Urveel is a weekend residence in India, into the woods, away from the city noises. Located in the village of Sania Hemad in the Surat district, Urveel represents the character of earth in its true sense. The 900 sqm bungalow rests on the edge of the village, in a quiet zone, and within the heart of nature. There were six mango trees and 6 to 8 huge sapodilla trees on the site.
Design Work Group‘s major concern was to keep the existing trees on the plot untouched and built the house around them. Letting the nature prosper in the 4000 sqm plot, they designed a 4 bedroom residence that preserves and merges into the green canopies of the mango and sapodilla trees. Moreover, the spaces are placed in such a way that they segregates private and public spaces, and create an atmosphere where the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces is lost, while the amalgamation leads the dweller to an unrestrained, non-abrupt and unhindered ambience.
The plan’s network is divided using two major brick walls, one linear and another one L shaped, running throughout the house, connecting and dividing the internal spaces, thus becoming the most important elements of the house. The fire bricks used for these walls become a critical material, as they allow flexibility in usage. Sometimes porous like a jali, sometimes opaque and textured; and at times forming a courtyard or working as a backdrop; these walls can be seen from every corner of the house.
The bedrooms are all independent separate entities, resting on the west side. Connected by a corridor, they are followed by covered sitting and pooja. A large swimming pool can be found near the center, making sure the design is loyal to the concept by integrating into nature. An outdoor kitchen, changing rooms, gym and steam rooms nestle around it. The living, dining and kitchen are provided with a flush of openings on the north facade, allowing the spaces into the lush landscape.
To attain the aim of designing a space close to earth, the architects utilised materials such as fire bricks, granite, cobbles, river pebbles, wood and other natural earthy materials. Optimum utilization of these materials, in a luxurious, yet extrovert space was the aim.
The structure has a contemporary pitched roof. The conventional light did not fit well with the sloping wooden ceiling, thus large, well fitted 4 independent pivoted lights with adjustable focus were designed to complement the roof.
The tropical house features a soft landscape with lawns, integrated within the residence. A pergola rests on the landscape, where most of the space is occupied by existing trees, carefully allowed to thrive on the site. The layout and planning stay true to the idea of sustainability and requirements of volume and spaces as the house and nature blend into becoming one.
Design and info © Design Work Group
Images © Photographix