The Sienna House, a weekend retreat nestled in Khopoli, Maharashtra, about 90 km from Mumbai, exudes a raw, earthy ambiance while staying true to its natural surroundings. Situated on a plateau, towering 1200 ft above sea level, and framed by the majestic Western Ghats, this dwelling, crafted by SAGI Architects, serves as a pioneering example for the Serenity Villas and Farms development.
Embodying the spirit of its locale, the house integrates seamlessly with the landscape, establishing its architectural essence for the neighboring plots. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of its environment, the Sienna House harmoniously blends visual and spatial elements to foster a profound connection with nature. The design embraces openness and transparency, inviting a sense of expansiveness that allows its occupants to commune with the surrounding natural splendor.
Taking cues from the climate and topography, the design of the Sienna House ingeniously reimagines a pavilion-style residence, employing uncomplicated geometrical forms and extensive open areas. Primarily conceived as a haven for a close-knit family who cherish both their own company and the joy of entertaining guests, this dwelling harmoniously blends the realms of nature and architecture.
The design concept artfully achieves a synthesis between the built environment and the surrounding natural landscape. Through the clever use of warm, subdued hues for the walls and the reddish-brown charm of Mangalore tiles, the Sienna House seamlessly assimilates into its scenic backdrop.
Within the sprawling 1.5-acre plot, a distinct and intimate space is carved out to accommodate the Sienna House. Delimited by a 4 ft-high boundary wall crafted from local laterite stones, this designated “plot within a plot” provides a sense of definition and privacy for the family. The inner plot features three rectangular structures thoughtfully arranged to form a straightforward layout encompassing three bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen, and generous open spaces.
This layout represents the most spacious configuration achievable within the modular plan, employing a grid-based structure that facilitates easy replication across other plots within the development. By selectively omitting one or more blocks, the house can be readily adapted to create a studio or a one- to two-bedroom residence, offering flexibility and versatility in design.
The Sienna House embraces a modular grid system, incorporating a combination of pre-fabricated structural steel and load-bearing walls. This innovative approach not only streamlines construction timelines but also reduces overall costs. Embracing a collaborative spirit, the construction of the house is entrusted to local villagers, who utilize their expertise and skills to bring the vision to life.
In a testament to sustainability and community support, the Sienna House relies on locally-sourced materials and construction techniques. By sourcing materials from the vicinity, the project not only reduces environmental impact but also generates employment opportunities for the local population.
From the southern road, a driveway gracefully guides visitors towards the entrance of the Sienna House. Beyond the threshold lies an impressive 375 sq. ft pavilion, serving as an extension of the home. Positioned along the east-west axis of the residence, this central space interconnects the various zones harmoniously. Here, the swimming pool and deck occupy a prominent role, fostering an intimate ambiance.
Surrounded by the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen, the pavilion acts as a gateway to the dining area, affording captivating views of the pool. Designed with versatility in mind, the pool area also doubles as an ideal setting for lively gatherings and exclusive musical events. To ensure privacy while maintaining convenience, the staff quarters are thoughtfully positioned just outside the boundary of the inner plot, striking a balance between seclusion and proximity to the main house.
Translating the natural and earthy palette into the interior spaces, the Sienna House envelops its inhabitants in a soothing atmosphere, adorned with warm tones of yellow, grey, and blue. The design philosophy emphasizes a clutter-free environment, allowing the biophilic design elements to take center stage, nurturing a profound connection with the surrounding nature.
Ample natural light bathes the interiors through full-height windows facing the north, while lofty ceilings enhance the sense of spaciousness. This design choice not only promotes an abundance of daylight but also minimizes heat gain and encourages cross-ventilation, ensuring a comfortable living environment. Moreover, each bathroom extends to a semi-open alley, offering a unique experience that deviates from the conventional city dwelling, connecting inhabitants with the natural elements even during private moments.
Adopting a sustainable mindset, the landscape design of the Sienna House takes a mindful approach, minimizing the reliance on extensive gardening due to the region’s low groundwater table. Indigenous shrubs and palms, sourced locally, thrive within the inner plot, embracing the house with lush greenery. As time progresses, the remaining plot will be transformed into a landscape featuring natural vegetation, fruitful orchards, and bountiful vegetable gardens. Sienna House stands as an honest embodiment of a weekend getaway, offering its occupants abundant open spaces and an innate connection to the surrounding nature.
Typology: Residential Villa
Name of Project: Sienna House
Location: Khopoli, Maharashtra
Principal Architect/Designer: Akash Dudhe
Design Team: Milan Jain, Ashish Gavand
Site Area (sq ft & sq m): 1.5 Acres (Approx 65500 sq ft)
Photographer & Styling: Ruhma Ukaye
Glass: Saint Gobain
Sanitaryware/Fittings: Hindware and Jaguar
Furniture: Indoor: Ikea
Furniture: Outdoor: Higold
Lighting: True Light
Paint: Asian Paints