Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt
House by a River
Gazing down from the top of a hillock in Karjat—near Mumbai, in the Western Ghats foothills—all you see is a cover of green. What it is, is the cleverly camouflaged roof of the House by a River. It looks like nature contrived to place it there. For Architecture BRIO, it is an imprint subtly left behind in the midst of a green cover. The House by a River is yet another reflection of the firm’s skill at integrating built spaces into their specific environments. The stone boulders discovered during the excavation process, timber, and coarse Indian limestone. These materials ensure that the house plants itself unobtrusively in its surroundings.
The acclaimed creators of highly feted projects—like the Laureus Learning Pavilion (an interactive space for underprivileged children commissioned by the NGO Magic Bus), and the House on a Stream—they are known for structures that seem to emerge out of their surroundings. The latter won them recognition at the 2015 JK Cement Architect of the Year Awards [AYA]. The firm also collaborated with billionBricks. The not-for-profit enterprise works with displaced and homeless communities, to transform Konchur, Karnataka into a model village.