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Villa Kinara Emphasised on Indoor-Outdoor Connectivity

By admin / Published on Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 20:40 PM / No Comments / 296 views

Villa Kinara Emphasised on Indoor-Outdoor Connectivity

Client brief was to provide for plenty of semi-covered outdoor seating, by using natural and recycled materials and to be able to achieve a feeling of being on the deck of a ship, the plot being a river touching property. The client had appointed architect Dean D’Cruz for this project. Being an associate to Dean, he and Anuradha started brainstorming wherein Dean’s conceptual inputs were very valuable. Post sketch stage she was handed over the project  for further development, detailing and execution.

Villa Kinara Emphasised on Indoor-Outdoor Connectivity
Villa Kinara Emphasised on Indoor-Outdoor Connectivity

Site planning and layout

The site is with the road on one side and river to the other. Beyond the road the land slopes uphill. There was an existing house on the site in a dilapidated state. Amendments were done to the structure on the existing plinth to be able to accommodate a mezzanine floor.

Layout was planned to accommodate staff room, utility area and car park towards the road for better accessibility whereas the living room, dining, bedrooms and all seating areas are placed toward the river to appreciate the view and its eastward orientation. As there was a need of two additional bedrooms, two floating temporary wooden rooms were designed to attach onto the existing plinth of the house which floats above ground leaving the natural ground undisturbed and allowing it to breathe. The central core is designed to hold the lift well and the staircase which has ventilators above to help release hot air and light up the center of the house at mezzanine level.

All coconut trees on the site were retained and activities were planned around them. Special care was taken not to hard pave the natural ground outside allowing it to be left undisturbed. For this the outdoor wooden deck is designed to have space between the planks and is lifted up on a removable framework to make way for rain water to pass through and recharge the natural ground below thus making it an environmentally conscious design. An average size lap pool made of Fiberglass, lifted up from the ground also follows the same principal.


The view of the river reveals itself gradually and unexpectedly. This is achieved by taking the entrance to the side of the house, leading along a path, through a narrow entry foyer which then dramatically opens out to the river view. Straight openings with full length glass shutters sitting in deep recesses opening out to semi covered spaces with roof overhangs or pergolas make it possible to leave the house open throughout the day. These transition spaces not only bring in ample natural light and ventilation but also help merge the interior spaces with the exteriors boundaries. All peripheral rooms of the house are allowed to be taken over by plants, to shade them and to facilitate the diffusing of the inside-outside boundaries.

Materials and detailing

Use of natural wood and laterite stone walls help in keeping the house very breathable. Wooden beams from old houses were sourced and planked and used for all doors, windows and wooden decking, hence reducing the use of virgin material. A modern concrete adaptation of the traditional country tile molding at roof overhang is designed at the end of the gutter to act as drip mold preventing water to slide down horizontally at the offsite. A detail of gutter is introduced a little before roof ends to collect all the rain water from the roof and take it down for recharging ground water table. Full length balcony at mezzanine level is designed to act as a gutter as well by finishing it with wooden planks with gaps. This water too is eventually taken down for ground recharge. In all, it is a humble house with very little emphasis on its own elevation. Design focuses on providing maximum indoor-outdoor connectivity taking maximum advantage of the natural light and its eastwards and river facing orientation with minimum use of new  resources making this house a very sustainable one.

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