Tune in to a tropical symphony at this weekend abode near Alibaug, crafted by The Architecture Company

JUN 16, 2021 | By Saloni Rege
View of the pool house as seen from the living room, features daybeds from Advent International, pool tiles by Piccolo Mosaics and roof shingles by GAF Timberline; Photographs by Kuber Shah
In the living room, a Josmo Studio lounge chair is paired with a center table from Sar Design Studio and side tables by Ek Design Furniture, all of which sit on the flooring by Malwa Ceramics and look out to the pool pavillion through Fenesta window; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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).

Asymmetrical built form of the weekend abode settles amidst the verdant landscape, as seen from the driveway; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.”

Facade by MCM Cladding and roof shingles by GAF Timberline adorn the south-east entry porch; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

Reclaimed and restored heritage, hardwood door welcomes at the entrance foyer; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

The living room uses side tables by Ek Design furniture, a Josmo Studio lounge chair, centre table by Sar Design Studio, ceiling lights by Hybec Lights and flooring by Malwa Ceramics; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

Seen in the kitchen are dining chairs by Josmo Studio, flooring by Malwa Ceramics and Objects of Interest pendant lights over the island; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

The 16-seater dining ensemble features dining chairs from Josmo Studio and dining table by SĀR Studio; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

One of the three main bedrooms houses wooden bed, side tables and coffee table by Josmo Studio. The room also uses Fenesta windows and HYBEC Lights’ luminaires; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

A lounge chair and coffee table by Josmo Studio are placed near a Fenesta window in the main bedroom; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

In the ensuite bathroom, wall terrazzo by Classic Marble Company blends with Jaquar sanitary and bath fittings, Malwa Ceramics floor and an artwork by Tallenge Store; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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!

The central main bedroom displays custom-made bed, side tables and hardwood chairs; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

Seen here is another main bedroom with customised bed, side tables and chest of drawers, highlighted by Objects of Interest accent lights and ceiling lights by Hybec Lights; Photographs by Kuber Shah

“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.

A glimpse of the ensuite bathroom uses Jaquar fittings and wall terrazzo by Classic Marble Company; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

A Josmo Studio lounge chair sits pretty on a Malwa Ceramics’ floor, under the flip-roof north-east terrace; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.

View of the open shower area in an attached bathroom that uses Jaquar fittings, Malwa Ceramics’ flooring and wall terrazzo by Classic Marble Company; Photographs by Kuber Shah

“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.

A cosy lounge chair and coffee table by Josmo Studio sets the mood for unwinding in this balcony; Photographs by Kuber Shah

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.