The Mango House – design defined by simplicity and organic nature of construction

The Mango House – design defined by simplicity and organic nature of construction

Architects: Studio PKA
Location: Alibag, Maharashtra, India
Year: 2015
Area: 6.000 ft²/ 557 m²
Photo courtesy: Amit Pasricha

“The Mango House is the physical manifestation of a quest to connect with the natural environment. The essence of design here is simplicity in thought and expression through the form, material and décor of the structure. The organic nature of construction successfully connects the outside with the inside and thus manages to convey an earthy feel through its free-flowing plan. The house is a blend of various elements & building materials that are ‘azonic’, lending simplicity to the design.

Since mango trees dominated the plot, the house clearly gets its definition from them to ensure that the basic value of being organic or adopting green culture was exercised. These 70-80 year old inhabitants of the plot became the deciding and guiding factors for the design and concept for the house.

The mango trees in the north, south and east directions demarcated the boundary of the house.

The aim was to be able to view the surrounding landscape from any point within the abode – along the north-south as well as the east-west axes. This led to an entrance on all four sides for an uninterrupted view of the verdant softscape outside.

There were some certainties that were a given – the entrance to the north; as there was space for a driveway, and the kitchen to the east; to catch the early morning sun.

There was a need for a balance between the open and covered spaces. With the restrictions imposed by the trees on the construction, the only solution was to go a level up but stay true to the village like feel.

The house reflects a free flowing and uninterrupted connect with its surroundings without losing the proportion in design.

Creating volume was an important aspect of the structure and with the sloping roof one gets about 35 feet at the highest point. This is emphatically accentuated at the suspended staircase as it sweeps up to the first floor. A skylight here and another over the dining area allow light to filter in and underscore the feeling of vastness.

This vastness of space and its uninterrupted connect with the surroundings is the highlight of the house.

Alluding to the vernacular, a rich sense of culture and tradition is ever present – The Mango House helps the city-dwelling family to connect with nature by being organic in both spirit and content.”

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