This architect’s dream home in Coonoor is a vast retreat in the rolling hills

Since the maximum space allowed by the zoning authorities is quite restrictive, permission has been requested for two bungalows. The required distance of 25 feet between them led to the creation of the gazebo in the garden, accessed by a path between the two structures.

In each space, the volumes are large. The first floor living room enjoys spectacular 360-degree views, while most rooms in the house enjoy 180-degree views that stretch to the horizon. The bungalow itself has a glass facade on three sides. The fourth side houses the staff rooms. All plumbing was done on that side.

Read also: New Delhi: A whimsical Chattarpur farmhouse where every element is a work of art

The living room’s dark wood ceiling is lightened by the 28-foot height and sheer volume of the space, uninterrupted by columns.

Ashish Shahi

The kitchen looks like no other, impersonating a dining room, so to speak. A Murano crystal sink has a small gap between its base and the surface below. When the ceiling light is on, it projects an eye-catching pattern onto the counter, adding a touch of sophistication that isn’t usual in busy spaces like kitchens.

The scale is simple. “Anything fancy was going to use 5 percent more area, which I wasn’t willing to sacrifice,” says Reddy. Air tanks were also rejected, as they would have affected the appearance of the prospectus. An underground well with pressure pumps supplies water to the bathrooms and the kitchen. Solar panels atop the utility areas generate enough power for the home to be off the grid.

“The weather in Coonoor is notorious for being fickle… it can change with little or no notice. One moment it’s sunny and the next it can get cloudy, with heavy rain. The speed of the wind causes a high-pitched whine, so it was essential to have heavy double-glazed windows with a void between the panes,” says Reddy. When designing the house, the intention was to allow for a union with nature, both whether sitting outside in the garden or inside.All floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a balcony, veranda, terrace, deck or the garden itself.Slim railings offer minimal obstruction to views of distant rolling hills and skies with woolly clouds that seem almost within reach. Inside, the fans are used only to circulate the air, while the air conditioning is totally useless.” In rooms with 17-foot ceilings, I used the fans at tower, as the long rods needed to suspend the ceiling fans would have looked pretty ugly.”

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