SECLUDE RAMGARH

Seclude

Ramgarh, Uttarakhand

2006

10,500 sqft

Hospitality

Architizer 

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This project provided an opportunity to reinterpret prototypes for building in the hills. There has been drastic construction in Uttarakhand due to an increasing investment in the building industry largely by interests outside the state driving the economy, resulting in pressure on the environmental resources. At the same time the combination of seismic building codes and predominance of framed construction has lead to the rapid disappearance of time tested building techniques. We responded to the challenge by creating a footprint that would be the least intrusive to the surroundings, reinterpreting the form and material of traditional buildings of the region and and combining it with contemporary technology and sensibility.

The site is a long and narrow expanse on an extremely steep slope with a 60 degree gradient. It overlooks stunning views of the Ramgarh valley and gives a heightened sense of elevation. It is located away from the main town center and therefore offered an undisturbed setting.  The site is north facing and its slope fell in shadow area drastically reducing access to direct southern sun. It has many trees, amongst them flowering plum, apple and peach trees, which transformed the site dramatically through the seasons.

 

The brief called for six high end luxury villas in the Himalayan town of Ramgarh in Uttarakhand. The villas were to act as holiday homes for the clients who are based in Delhi and also offer the possibility of being rented out as guesthouses.  The client wanted a reasonably high density (for a mountain setting) of six villas of around 1750 sqft in the narrow 1 acre site, with each villa to have privacy as well as the views. The structures were envisioned to retain the sense of greenery on site.

The site itself was the key determinant for the location of the individual structures as well as the form. The steep site was mapped for areas where the gradient provided relatively flat areas which could allow proper footing to anchor the units with minimum excavations. In order to retain the terraced nature of the site the built form was designed in levels rather than a monolithic entity.

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