Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Hill Haven in Uttarakhand, India by Mold Design Studio
August 21st, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Mold Design Studio
Sited on top of a Hill, in Saattal (Hindi for “seven lakes”), miles away from the chaos of the city, The Hill haven is a weekend cottage retreat for an urban Indian multi-generation family. Saattal is a group of seven freshwater lakes near the Himalayas, in the Uttarakhand district of India. Famous for its Oak and Pine trees, the lake sits scenically in the Mehragaon valley
The cottage is sited at the peak of a hilly area, with a glorious view of the valley. The Built formis designed to optimize the views of thevalley and to provide maximum open space for the inhabitants. Being a holiday home, the house is planned with common spaces in an open-plan format, with private spaces as well. Each space is designated to have a valley view- hence, multiple spaces are created such as private balconies, common verandahs and a porch to enjoy the weather, the rains and an open terrace to sun bathe.The ground floor houses the common activities, where the family can spend leisure time together, cooking and eating, whereas the first floor accommodated the private spaces.
Abundant natural light filters through the house through huge windows through which the sun set and the dawn of neighbouringnainitaland the lakes can be enjoyed. The windows also allow for views of the valley from all parts of the house, and open-air living. A Natural wood fireplace, built from locally available material is createdin the living area to enjoy the wintery nights, looking out into the valley.Locally available materials are used to build ecologically. The locally available stone renders the home with an earthly quality and aids in the merging of the built form with the landscape. Solar water heating is provided to maximize the direct sunlight.
The building is designed as a concrete framed structure with brick infills as walls. Locally available stone cladding has been done on the façade to blend with the existing environment. The entire construction has been done with the help of local craftsmen’s to use their skills and to generate work for them in that area.
The site is well equipped with solar panels for solar water heating and rain water harvesting pits, keeping in mind the energy and water conservation. Onsite vegetation has been maintained and preserved.
The house has been designed to respect the site conditions. The spaces are designed in such a way that each space opens out onto expansive views of the sun set and the mountains. The design of the house has been thought through to achieve cross ventilation throughout the day and therefore there is no need for air-conditioning in peak summers also. Also a variety of spaces have been created like verandahs and balconies to enjoy all types of weather conditions.
The intent of the interior design is to provide a cosy modern rustic cottage feel to the spaces. The flooring for most of the spaces is done in wood which is a classic; it also adds warmth and character to the interiors while keeping the floor warm during winters. A Natural wood fireplace, built from locally available material is created in the living area to enjoy the wintery nights, looking out into the valley.
The house has plenty of daylight during the day and only requires artificial light during in the evening/night. The sloping roof has been highlighted in the interiors in the bedrooms on the first floor which also helps in providing higher heights and bigger volumes. The landscaping has been kept fairly simple with a large garden and flower beds, to keep the emphasis on the natural surroundings and bring in nature into the built volume.
Designed as a home away from home, the house is equipped with all facilities. Simplistic in Design and materiality, the house is designed around the needs of the family, whilst blending beautifully with its surroundings and context.
mold’s design philosophy is that all objects, from large cities, spaces to products can be sculpted and molded, as per the needs and requirements of the users. mold works with the principle of the user being the most significant aspect of any design exercise. Each project is a unique challenge, and hence, a result of an in-depth design process that involves the user, to create an optimized and dynamic solution.
India has a rich culture of art and crafts, which are a beneficial dividend that we like to, explore and adapt to our advantage.We recognize the significance of context and the vast tradition that needs to persist in Indian design, and therefore, work towards adapting it to global solutions.
At mold, we understand the needs and requirements of our clients, their aspirations, to produce design-led solutions that are specifically personalized to individual needs.Through our projects, we explore and innovate with traditional prototypes, blending them with contemporary techniques and technology to conceive pragmatic design that fits well within the global, multi-cultural design agenda, with sustainability as a core, inherent value.
Our approach to every project is utilitarian while being modest with a key emphasis on the establishing an integral relationship of the Built with nature and context. An integrated approach is adopted to achieve a blend of programmatic requirements/ideas together with traditional ideologies, craftsmanship and contemporary aesthetics.
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