Kalrav Farm by VPA Architects is a serene holiday home and a bird-lover’s paradise. Featuring tiered landscapes, paradisiacal waterscapes and a plethora of meticulously curated trees, the vernacular aesthetic and pastoral appeal of this home are a testament to its name— which translates to the chirping sound or ‘tweet’ of a bird. Understated forms, an aviary, central Neem tree, bird-feeders and charming bridges, niches & screens contribute to an exploratory experience and idyllic living environment. Scroll down to read the designers’ insights.
The site is located near Thol lake, Ahmedabad, situated next to an existing weekend home. Initially, this place was standard flat land, with few trees on periphery. The owner was fond of birds and had various exotic bird species from different parts of the world. Also, on first reaching the site, we were welcomed by birds belting out their melodious chirps and beautiful incantations. The rejuvenation we felt as a result of that sparked the basic concept for the design. The name ‘Kalrav’ means chirping of birds.
The aim was to create a raw and organic environment for our clients to relax and connect with nature. The entrance features a traditionally carved door and vernacular-themed wall with mud plaster. This immediately imparts a sense of belonging and humility on arrival. Moving inwards, one comes across an aviary, which also stages as a backdrop for the existing Neem tree that takes a sculptural form in the centre of the courtyard. The use of bird motifs in niches and screens creates a distinct identity.
A major part of the site is the plethora of waterscapes, which also play a part in attracting more birds to the site. The mellifluous sound, akin to a waterfall enlivens the ambience. The tiered waterscapes and plantations, with abundant spaces for engagement create aa soothing environment that is absolutely conducive to relaxation. Bird-friendly trees are planted all along the periphery. We have planted over 250 trees so far and the number continues to grow. The walking trail and the cable bridge was conceived as a means to truly engage with the verdant surroundings. Light-poles were custom made and serve a dual purpose as bird feeders as well. The elevated deck facing east became the perfect spot for yoga and breakfast. This hanging deck is where you can sit and enjoy the tranquil drama of the entire site, as the mist rolls down from the swimming pool.
We have kept the built area minimal and subtle. The upper floor serves as a lounge area, while the lower floor hosts the activity areas and remains shaded and cosy throughout the day. In the evening, the indirect and mild lighting scheme facilitates a soft and meditative ambience. Kalrav is a paradise, not only for our clients, but also for birds, insects and many other living creatures. The absolute connection with the natural elements is a wondrous experience.