Beach House in Nandgaon

Set in a palm plantation on the west coast of India only a stone’s throw from the Arabian Sea, this beach house provides a refuge from the hectic metropolis of Mumbai. The house consists of two elongated cubic structures in timber, laid out to preserve as many of the existing palm trees as possible. The dense vegetation also prevented the use of heavy equipment, so that all phases of the work were executed by hand by local craftsmen – from the excavations to the roof structure. Materials were taken mainly from the region, and traditional forms of construction were applied, modified as required to meet design needs. Four wells on the site supply the house with water as well as irrigating the plantation via aqueducts, which are typical of the area. At the centre of the development between the two offset housing strips is a long pool. This takes up the linear form of the buildings and was finished with basalt rubble embedded in the surrounding sand. The various glazed and louvred facade elements ensure privacy and afford protection against the weather, while at the same time allowing views out across the plaza between the two volumes and to the sea and the palm grove. Fixed and adjustable louvres ensure that light enters and that air can pass through the internal spaces, which are two storeys high in part. The house is kept cool by the sea breeze and the shade of the palms.
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