abraham john architects opens indian monsoon retreat to nature
all images © alan abraha
the ‘monsoon retreat’ is set in the striking valleys of khandala, between mumbai and pune. designed by indian studio abraham john architects it is surrounded by a private swimming pool and evergreen gardens. the spacious villa is formulated on seemingly antonymous concepts of privacy and openness, its orientation ensuring a sense of enclosure, while also maximizing existing views to connect one with nature. following along a tree-lined road, the built mass is introduced as a solid core; it is only upon entering that one suddenly experiences the expanse of the double-height volume. there is a fluidity of spaces throughout – the living room extends to the outside landscape, offering abundant light and natural ventilation, while a continuous wall serves as a textured backdrop.
the earth was mounded up with boulders and exotic plants added to the entrance
the villa has been designed in response to its site conditions with incorporated sloping roofs enabling it to withstand extreme monsoon rains experienced in the area. however, boundaries between interior and exterior have been removed, every room opens to a private outdoor terrace or garden, allowing one to fully engage with the surrounding landscape.
a rough textured wall serves as a backdrop to the living space and continues on to the decks
a series of flowing connections throughout enables one to experience a sense of freedom – the dining table has an island-like feel as it is suspended over the swimming pool – the master bedroom is separated from two others via a bridge that spans across the double-height volume. functioning as a complete suite on its own, the retreat looks onto a private terrace with wooden rafters that span the entire ceiling.
the master bedroom is a complete suite by itself, made up of a large bedroom looking onto a private terrace
view towards the swimming pool and indoor courtyard, the living room opens onto decks and gardens
a bridge spans across the double height living room, connecting the master bedroom with the rest of the house
a cantilevered wood and steel staircase is bathed in light, allowing luxuriant indoor plants to thrive
the open floor plan integrates the living, dining and swimming pool area, making it feel like an expansive lounge
the dining room is suspended over the pool, giving an island-like feel
outdoor decks and landscaped gardens serve as expansive entertaining areas
location: khandala, india
project completion year: october 2013
project area: 717.71 sq.m.
architects: abraham john architects
photography: all photographs © alan abraha