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Tala Treesort

an Eco Resort in Forest Hills, Tala
2017,
Hospitality, Recreational, Interior,
Sustainability, Context, Transparency,
Completed,
Design Team -

Shefali Balwani + Robert Verrijt + Khushboo Asrani

Size -

225 sq.m.

Program -

Forest Retreat

Client -

Forest Hills


The Tree Villa perches on the cliff of a 160 acre hilltop 'treesort' property surrounded by a meandering river landscape. The idyllic setting in Tala on the West coast of India, is a stone's throw away from the Kuda caves. Nearly 20 centuries ago, Buddhist monks instinctively understood the qualities of this meditative landscape and made the hills their home. 


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The Tree Villa is conceived as a celebration of this landscape by creating a series of blurred transitional spaces with different levels of transparency and openness within this forested tropical setting.

The horizontal openness and airiness of the large voluminous space below a dominating thatched roof is emphasised by wrapping it with a layer of operable glass. The curved corners of this glazed wooden framework display a panoramic exhibit of nature. The curves create a sensual luxury and bring softness to the space. A second layer of a tie dyed bordered sheer curtains filters the harsh light during the midst of the day and nestles three other enclosures as well.

The volumetric composition of partly white, partly reflective and transparent surfaces within a wooden framework animate and lighten up the space. It questions conventional definitions of exterior and interior and reinterprets notions of privacy and exposure. 


The Tree Villa perches on the cliff of a forested mountain range

The Buddhist monks who built the Kuda Caves instinctively understood the qualities of this meditative landscape

The hill property is surrounded by a meandering river landscape that culminates into the Arabian Sea at the famous Janjira island fort

the main space is broken up by three smaller enclosures, ensuring a visual connection to the forest from all rooms

The horizontal openness and airiness below a dominating thatched roof is emphasised by wrapping it with a layer of operable glass

A large luxurious king size bed within a soft linen fabric enclosure can be opened or closed off depending privacy preferences

The free flowing circulation in between creates visual permeability across the plan

A spiral staircase connects to a "secret" lower level

a guest suite is suspended below the tree villa

curved corners of a glazed wooden framework display a panoramic exhibit of nature.

Restraint in the colour palette highlights the surrounding greenery.

a curved glazed sheet separates the shower from the forest life


A timber floored outdoor deck and attached staircase invites you to take a hike in the forest


the bathroom enclosure is crafted out of vertical timber slats filled in with mirrored panels that reflect the surrounding forest

An old Garuga fruit tree punctures the outdoor bathroom

Other branches spread across the outdoor bathroom before exiting through multiple circular openings in the enclosure



The composition of partly white, partly reflective and transparent surfaces within a wooden framework animate and the interiors.