Located outside Mumbai on the Arabian Sea, Palmyra House was built as a refuge from the bustle of the busy city. The 3000 sq ft. house consists of two wooden louvered structures separated by a courtyard and pool, set inside of a functioning coconut plantation. Anchored to stone platforms, the structures overlook a network of wells and aqueducts that weave the site into an inhabitable whole. Living room, study and master bedroom are contained in the north volume, while the south volume contains the kitchen, dining, and guest bedrooms. Set in the plaza between the buildings, the pool provides a channel for swimming towards endless vistas of palm trees to the east and the sea to the west.
Structural framing for the house was built of ain wood, a local hardwood, and was constructed using traditional interlocking joinery. The extensive louvres were handcrafted from the outer part of the palmyra trunk [a local palm species]. Exteriors are detailed with hand-worked copper flashing and standing seam aluminum roofs; interior surfaces are finished with teakwood and India Patent Stone, a refined pigmented plaster. Locally quarried black basalt was used to construct the aqueduct walls and pool courtyard.
Above: The living room looks across to the dining room through open folding louvered doors. Both houses are built on stone plinths made from locally quarried black basalt.
Above: Both houses have interior balconies that overlook the double-height volume of the public spaces.
Above: Sunlight from a window on the landing illuminates the stairwell.
Above: The pigment plaster wall is finished with wood trim.
Above: The bathing area offers the choice of views or privacy.
Above: The louvers have a transparency that integrates the natural setting.
Above: The house is nestled in a grove of palm trees. Its extensive louvers were handcrafted from the outer part of the Palmyra, a local palm species.
Architects: Studio Mumbai
Location: Nandgaon, Maharashtra, India
Principal Architect: Bijoy Jain
Project Team: Jeevaram Sutar, Roy Katz, Mangesh Mhatre, Samuel Barclay
Project Year: 2007
Architecture Review Award
Emerging Architects 2008