The Mountain Home is located in a serene little village cocooned in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. At 2300m above sea level, between Nainital and Mukteshwar, the site of the Mountain Home is surrounded by miles of dense jungles, orchards and pine trees. Its steep 1:3 slopes, terraces down towards the view of the Himalayas.
A boomerang shaped structure hugs the contour on the upper level. One guest room faces the view of a nearby reserved forest. A second guest room settles in the middle of a pear and peach orchard. Because each location is very different, each structure behaves and responds very diffferently.
The walls are built as if they are extruded out of the earth, and sometimes are actually built into the earth. They emphasise on the solidity and massiveness of the wall compositions. The walls stop abruptly at the lintel level, as in a found ruin, to then receive a continuous lightweight steel and timber roof.
The approach of the site is from the top of the land. A pathway takes you down into a courtyard formed by the boomerang house and the slope of the hill. At the portico, the view of the mountain range suddenly gets revealed. Here one can choose to take a right turn to the common living room, to the left to one of the bedrooms, or ahead towards a long verandah and deck.
After the lawn, a long staircase takes you down to then curve back toward the forest pavilion. Even further down the path it makes a sudden right turn following a staircase. This disappears into the darkness of a green covered roof. Hereafter it reappears on front of the orchard pavilion facing the Nanda Devi Peak.
The ensemble of structures act as an extensive photographic device, capturing the constantly changing dynamics of the Himalayan mountainscape.
Himalayan Mountain Retreat
Sustainability, Context, Green Roof, Solar Energy, Typology
2 x 400 sq.m.
The roof slopes down towards the view. The low roof on the front side emphasises the panoramic experience of the mountains. Additionally it allows the much welcome low winter sun to enter the interiors from the southern celestial window.
The house is built in stone masonry, with local stone quarried from the site itself.
The site is located along the slopes of Uttarakhand, opening up to the view of the Himalayas.
A stone carved staircase leads down into the arrival portico.
Mockup of a beam in Himalayan Pine.
The windows of the bedroom slide into the walls to extend the space onto the verandah.
This is achieved using cantilevered steel beams that allow the room to enjoy the view.
The stone elements of the house seem to be an extension of the terracing of the agricultural terrain. A light horizontal timber roof plane that coveres this terrain emphasises the panoramic scenery of the Himalayas.
Shuttering for the green roof in progress.
Wood grains revealed on the ceiling of the bathroom.
The orchard pavilion is a glass pavilion that can soak up the winter sun. A large extended roof protects it from rain and wind.