There was a careful balance maintained between negotiating the client requirements and keeping the spirit of the location intact for the design of the hillside house. Listening to the site was the first step to respond to the project. Building on different levels is an ode to the hilly nature of the site.
The house gently prompts one to move upwards, and discover hidden spaces and vistas of the city or the park behind it. From the topmost level, one can view the house cascading down to a welcoming intimate courtyard at the road level. The levels facilitate the spatial segregation required by the client and his two sons to occupy separate portions of the house. Yet these zones are interspersed with shared spaces; garden, courtyards and terraces providing the families opportunities to come together. It is the movement through these zones articulated by the careful curation of materials and enhanced by cool sea breeze, sunlight and greens that makes the experience of moving from one part of the house to another, rejuvenating. Most of the living spaces natural wind including the staff areas. Small nooks on the windward side catch wind and disperse it into the interior spaces.
The multi-family setup has also led to the introduction of multiple entry points at different levels in the form of distinct staircases. As one progresses through the house, the staircases begin to lighten, starting from the grand concrete staircase to the elemental steel and wood flights.
The project with its curated promenade and ability to converse with the site and views took some time to execute. Frequent conversation with the clients allowed the design to maintain its sensitivity to the site and nature. One such expression is the communal space on the roof. It is a celebrated space characterised by metal-wood pavilions with comfortable seating to allow the clients to meet friends and family while enjoying the panoramic views of the city below.
The materiality of the house is a direct response to the availability of materials on the land and around it. One can experience the history of yellow sand stone quarried from the site, the strength of steel and silky textures of concrete consciously put together and complemented by the green of growing plants. The existing trees are conserved and tied within the newer landscape, making one fell enveloped by the dense foliage.
Interior spaces open up to the views of landscape and neighbourhood outside. The landscape is intimately woven with the built areas; the Frangipani court, the water body, the pool and the cascading green are all integrated with the living spaces of the residence. Some of the fenestration incorporate openable louvers that allow the clients to maintain varying degrees of privacy in the interior spaces.