Location: Near Umbari Balapur Village, Maharashtra, India | Total Built up area: 2315 sq.ft.
On the bucolic landscape of the countryside, a house stands at the edge of a farm. The refreshing scents of sugarcane, tomato and cauliflower harvests melt in the stones and spaces of this edifice. The dwelling is a candid reincarnation of materials, forms and sensibilities preserved by the culture and contour of the land.
It is a mesmerizing marriage of old materials and new meanings. The majority of materials used are salvaged from local sites. The bricks are reclaimed from the old house. The wood and roofing tiles are from the village temple undergoing reconstruction. Basalt stones are from the nearby quarry. Thus, the project has generated tremendous occupational opportunities for local craftsmanship, and reverence for the cultural heritage.
The house satiates the lifestyle of the farmer, while summoning natural elements through the play of fenestrations and courtyard. The openings act as wind scoops, on the principle of Gomukh. Cow-dung is the primary flooring material, with toilet floor of terracotta tiles and bedroom floor of reclaimed wood. Exterior walls are exposed stone and bricks, while interior walls are lime-plastered. No artifacts are bought for decoration. Old brass and copper utensils, and existing glassware are reused. Furniture is salvaged and restored from nearby villages. The house also becomes a refuge from the threats of leopards hidden in sugarcane fields, as it creates an introspective universe within the vastness of the farm.
This is not a farmhouse, but a house on the farm – with the design that remains open-ended, agile, and most importantly, unpretentious. A conscious choice is made to create economically modest, sensually rich, and environmentally sustainable abode, which beats the winds of time, styles or transience of any kind.
This timeless design is a sincere testament that esteems what the past has preserved and echoes what the future can foster.