Three Trees House by DADA & Partners
Architects: DADA & Partners
Location: New Delhi, India
Area: 17,000 sqft
Photo courtesy: Ranjan Sharma / Lightzone India
Set on a verdant land parcel which contains large mature trees, the Three Trees House house is settled -much like a fork- between three large trees. The premise for choosing to place the building amidst the trees was to preserve the existing trees while enjoying the beautiful natural setting in close proximity of the habitable areas from there. The house is think up as an assembly of two fairly rectangular blocks, the east facing front block and west facing rear one. Both are connected by a narrow, transparent, staircase block. The largest tree of the three, a flowering Kachnar (bauhinia), becomes the centerpiece of the courtyard space.
The shaded north facing courtyard is further animated with different rooms fronting onto it along with the large overhang canopies providing constant play of warming light and shade. As experienced from within the house, this space brings us an enhanced sense of openness inside and also unfolds constantly changing views of the outdoors, as well as the building, as one moves around the house and vertically between different levels of the house.
The front or east block serves as public functions such as the entry lobby, drawing room, dinning, and bar all of which face the large front lawn as well as the relatively intimate courtyard. The rear block has a large double height family living room which opens out to the courtyard and the pool deck and two bedrooms facing the rear lawn. The upper level has four bedroom, puja room, and a lounge area which allows the family to gather in there. The gym and sauna pavilion sits just across the swimming pool, along the Northern face of the property, and squares-off the sense of enclosure around the courtyard.
One of the the clients desire was of a large and lofty formal drawing room spilling out to a garden. This resulted in a three side open, 20 feet tall, lantern like space framing views to the picturesque front lawn on the east and the eventful pool-side on the west side.
Within this luxuriant almost ambrosial setting, the predominantly hard and monolithic landscape design creates a deliberate experiential counterpoint. The building facade also becomes part of this setting, especially at the ground-plane level where, every so often, large vertically furrowed stone-clad panel walls frame the open space expanse. The expansive and largely untouched front and rear lawns are anchored by couple of anachronous ficus trees that act as generous foreground for the house. It is the courtyard with its orchestrated reflective pool, infinity-edged swimming pool, and floating wooden decks which engages with the mostly transparent, folding threshold of the house.
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