indian architecture firm atelier DND completes its latest oasis away from the bustling city life, the ‘c’est la vie’ residence in alibagh, india. the site is blessed with vegetation, and the seasonal lake provides the perfect setting for this project. the pre-existing clump of trees at the entrance provides a grand entry for the residence, but also creates the necessary buffer for the house from the main street.

the c’est la vie residence finds the right balance between open and closed spaces



atelier DND includes a driveway that snakes its way past the canopy of trees to the entrance, where visitors are welcomed by a curved stone wall. according to the architects, designing in the tropics is about creating the right balance between open and closed spaces. the sun and other elements can be unforgiving in these conditions. the house has been designed in clusters of programs held together with strong circulation, where most of the facilities surround the pool in the centre of the house. the dining pavilion is a glass box that has a deck extension onto the pool on one side, and private lawn on the other side bound by the arrival court curved stone wall. this court is further enhanced with a water body fed by a gargoyle that emerges from the curved wall.

the pool is the binding facility of the residence



the guest pavilion opposite to the living area houses four bedrooms with attached toilets. the pool bar and outdoor dining flanks one end of the pool, while three spouts edge the other end. directly above the outdoor dining area is the master bedroom with its attached bathroom. the plunge pool attached to this room overlooks the lake, creating a getaway for the client. the children’s room is designed as a box within a box and is cantilevered. the wooden box sits inside the glass box. at the far end of the pool is the jacuzzi and sunken seating space which has a view of the main lawn which has the tennis court at the end of the property.

the master bedroom overlooks the luscious garden



the use of natural stone, wood and lighting allows the bungalow to be considered eco-friendly. the circulation within the house and spaces between functions  follow a sequence of activities. the volume of spaces is defined by the function. ‘the large open areas, fluidity and transparency between spaces, and the idea of natural landscape interspersed with built form,’ explains the architect, ‘are all metaphorical for the client’s nature.’ 

the end of the pool is covered by the large perforated concrete wall

the furniture has been kept aesthetically appealing as well as practical, as it required little maintenance 

a seating area can be found in the center of the pool and is shaded by a reflective canopy

the dining area, just like the rest of the facilities, has an open view of the central pool

the four bedrooms overlook the pool

the pre-existing clump of trees at the entrance provides the necessary buffer from the main street

the jacuzzi area has a large metal sculpture perched on the wall



project info: 


partners: ar shobhan kothari and ar anand menon
photography: sebastian zachariah
completion year: 2016
area: 14,000 sqft
location: alibagh,india



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

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