A house with elevated steel tunnels, bridged corridors and rooftop swimming pool on stilts. This might seem like a production design requirement for a Bond Villian’s house but is instead, the Alibaug-based creation of Malik Architecture.
Architect, Kamal Malik, was asked to create a unique family home on seven acres of a hill in Alibaug. The contoured setup like this would have traditionally incorporated a steeped terrace but the architects decided to take a different route which would not require large scale excavation and cutting up of the hill. Arjun Malik, Kamal’s son, says ‘We chose to deconstruct a cuboid that is tilted and suspended over the ground and seems to simultaneously float and flow down the hill.’ He went on to explain the idea behind the house further -’A walk through the house is meant to yield unique moments of being suspended in space, of intimate enclosure and yet, it allows one to feel closely connected to nature.’
The blocks that make contact with the earth were split to create a natural courtyard in the space between where the earth flows through the home. This drastically reduced the amount of cutting required and also ensured that the natural contours remained largely unchanged. The project did not offer any limitations and the architects only invoked certain self-limitations to retain the integrity of the hill and ensure sustainability of the development. The client’s brief asked for the primary living space and verandah close to the swimming pool for which the architects used the contours of the hill to construct a stilted infinity pool.
The project started in 2007 and was completed by September 2009.Initially planned as a full-time residency, it now serves as the family’s summer house. While we’re busy scrolling through photos of European and American summer homes, lost in a dreamy haze, we often miss the architectural marvels which are made in India itself.