House in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

© Sebastian Zachariah

ArchitectRajiv Saini + Associates
First Seen onDezeen Magazine
PhotographerSebastian Zachariah
Area: 640 Sq. mt.

This is a very beautiful location (I am very sure that sites such as these are very rare to come by and it is big too!) and very bold design. The blue glass facade reflects the mountains and the sky around the house and blends in nicely with the background. It gives the viewer the opportunity to enjoy the house and the invisible surroundings at the same time.

Following text provided by Architect:

The first visit I made to see the site changed all pre conceived ideas one had carried about the form this house should take.

Located on an elevated hill slope, over looking the ‘Ganges’ river as it turned around a bend, the unbridled energy of the gushing river became the one constant inspiration and the form of the house attempts to reflect some of that raw energy.

© Sebastian Zachariah

Designed as a holiday house/retreat on the Haridwar-Rishikesh route, it helped to be working with old clients who shared a passion for design, and also trusted us enough to embark on this radical design.

© Sebastian Zachariah

The requirements of the house were simple-three bedroom suites and enough casual /informal spaces to lounge around with family and friends and soak in the virgin territory all around.

© Sebastian Zachariah

Driving along the long winding drive way (that does not reveal the spectacle of the magnificent river view) leading to the house, one approaches the structure between two 12 feet high, tightly placed almost parallel walls of random stone masonry (all stone used for random masonry walls in the house was quarried locally) that lead you into an enclosed court bound with walls on 3 sides.

© Sebastian Zachariah
© Sebastian Zachariah
© Sebastian Zachariah 
© Sebastian Zachariah
© Sebastian Zachariah

Only on stepping inside through the teak wood doors does one comprehend the expansive river views. The large entrance space, along with the deck outside, functions as an informal lounging zone. It also encloses an elliptical, glass and teak framed dining enclosure. Crossing over a bridge from here, one passes through an internal court before descending into the lowered living room.

© Sebastian Zachariah

The master suite along with its en suite bathroom (and outdoor court with outdoor shower) is located to one side of the living room. Through a long glazed corridor lined with a grove of bamboo trees, one accesses the bedrooms and TV lounge on the other side. This glazed corridor is contained between the river facing bedrooms on one side, and the retaining wall holding up the bermed soil that conceals the presence of the spa tucked to one side of the entrance walls. A small court ensures enough natural light, while offering total privacy to its users.

© Sebastian Zachariah

In keeping with the location and form of the house, we played along with natural materials and finishes inside. Ceilings throughout are in form finished concrete, as are most retaining walls. Remaining internal walls are in white painted unplastered bricks or random rubble masonry.

© Sebastian Zachariah

The flooring throughout the public and circulation areas is in textured ochre coloured sandstone, while the bedrooms are finished in timber. Bathrooms too are clad in local stones or teak timber, and custom solid teak wood furniture along with linen and cotton furnishings was used throughout the house.

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