In association with: TheBusride Design Studio

The clients owned a corner plot in a small housing scheme near Tungarli, Lonavala. The house was their retirement plan.  And although the plot was isolated (for retirement) from the rest of the housing scheme it happened to be fifty metres from the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The client was ambiguous about the presence of the expressway. On the one hand there was the constant noise of fast moving vehicles and on the other stunning views of the mountains just beyond. We thought this ambiguity was a design challenge. We decided to nestle the house as low as possible within the site and create landscaped barriers on either side to cut down the noise. As a result, the ground floor didn’t require any walls and opened up to the landscape around. Except for the corner windows, the first floor was mostly walled up on the side of the expressway.

As it turned out the building presented itself as a simple cubic volume placed within the landscape. It sat on a heavy plinth with gardens spiraling up along its sides. However, its surfaces were transparent with the building revealing much of its interiors from the outside. The site also contained beautiful rock outcrops which were incorporated into the house plan as open-to-sky courtyards. This created the complexity in plan, and ensured a dynamic experience within the house with spaces flowing into each other. The house remains unbuilt.

Preliminary sketches

Ground floor plan


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