Founder Shonan Purie Trehan’s 8,000 sq ft weekend getaway in the lush Sahyadris is a modern villa with a touch of whimsy

JAN 4, 2023 | By Mrudul Pathak Kundu and Shonan Purie Trehan
The cantilevered deck with the Porta Fenestra glass railing offers panoramic views; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri
In the lounge, the Edra sofa creates ample informal seating spaces, owing to its organic shape. The expressive metal roof dia grid structure built by Impex rests on an exposed concrete column, while the flooring and walls are grey cast in IPS, with a sprinkling of black and white cement tiles from KG Tiles; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri
The dining area on the upper level features carpentry work by Scontec; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

A meandering stone ramp leads through a shaded growth of hydrangeas to the two storeyed, four bedroom villa of ‘The Little Much Farm’. Framed by natural slate walls and dramatic steel roof overhangs, the entrance to this holiday home crafted by Shonan Purie Trehan creates a notion of shelter in an extreme landscape.

A timber slide connects the two floors. Partially seen in the foreground is the Edra sofa; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

Just beyond, though, this sense of compression immediately releases to an open deck, which overlooks the lake and lush hillscape.

The metal and timber spiral staircase, adjacent to the curved exposed concrete wall cast on site by Impex, leads from the dining space to the bedrooms on the lower level; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

Thought of as a Matryoshka of nesting spaces and potential happenings, the spaces are layered, connected and scalar, with elements of whimsy.

The guest room on the lower level features a Scontec hardwood island bed and song lyrics on the ceiling; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

The form of the house is inspired by our first visit to the land. Strong winds of the ghats had blown the tall dry grass of the hill in distinct but varied directions that cued a purpose; of view, of breeze, of shelter…

A hardwood island bed in the master bedroom is placed on the IPS floor with bespoke cement tiles from KG Tiles; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

Considering that the six acres of The Little Much Farm offers dramatic views but endures extreme weather conditions, its roof is strategically designed to protect from monsoon rain as well as the harsh sun.

A Matryoshka of nesting spaces and potential happenings, the structure is layered, connected and scalar, with elements of whimsy; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

The enclosed areas are a composition of angles that are informed by the various draws of the site and also by our eccentricities. Three single slope, mild steel roofs slant in distinct directions, creating specific conditions—a windy but dry corner, a crack of sky above the entry, a sheltered monsoon walkway.

The EDIDA India winning wash basins, designed by Purie Trehan, are sculpted on site for the master bath, while the mirror is from Scontec; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

Along the slope of the terrain, three separate blocks are connected at one level to create collective social spaces such as an indoor-outdoor lounge zone, a series of dining environments, a social kitchen and a reading nook. 

Three distinct roof structures finished in CRIL aluminium river clack roofing create plenty of sheltered indoor and outdoor spaces; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

Outside, a natural stone salt water pool with a spacious deck—which connects the first floor of one block, ground level of another, the garden, the pool and the entry ramp—lies in between the indoor lounge and the garden. Inside, the double heighted lounge is the anchor social space, and leads to three bedrooms. Here, a large timber slide connects the floors and immediately sets the tone for the potential of fun in the house.

The natural limestone salt water pool is surrounded by cement planters and teak wood day beds from Sri Lanka; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

The internal spaces are both playful and practical. Cast in place sculptural terrazzo wash basins, laser etched art on the wardrobe shutters, ceramic lily pads in the deck floor, a sunset seat in the pool—all curate a lively experience that is perfect for a farmhouse visit.

The stone chip washcrete deck transitions to rough Kadappa stone flooring on the ramp; At the entrance, the curved geometric metal grill door made by Advanced Engineering follows the curvature of the concrete wall; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

Harvesting, cooking and sharing food is central to our time at the farm. Overlooking the banana and lemon orchard, a formal kitchen gives way to a social kitchen-bar.

The limestone salt water pool is a gentle transition between the grey slate exterior of the home and the verdant garden; Photography by Jignesh Jhaveri

We also have an indoor dining area in case of bad weather, an alfresco space for starry nights, a log wood table in the garden for meals during firefly season, and a sheltered open table in our favourite windy spot. With its various levels straddling the remote hillside, this is the ideal weekend abode for our family and friends to reconnect. Its natural environs make the Friday to Sunday migration to the farm a weekly ritual we look forward to. 

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