Images courtesy of Studio Lotus
The aptly named Villa in the Woods by Studio Lotus seems to float among the forest as it sits nestled in verdant trees in the Kumaon range in the Himalayas. The studio built it as part of a housing project focused on creating a self-sufficient community in the hills that lives in harmony with nature.
As such, the house adopted an eco-conscious approach in the construction by using pre-engineered technology with infills of Light Gauge Framing Systems (LGSF) clad with locally sourced materials.
The team also leveraged a custom-designed modular construction system for off-site assembly, by using lightweight structural steel sections and a six-layered drywall section. The method allows the three-story villa to be bolted together by hand on-site using a kit of pre-engineered parts.
Meanwhile, concrete piles and tie beams anchor Villa in the Woods, while the dry construction method renders a smooth and clinical construction process that results in nearly zero waste generation. “The villa therefore treads lightly, preventing damage to the slopes and surrounding trees, and preserving the natural flow of water along the gradient.”
The structure stands on stilts at an altitude of 6,700 feet. It is divided into three levels for varied experiences and sightlines. It also has wheelchair accessibility and is serviceable by elevators.
Wide boardwalks from the road lead to the main level which hosts the living, kitchen, and dining area, which doubles as a conservatory that basks the interior with sunlight.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of lounging areas outdoors: at a north-facing deck and a south-facing court where residents can view panoramic forest vistas.
The second level hosts the bedrooms that feature floor-to-ceiling bay windows and skylights. The guest room, staff quarters, and ancillary facilities are at the lowermost level, which merges with the slope gradient under a canopy of native vegetation.
The elevated structure of Villa in the Woods was designed to “evoke the experience of treehouse living.” It is capped by a pitched roof and spacious balconies that offer solitude and a commune with nature.
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