Majgaon is a village located just off the main road to Ambavane (famous for the Sahara Aamby Valley project) near Lonavala, district Pune. The village contains a maximum of forty houses and a village well providing a secluded, picturesque setting for retreat. The site chosen is located in-between a heavily wooded hillock and a deep ravine and becomes completely activated in the monsoon months with gushing waters from the hills flowing through the site and into the ravine. As a result, the site is highly undulated with low bushes as vegetation and only a few trees still donning the crests. It was this barrenness that first struck us as beautiful.

The barrenness was beautiful

We were part-clients for this project and designs for the farm houses were drawn for five families including us. At the onset of the project, one family (on the corner plot) opted out from any construction since the monsoon waters flooded almost their entire site. They offered it as a pool and recreation area for the rest of us. As a direct reaction to this, we began the project with a detailed mapping of water movement within the site. This gave us a few tentative locations for the farm houses.

The houses themselves were modestly sized since these were primarily farmlands, so the size of each farm house had to be restricted to below 600 sq ft. Each farm house consists of two cuboidal volumes of approximately 250 sq ft each that are oriented to frame specific views based on the clients requests. They have an open-plan layout within. However, the main feature of these tiny farm houses was the free standing walls that extended beyond their confines. The walls became the landscape plan for the site. There were no attempts made to tame or manicure the wilderness. The site was left barren. The walls created personable space in proximity to the houses. They contained spaces within their thickness and became usable, occupy-able areas in an otherwise untouched landscape.

Walled extensions as Landscape plan

Site Plan

House 1

House 2

House 3

House 4

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