For those who spend a lot of time on the road, there is no feeling quite like finally returning home. For the owners of this exquisite rural getaway on the outskirts of New Delhi, this is the home they forever dreamt of while working abroad for many years. After finally deciding to return to India, they were lucky enough to purchase the property at the right time in the market, to be able to complete their dream home. Designed by Kumar Moorthy & Associates, one key element of this home was to be as sustainable and ecological as possible, blending in seamlessly with the surrounding greenery that skirts the edges of India's second largest city. Come with us on a guided tour of this house that allows the owners to live out their hobbies of organic farming, reading, and living a carefree lifestyle, all set amongst a home that is contrary to the often over the top and flashy homes that have been springing up around Delhi in recent years. The architects of Kumar Moorthy & Associates help realised the owner's dreams, and the result is a unique project that combines a sense of home and wanderlust in an alluring way.
Rather than opting for over the top design that is ever so popular in India, the owners of this refined home decided to let the beauty of nature and rural simplicity take the spotlight. Framed by lush gardens and manicured lawns, the natural inspiration for this home only needs ample lighting to gain the coveted 'wow' factor.
The home was designed around a number of courtyards to ensure the essence of nature was always present. A wide variety of exotic plants from around the world feature, including African tulips, North American Trumpet Trees, and South American Cannon Ball Trees. Here, we get our first glimpse of the exterior feature wall, painted in an oriental red. A tropical oriental theme is hinted at frequently in this home; in the plants that decorate it and other elements which we will see later.
The covered entrance is littered with tropical plants, reminiscent more of a Balinese villa than a home located a short drive from the madness that is New Delhi. Coconut timber lines the entrance and the homes surrounding veranda, a material chosen due to its tropical heritage. Ponds weave through the courtyard centric design, aimed at cooling the prevalent breezes of the region. The orientation was also designed with the direction of the sun in mind, in order to incorporate shaded areas throughout, to reduce the use of electricity.
Greeting us as we step inside the home, we are welcomed by a large oriental sculpture, suggesting to us what awaits when we enter the house – a mix of exotic souvenirs collected over many years.
The transition between each room has been designed with airflow and fluency in mind, pertaining to the overall design of the home. You will not find closed doors or confined spaces in this home. Even the door arches are anything but simple. This one for example, is reminiscent of the entrance to an ancient temple.
Viewing the open plan kitchen and dining area, we can see how designing a home with a well lit and breezy ground floor was a key feature. Natural elements feature are prominent, with earthy browns and beige evoking thoughts of soil and sand, reminding the owners of time spent on a deserted beach, or hiking up a muddy track. The benchtops for the kitchen and dining table have also been fashioned from a a single tree trunk. The extremely high ceilings allow for air to easily circulate the room, keeping it fresh and cool.
Stepping further back, we are offered a view of the entire space, and can grasp exactly how large this single room is. At night, the space comes together to feel a little cosier, with low hanging lights hovering above the dining table and lounge setting. Large couches offer the owners enough comfort to read a book or relax after a day in their organic garden; two of their favourite pastimes.
Even in the bathroom you cannot escape the relaxing qualities of natural foliage. Here we see a tiny courtyard hugging the bathroom, enticing the occupant to light some candles and relax a little while longer, soaking in the scents and surrounds of nature. Floral prints also feature on the tiles of the room, which are all in neutral tones to allow the eye popping green of tropical plants to be the feature of the room.
The entire building was designed with energy consumption in mind, with every detail considered in order to minimise the environmental impact of the home. Low slung awnings over the verandahs prevent the harsh midday sun from entering the house, a number of water bodies enhance cooling, and the orientation enhance desirable sun and breeze directions. The house even goes as far as recycling water, harvesting rain water, and using solar energy for water heating, which all helps to minimise the carbon footprint.
We simply loved this home, and hope that you did too! Perhaps you will find inspiration to help the environment by implementing a more sustainable way of life into your household.