whole material palette is of natural materials which last forever. The project is done with hands-on approach. Rather than buying readymade things from showrooms, every small thing went into prolong process of finding right materials, finding skilled craftsmen and applying right techniques. Site itself became the drafting table and discussion table, craftsmen became deeply involved part of detailing and designing.

“ to create a wholistic experience of living side by side with nature by completely opening one side of building towards riverbed and by implementing materials and techniques in their natural behavior ”

photographs: Henish Patel

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” This house is named Villa Aaranyak, Aaranyak means ‘in the woods’. True to its name, the idea behind making this house was to create a serene environment in lapse of nature. As nature is the primary element it is deliberately taken care of that sun, wind, rain, sky and greenery remains much more important than building itself. The architecture had to be just a connecting dot between people and nature. Spaces of the building and making of the building both had to respect nature.

The boundary between building and garden becomes so much diluted that house almost becomes a landscape in itself… inside and outside merges into each other…”

Extensive process of exploring materials and applying right techniques: Making of Villa Aaranyak

With Nature: Villa Aaranyak project published in Inside Outside Magazine, November 2015 Issue

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