meenakshi srinivasan positions house in the kodaikanal hills in india
all images courtesy of meenakshi srinivasan




located next to a forest in kodaikanal, a small town in south india, ‘house in the hills’ designed by indian architect and dancer meenakshi srinivasan was a shortlisted project for the designboom competition, the IDF awards 2013. following the naturally sloping topography, the building is divided across two main levels with connecting wings. a refrained arrival has been configured in order to conceal what awaits beyond and foster a sense of discovery. upon entering views are offered to both the inside and outside, and are framed through long vertical slits.


exterior view of the upper level



the main living and dining area are contained within a transparent volume that has a floating roof – inserted into this is a core box with the kitchen and utility functions. the guest bedrooms and a lounge are tucked beneath on a lower level, offering direct access to the garden. the other wing consists of the master suite, which is formed by a solid rectangular mass. positioned at one end is the sleeping area, offering private views facing towards the forest, while the other side has a lounge that is suspended over the hill.

(left) entry into the water court
(right) view from the lower level


raw, untreated materials such as local stone, exposed concrete and timber have been used to help the structure blend in with the landscape. the interior features customised furniture pieces, hand crafted by a local carpenter.

the open plan living and dining room connects directly with the outdoor landscape


detail views of the connecting space


the project was shortlisted for the IDF awards 2013, a designboom competition