Gated community of 12 holiday homes
Located in Elagiri, spread over 2.6 acres, the terrain is rocky with several larger outcrops of boulders. The long site is abutted on three of its sides by steep slopes forming valleys. At an altitude of 1048 MSL and having temperatures between 11 and 28 degrees, the site is exposed regularly to strong winds and heavy rainfall.
This low impact development uses an organic layout, promoting the idea of a close community through undivided property. Though all the owners own a part of the whole property, their respective shares are not physically ascertainable with definitive boundaries. By locating common use spaces towards the valley side, the best views are shared by all.
The layout is based on the natural water flow on the land which slopes towards the valley side and the 12 houses are strung along the central spine of a pervious road depicting a rivulet.
The land on either side of the road is graded so as to offer elevated banks along the road on which the homes sit. This will put every two to four houses on a different level allowing better privacy on the undivided land.
Landscape features, pool and common utilities continue reflecting the features of the terrain. All existing land features have been left either untouched, integrated within the layout or dug out and reused in their raw form in other areas.
Creating an appealing timelessness with exposed brick walls, large shady porch and slender French windows, alternative building techniques add a distinct charm to the interiors.
To reduce the ecological footprint on the land, most of the materials used were sourced locally – brick kilns at the foot of the hill provided for all the wall bricks, granite blocks and boulders were either from the site itself or from the foothill areas.
To keep the rocky terrain as undisturbed as possible, the houses were located in areas that did have rock outcrops, using instead, the existing outcrops as backdrops to the buildings. Managing of severe rain water runoffs played a large role in the building design and location. All roof runoffs for e.g. are collected and directed to a number of connected ponds behind the homes
The homes have a compact design, minimal footprint and are open planned. A simple structural grid has been used to be cost effective; reducing spans within rooms to effectively use alternative methods of construction for the ceiling/roof. Detailing of elements has been kept deliberately simple so as to translate into ease and speed of construction. Granite, available amply on site as loose boulders, has been used in the built forms within foundations. Standardized use of precast concrete elements throughout the built structures cuts on time and costs of construction. Flat roof structures have been built using stone slabs with precast support understructure whereas sloping roofs will use recycled wood.