The Ramp House (Rampghar) is located near the idyllic hamlet of Ramgarh (near Nainital, Uttarakhand), at an altitude above 7,000 feet. Offering breathtaking views of the majestic Kumaon Himalayas and surrounded by pine trees, fruit orchards, and mountain forests, Patch Design Studio‘s creation adapts seamlessly to the harsh but beautiful landscape, with its ever changing scenery and weather.
The house is secluded, nestled in the mountain slope, and faces the Himalayas. The steep 35 degree terraced landscape overlooks a dense valley. To ensure no disruption of the existing terraces, each habitable space cascades onto different split levels. These five levels are connected from within with light pine wood staircases, while the facade is formed by connecting the roofs with ramps, thereby creating a fluid movement from space to space and mimicking the terraces of the surrounding fruit orchards.
The house is never fully revealed; it slowly unravels, as one approaches it from above, and walks down along the roofscape. Unobstructed views of the mountains from each room is made possible by the fact that each space sits on its own level. Externally, the ramps and landing terraces offer open sit-outs for the bedrooms, while internally they create varying volumes within the large living-dining-cooking area. The sloped openings created by the ramps also help frame the varying views of the sky and mountains as one moves through the house.
The materials and construction methods were kept minimal and simple. While the house’s shell was conceived in concrete, the interiors relied on locally sourced materials and techniques. The flooring consists of simple cement terrazzo tiles with inserts of locally sourced wood for the floors in the sleeping areas. The light pine wood stairs sit framed against the retaining walls in local stone. This beautiful stone, sourced from the river valley below, brings in warmth as the sunlight moves across it throughout the day. The skylights above the beds offer abundant natural light during the day and the beautiful spectacle of a starry sky at night.
Rampghar changes with the ever-changing weather, merging into the landscape when it snows and offering its large ramped terraces as ideal lounge areas during the summer. It is definitely a house made for solitude, and a space that appreciates the mighty landscape it sits within.