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Top 10 Holiday Homes by ArchitectsBy Riddhima Sharma
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No more hassles over weekend trips! No more jet lags! Weekend home is the coolest vacation mantra in trend!
In the chaotic hustle-bustle of life, an enormous chunk of the masses, especially the elite are running to seek refuge, yearning for recreation and peace.
Among so many options, weekend homes or the so called “vacation houses” seem to be on an upsurge in the recent times. Also termed as “Second Home” this concept was known since long time back, but is being recognized only, recently.
Weekend dwellings tend to furnish as a perfect refuge from the stress, not compromising over provision of the urban lifestyle. Efficient connectivity and a pollution free environment adds on to the list. Many want to explore the immediate outskirts of the city, reflecting upon the accessibility, also having the comfort of a higher range of disposable income, as compared to older times.
While there are a myriad of weekend retreats, designed by architects, to celebrate the spirit of recreation I have handpicked a few meticulously.
Presenting below a list of just some of the projects, offering the best of both worlds, nature and nurture from a homogenous time-line of architects.
1. Falling Water:
Architect: F. L. Wright
Cantilevered atop the 30ft waterfall, this vacation retreat has been a dream home for many. The Kauffmanns, being the owners resided in Pittsburgh and wished to house their vacations from a place, where they could get involved with outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming etc.
With breathtaking views and a waterfall beneath, bountiful plantations, a resonating architecture and an unending list of activities to keep the Kauffmanns entertained this weekend home became the perfect holiday destination.
This masterwork which rose to instant fame, is a national historic landmark, a sharp upsurge in the career of the starchitect.
Indeed, Wright brought a huge revolution in the way we build and the way we live.
2. Villa Savoye:
Architect: Le Corbusier
This weekend retreat is the last in Le Corbusier’s white villa cycle, perfectly encapsulating the Modernist architectural vocabulary. Abandoned later, it was refurbished by the French in the year 1963. It was listed as a historic monument in 1964 when Le Corbusier was still alive, an extraordinarily rare occurrence.
It stills exists displaying marvelously, Corbusier's famous ideology of “Five points of Architecture”.
Another tremendous contribution, to the world by an architect who improvised the way we design our lives.
3. House for a Filmmaker:
Architect: Rahul Mehrotra
Encapsulating the needs of a young filmmaker and his family, this house was designed as a weekend retreat. Sprawling across a one-acre plot in the village of Kihimin Alibaug (across the harbor from Mumbai), this residence bifurcated the site, into a predominant patch of teak wood trees along with a manicured garden on the other end.
In the absence of its owners, during the weekdays the living room (verandah) offers access to the local villagers, integrating the people socially. It was an essential issue to be considered upon, since many weekend abodes are springing up in surrounding areas, thus tending to create a sore point with the locals.
A series of courtyards consolidated within the built frame aid in facilitating surplus ventilation thus achieving effective passive air conditioning within the residence.
Enveloped with the local Basalt stone over the walls, and a form-finished slab in concrete for the circulation area and an inexpensive galvanized metal for the roof the house has been developed using local materials and resonates well with the site.
4. House in an Orchard:
Architect: Rahul Mehrotra
Nestled at the center of an extensive mango orchard, in the vicinity of Ahmadabad, this house is again an exceptional illustration of refuge during the weekends designed for a single family.
The courtyard is the center of attraction within the residence, embracing a lap pool filled with fresh water which recharges the wells on the property as well.
The initial challenge was to build a place for relaxation in a typical hot and dry region, so the concept was evolved, locating the house on the center of the orchard rather than the edge of the property.
5. Casa San Antonio:
Architect: Abha Narain Lambah
Having a knack for restoring cultural heritage, Abha Narain Lambah picked up a 100-year-old Portuguese house, to refurbish as a weekend getaway for her family, which was a real challenge.
Restoring the entire residence in just nine months, she transformed the heavenly abode, keeping the heritage aspect intact, infusing a palpable sense into responsible design ethic.
The residence enchants us, merging the contemporary interiors, while simultaneously paying homage to the cultural heritage. Elements such as balcao, traditional roof tiles, vibrant colors of the traditional ochre and indigo color scheme are some of the features of a conventional Goan-Portuguese home.
All in all, Abha Narain's Goan abode, successfully manages to offer serendipity from the urban chaos of Mumbai.
6. Alloa Hills House:
Architect: Arpan Shah
Emerging from a contoured site, this weekend abode is edged against the Sabarmati riverfront. With an undulating site, each plot raised over it acquires a unique characteristic. The proposed design aligns smoothly along these contours without disturbing the natural ecology pattern of the site.
It comprises of a lot of outdoor spaces to enhance the connectivity, also enunciating the aura it holds.
This haven is a perfect confluence of the conventional residence setting over the hills, and a perfect refuge fostering to the end users.
This dramatic dwelling is another perfect retreat, located in Alibaug. Woven along with numerous elements of nature such as the lush green landscaping and a stream of river this residence succeeds to frame scenic vistas from each angle.
It segregates the plan into dual zones, first the day areas such as living, kitchen and an entrance verandah while the other being the master bedroom. Both these spaces as connected via a bridge that spans across the stream.
Like a living entity, this house seems to span across all edges segregating the spaces as wings.
Deriving from minimalist contemporary tastes, this weekend getaway is an experience beyond time and space.
Overlooking the scenic vistas of valleys and landscapes this unending infinity pool, seems to merge into the sea, as if reaching zenith. This residence has been a fresh new and exciting attempt to a weekend retreat, takes advantage of the natural gradient, by accommodating for a glass house and two bedrooms under the infinity pool. The house catering to two friends, is placed along a linear plinth, raising various sculptural volumes which base binds the various design spaces together.
Set amidst this tranquil atmosphere, in hilly terrains this ultra-luxurious weekend abode depicts one of a kind blend with nature and architecture.
9. Vishram on the Sea:
Architect: Benny Kuriakose
Lying across the beach, on the shores of Bay of Bengal, this second home is located in Chennai. With bright, funky interiors depicting vibrancy, this residence stands apart from the above mentioned ones.
Imbibing the concept of fusion design, designers Benny and Vishalakshi tried to make an attempt to create an aura of beach. Mediterranean colors, local Attangudi tiles, a Kerala-style bathing pool, Indian artifacts and Vastu shashtra, all integrate the traditional elements within a contemporary context.
Architect: Ar. Neils Schoenfelder
Away from the humdrum of Chennai's life, Ar. Neils located a site 150 kms far from the city to build a weekend retreat for his family. The weekend abode is situated on the outskirts of former French colony of Puducherry.
To overcome the challenge of heat and humidity, passive cooling techniques have been applied, helping the sea breeze circulate within the house continuously.
After several permutations, the form of the residence was evolved as an eight-meter cube. In fact, Schoenfelder informally refers to the home as “S8”, where S stands for the names of the owners. While this geometric design is a clear example of minimalism (and “completely devoid of traditional markers of luxury,” as he puts it), the focus has been to create it eminently liveable.
A few to name, but these projects, are indeed, a seamless amalgamation of modernity and all things vintage, a home away from home.
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