UNDER THE TREES
Situated in the outskirts of Vadodra, set amidst vast farmlands and large trees, measuring about 6500 sq. yards; the site is accessible from both the north-west and south-east. Its main entrance comes from the river and the other from the village. The undulated landscape of the site is formed due to the flow of water over the years through the site.
The brief of the project was to develop the site into a space that facilitates engagement with farming and activates outdoor activities amidst nature along with a minimal house for a single user or a couple, who’d stay here away from the growing city, and practice organic farming on a small scale. The place also anticipates an occasional social gathering in the outdoors. The challenge was to address the above requirements with a minimal impact on the natural processes on site.
Addressing the brief, the major considerations are taken were:
1. The house is minimally scaled and is elevated from the ground to leave the water flow undisturbed.
2. Percolation pits and bamboo plantations are strategically positioned, to collect water and prevent further surface runoff.
3. The construction and finishes of the built, pathways and landscape elements employed materials with low embodied energy.
4. This project employs skilled artisans along with local villagers generating employment for the villagers by skill transfer on-site through the building practices and landscaping.
5. The processes appreciate sustainable building and strengthen social relations.
The natural flow of rainwater on and through the site, has caused the valleys and depressions over the years.
The house & the landscape elements are strategically placed to maintain the natural flow of water & collect it in percolation pits. The house is located under the densest tree cover on site, elevating if from the ground, retains the natural flow of water.
The SW-NE extended parallel walls, cut the horizontal west summer sun, at the same time allowing winter sun to come in. The wall Long wall, visually separates the Public and the private spaces within the house and the rest largely from the site.
South-West being the wind direction, the South west openings, allows a smooth flow of wind through the house. Also, the southwest and Northeast openings, allows the visual expanse to large farmland and dense trees respectively, making the house inside-out.
Coming back to the site, There were spaces on site the masons and people working on the site would naturally flock to for tea, rest, and also sometimes using them as tools. This gave us a push to create something around it for the anticipated social gathering on site.
The kund, open kitchen seating around the tree and the lily pond along with the landscape contained the lawn area which become more informal spaces on the site becoming the threshold between the farming area and the rest of the site.
An existing depression on site, shaded with trees, where most of the afternoon naps of site took place was promplty converted that space into a kund or a mini amphitheatre for a lot more naps to come.
Weekend home, 2018-
Landscape | Architecture | Interiors
Rishi Pathak, Gaurav Agarwal, Artisans from Chattisgarh and Tamil Nadu