Tune in to a tropical symphony at this weekend abode near Alibaug, crafted by The Architecture Company
JUN 16, 2021 | By Saloni Rege
Envisioned as a tropical weekend getaway retreat, designers Kulsum Tambawala, Rohit Walimbe and Manasvi Bachhav spearheading The Architecture Company have peppered this contemporary family abode christened The House on the Coast with colonial accents, earthy tones and homely vibes.
Sprawled across 10,000 sq ft on a plot of 1.25 acres, the five-bedroom residence nestles within the outskirts of Awas, near Alibaug and is enveloped by the mighty Arabian sea alongside lush green coastal hills. This house belongs to a South Mumbai family who loves to host occasional family gatherings, which is why it is conceptualised as a tranquil and interspersing weekend home.
“Essentially the brief was to imprint the smallest possible building footprint on the site, in order to maximise the potential and experience the scale of the property. We planned the structure on one half of the site thereby creating an organic fruit plantation and vegetable gardens that contribute to the verdant landscape. We’ve also ensured that no existing trees were disturbed and a vibrant micro-ecosystem was developed to attract the surrounding fauna,” shares Walimbe, founding partner of The Architecture Company (TAC).
To add to that, another founding partner Tambawala says, “We were involved in the project right from the site scouting stage to its execution. The homeowners being nature lovers wanted extensive green cover for a future orchard and a small animal rescue shelter. The brief also focused on multiple outdoor living spaces, which is why we’ve imbued both open and covered areas that interact with the environment.”
Settled on the diagonally opposite corner of the site entrance, the built form is realised as an extroverted, outward looking house whose layout navigates across three directions. A narrow driveway flanked with dense tropical greens leads us up to the abode’s entry point. A flipped wooden roof as well as a glass and wooden façade greet us at the verandah.
Traversing through the foyer, a voluminous double-height space engulfs in an airy vibe and connects to the capacious living space, which spills onto the pool deck. The ground level also houses a large dining area that extends out to a rear verandah, two guest bedrooms and spacious bathrooms.
Dressed in pastel hues and subtle undertones, the material palette is primarily composed of pristine white walls and wooden ceilings as well as furniture pieces that lend a warm and timeless allure to the spaces. The living room seamlessly blends into a 16-seater dining table that is perfect for gatherings or hosting a feast. Furthermore, a roomy kitchen displays a built-in island breakfast counter and a pantry.
Witnessing the presence of transitional elements like interconnecting corridors, walkways, decks and verandahs, the abode focuses on fusion of spaces to bind the house together in a cohesive unit. Accessed from the ground level, the pool deck boasts a pool house that’s fashioned with splash of tropics for added privacy.
Both the guest rooms are imbued with muted tones and customised hardwood beds. One of the bedroom at the rear end of the house has its personal walk-in closet and a cast-in bath tub that opens out to the back verandah. These carved out spaces mingle with the outdoors and invite the serene nature within for an ethereal experience.
As we amble up the staircase dressed with a glass and wooden railing, a floating corridor comes in sight that overlooks the entrance foyer. The split levels tend to communicate with each other through a visual narrative. The first level of the abode houses three primary bedrooms for the homeowners as well as their extended family members.
While the high sloping roofs render grandeur to the bedrooms, the timber floors and decor pieces radiate cosiness and relaxation. The best part is that all three bedrooms have access to a personal terrace, walk-in wardrobes and built-in jacuzzi tubs with open-to-sky shower areas—ideal for unwinding. The bathrooms too are spacious and speak the expressive language of the family home.
Adorning the main bedrooms in a vintage charm are wooden roof boarding, custom-made oak wood and teak furniture pieces, intricately crafted bed details and cane headboards. In stark contrast to these, elegant and bespoke furniture and furnishings, quirky light fixtures and tastefully curated artworks impart a modish setting vibe. Every spaces resonates with the personality of its user!
While the architecture and interior of this weekend abode is minimal, the decor and accessories accentuate the spaces. Alongside providing modern luxuries and comfort, the home features extensive use of teak wood clad columns, local stones and fabric that imbue a grounded and home-away-from-home feel.
“Considering the hot and humid weather of the region, we aligned the structure in a way that it catches the cool breeze from the hills at night and a pleasant sea breeze during the day. The signature flipped roof steers a gentle draft into the upper bedrooms, especially the two edge ones. As a result of which, the extended terraces make the most of the hill views and winds and act as smartly tucked-in private nooks for all-weather relaxation,” reveals Walimbe.
Exhibiting an eclectic decor, the house strives to be vibrant with an influx of design quirkiness. We love how the abode digresses from a singular approach to design and instead deploys layers of well-thought out elements paired with artefacts, some of which interestingly have been collected by the client over the years.
The House on the Coast has been realised as a personal unwinding sanctuary the homeowners resort to for a stress-buster. Built in a composite construction of RCC and steel, it also boasts generous amounts of seasoned timber. Breaking away from the traditional form of the region’s architecture, the abode adapts to an asymmetrical silhouette that responds efficiently to the prevailing site context.
“The pool deck was certainly our favourite space to craft! A highlight of the house, it remains an epicenter of public oriented activity and emphasises the dynamics between the massive abode and the quaint pool pavillion,” shares Tambawala. She further adds, “The striking roof system is a prominent characteristic of the house. However, that was the most challenging to build. It required a complex structural design and high level of craftsmanship.
It is critical as to how a structure responds to its micro-environment, which is why TAC advocates that architecture must act as a catalyst to elevate interactions between the user and the landscape it sits in. Furthermore, a robust set of sustainable features encircle the abode to reduce the energy and water footprint.
Solar panels power majority of the spaces whereas the avant-garde pool purification system ensures minimal water change cycles. Additionally, multiple groundwater recharge pits on the site help in recharging the subterranean aquifers in the water scarce Alibaug region. Plus, the planting of dense vegetation keeps attracting the local birds and other fauna.
An entirely new construction on an uncultivated paddy field, the built form has now transformed into a labour of love and tailor-made experiences—all woven into the interlocking fabric of the weekend abode that’s rooted in its surroundings.