Project Name: Weekend Home at Maale
Architecture: Studio Roots
Lead Architect: Umesh Wakaley
Landscape Designer: Studio Roots
MEP Consultant: MEP System Solutions
Structural Consultant: G.A. Bhilare Consultants pvt. Ltd.
Civil Contractor: Manisha Constructions
Planting Contractor: Papaya Nursery
Location: Male, India
Area: 400 m²
Photo Credits: Atul Kanetkar
Set amidst the Sahayadris, the Weekend home at Maale sought to explore architecture in a hilly terrain for a limitless open space. The context presented an enchanting site with a 100 acres farmland. For the best viewpoint, a spot of an acre was chosen carefully – with Mulshi Dam backwaters at front and a hill at the rear. An attempt to create enclosures within nature by Blurring the Boundaries in the built-scape, the design weaves through spaces that redefine the idea of courtyards. Perceived as an Unconfined set of Spaces; an exposed brick wall winds through the three major independent built units: a pavilion, library, and a bedroom.
- Conventional Built & Open Relationship: Spaces are defined by their boundaries. One gets a definite sense of ‘entering’ by crossing into the enclosure. Thus becoming a spectator to the ‘outside.’
- Inserting Green In Builtscape: Spaces like courtyard houses effectively bring nature within the enclosure. In this case, the open space inside serves as a connection between zones of the enclosure while being a separate entity from the landscape outside.
- Built Interspersed In Open: The contours of Maale were a blank canvas for us to paint our idea into. A design that does not abide by the concept of boundaries. (Enclosures within Nature)
- Establishing relationships within The Environs: The Site Engages a Pavilion, the main celebration Area, and an Elevated Bedroom and Library unit. To Step into this weekend, home is to Step Outside of our conventional idea of a house. A space Unbound allows one to navigate within open spaces.
- A continuous Exposed Brick Wall leads one right through the Entrance like a thread that weaves the independent built forms while revealing glimpses of limitless open space.
- The Courtyard That Binds: As one explores the indoors, Each Unit separately opens up the vista in a most dramatic manner while simultaneously the flanked sides engage one into The Courtyard that Binds together all these masses.
- Purity In Material Exploration: Staying true to nature became the key determinant in pursuing a purist approach through Material Expression. Composite structures (Exposed R.C.C., Steel and Glass, basalt masonry, free-standing exposed brick walls) were devised to explore this idea further.
- Structural Exploration: The main entity of the slab is a Beamless and Column-Free Space of 135.28 sq. m. with an overhang of three meters on all sides, giving a buoyant effect. The slab tapers upwards along the projection, dispensing a visual lightness to the structure. A ‘chevron pattern’ was used as a binding element in key materials- concrete scaffolding, granite flooring, or teakwood furniture. Thus, the concept of ‘Disjunct Built’ Interspersed in Nature with a purist expression and simplicity blends into the quaint verdure of the Western Ghats.
Reminiscent of ‘Yugen’: a Japanese concept about a deep awareness of the universe triggered by the profound emotional response to the spatial environment.