Tucked in nature’s dense folds, Martand Khosla’s former Goa holiday home echoes its coastal landscape and tranquil setting

SEP 21, 2020 | By Sakshi Rai
The seamless transition between the verandah and living room is brought about by the contrast in the chequered marble and Kadappa stone textures against the red oxide floors. Wall mounted artworks in brick dust from the Sketches series by Martand Khosla for Adam flank the staircase leading to the mezzanine level; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
An overhead view of the living and dining areas from the mezzanine level; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The double-heighted living and dining areas are conceptualised to be open and interconnected; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
A large artwork by Robert Powell is positioned at the foot of the stairway. Exposed roof trusses can be seen overhead in the living and dining spaces; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The verandah continues towards the kitchen and a flight of stairs leading up to a 100-year-old jackfruit tree and the swimming pool deck; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The living room looks out to the pool below; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The pool is located in the densest portion of the spice orchard; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
All the furniture for the dining setup is crafted on-site using reclaimed teak. A collection of watercolour paintings by Kalpana Sahni and a drawing by Robert Powell enhance this setting; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The guest bathroom features vintage Bollywood posters and lobby cards facing the outdoor shower and tub; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
Rose wood columns restored from Chettinad, cashew wood sloping roofs fitted with Mangalore tiles, and teak railings are used in the verandah; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
A peek into the north facing corner of the verandah; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
A thicket of jackfruit, cashew and betel nut trees surround the serene pool; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
Furniture made from restored Burma teak, sourced from old Chettinad houses is seen in this bedroom. Watercolours by Kalpana Sahni line the walls; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
Windows of the master bedroom open out to the courtyard; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The master bedroom faces a wall of bookshelves and opens out to the front verandah. It is styled with vintage advertisement prints and refurbished decor; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham
The property sits at the base of a hill near the boat jetty; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham

Perched on the banks of Chapora River in northern Goa, this serene coastal property served as an erstwhile ‘home away from home’ for New Delhi based architect Martand Khosla of Romi Khosla Design Studio. The creative, who’d been on the lookout for an idyllic family getaway for nearly two years, knew that his search had ended when he first sighted this decade old spice orchard.

The 6,000 sq ft villa is situated on the outskirts of Revora village and built atop a large plot, stretching across almost 2.5 acres. The vast expanse of verdant land on all sides allows for ample privacy and gives shape to a seemingly-isolated paradise.

With only ruins remaining of the former construction, the creative and his team set about building this elevated structure from scratch. “A strong connection to the outdoors was an integral part of the architecture. Owing to the consistent use of materials and aesthetics, the boundaries between the exterior and interior are blurred. We raised the edifice such that it rested just below the 100-year-old tree canopies that anchored the spice orchard. And so, the resultant views, from every corner of the home, were mesmeric and refreshing to say the least,” shares Khosla.

A terrace platform, halfway up to the elevated entrance of the house, looks out to coconut trees and pepper vines growing along the Chapora River; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham

The green, natural surroundings reflect within the structure as well—in the form of eco-construction traits and refurbished decor. Most of the wooden furniture was crafted using reclaimed teak while aged, recycled Burma teak salvaged from former Chettinad residences was used for the floors. Even a large percentage of the laterite needed was locally extracted from the site. The architectural practice chose to construct in a traditional fashion, using steel and concrete minimally, and opting for load bearing walls, sloping roofs and deep verandahs.

One of Khosla’s favourite seating nooks, this west-facing corner of the verandah overlooks the river below, past breadfruit, coconut and betel nut trees; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham

The structure employs vernacular references, materials and skills even. Laterite stone facades, with highlighted fenestrations in an unmistakably Goan style, Mangalore roof tiles and red oxide cement floors act as testaments. Hues of brick red, polished teak, red and black oxides as well as white outlines characterise the property. “We took aspects and materials of the local architecture and adapted it to create a house that acknowledged traditionality while being contemporary in its spatial organisation and volumes,” explains the creative.

A corner of the master bedroom showcases a bookshelf, a wooden study table and vintage lithographs of flora and fauna; Photographs by Bharath Ramamrutham

One can enter the house from either of its two entrances—the one on the west is accessed at the end of a tour of the spice garden tour and outdoor swimming pool, while the other is located on the northern front. Both lead to the 100 ft-long and 10 ft-wide, black-and-white checkered verandah that encompasses the entire abode. This broad, continuous passage offers spectacular views laden with rampant plantations and the river beyond.

The interiors of the home are bifurcated into two blocks, one comprising the living, dining and kitchen areas while the other is solely demarcated for the bedrooms. An internal courtyard, enhanced with the presence of a frangipani tree, joins these two units. The double-heighted living and dining spaces are conceptualised as fluid, interconnected areas. These flow onto the verandah and feature exposed roof trusses. 

This block also houses a study and south-facing bedroom, that looks out to cashew crops, on a mezzanine level. The kitchen and dining room overlook the swimming pool which lies at the brink of the densest portion of the spice orchard—a quiet, cool retreat. Two, larger bedrooms, including the master suite and an open-to-sky bathroom occupy the second block.