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Home > An Architect Creates Her Weekend Home Sans Walls, Invites Nature In

An Architect Creates Her Weekend Home Sans Walls, Invites Nature In

Taliesyn Design creates an adaptable, sustainable vacation home in Bengaluru that is more an exercise in deducting than building

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Location: Bengaluru
Size: 5,249 square feet; 487 square metres
Principal Architects: Shalini Chandrashekar & G.S Mahaboob Basha, Taliesyn Design & Architecture
Photography by: Harshan Thomson

Located on the outskirts of Bengaluru, in the shadows of the lofty Savandaurga hill, nestled amidst dense plantations, lies a weekend home that evokes a sense of freedom and openness. The homeowner, who is also the architect at Taliesyn, wanted a retreat which at its core retained a strong connection to its surroundings with minimal interruption in the landscape. It also had to remain adaptable with multi-usable spaces that could be used by the larger community. Shalini Chandrashekar says,”The intention was to blend, harmonise and inspire, rather than shock and dominate”.

The design is significant in its seamless integration with the surroundings while maintaining its unique identity and respecting the natural contours of the site. It allows for continuous wind movement and visual connection with the outdoors, with a thicket of trees forming a layer of privacy around the structure.


Chandrashekar explains,”The home creates a sanctum of rejuvenation away from urban bustle. It is designed to continually transform with nature as the protagonist. The design intervention was consciously limited in terms of changing the landscape or the natural occurrences within the site.” As such the home has very few walls, allowing most spaces to  entwine uninterruptedly with the outdoors. “The lack of walls heightens the feeling of a blank canvas that presents ample opportunities for self-exploration and self-expression, just as intended,” says Chandrashekar.

The primary residence, spanning two stories, contains an open but sheltered living and dining room on the lower level, with the master bedroom, ensuite bathroom and a study on the first floor – one of the few spaces with walls.

Furniture and accessories incorporate local materials and craftsmanship, from the planters chair and swing to the ‘kansa’ crockery to the stone tables made from local quarries.

The double-storeyed monochromatic block in concrete and cement appears to float effortlessly on a pair of bevelled arches that creates column-free, open space, with large roof overhangs. The bedroom is enclosed on all sides with louvered windows made out of oak wood, creating a permeable space that invites the outdoors in, while allowing the users to control ventilation and light.


Khadi bed linen and and the low tiled table, all in shades of blue, add a pop of colour to the neutral palette.
Arched doorways and windows complement the stark linearity of the building.

Chandrashekar says, “The spatial arrangement is specifically directed to traverse amidst the landscape, blurring the boundaries between the built and the unbuilt.”

A sleek, floating staircase connects the two levels on the exterior of the house.

The pool, framed by a stone deck, was strategically placed to catch the flow of the NE-SW breeze. In the absence of filtration or added chemicals it doubles up as a storage tank for the vegetation around. 

A rugged wall built from local grey stone beside the pool, marks the transition from private to public areas. 

On the other side of the wall, lies an 80-foot long pavilion composed of a series of concrete columns, designed to merge into the background as the foliage of trees around it grows to full height. Featuring a flat roof, minimal to its core, this recreational space is flexible enough to host anything, from a family get-together to an artistic event, and is open to all, including the local villagers.

The design is focused on creating adaptable, multi-use, congregational spaces to bring people together.

The cellar, under the private quarters, houses a studio used by the residents and fellow artists

The home strives to maintain a low footprint; locally-sourced stones like Sadarahalli and Pink Magadi are abundantly used, keeping in mind their longevity and low maintenance. Solar energy powers the entire building. The open-air design negates the need for mechanical air conditioning ensuring optimal, natural air circulation and daylight throughout the day, while breathing walls reduce indoor temperatures in the enclosed spaces. The cellar with its stone walls and the earth filling around it remains cool throughout the year. Waste water from the household is recycled and channeled towards farming activities, nurturing the abundant fruit-bearing trees on the site.

Summing up, the architect says, “The play on the sensual and perceptual abilities of the inhabitants is heightened and is ever changing as one traverses through the spaces. The effects of volume, light, shadow and textures in each space are designed to be specific to its function and the time of the day it is to be used. The same spaces seem very different when they are closed or open; when open, they feel like you are amidst the landscape and when they are closed, they offer a cosy, warm ambience.” Playing with varying volumes, voids, degrees of sunlight, natural breezes and sounds, the house creates an immersive and continuously changing experience that enhances the connection with nature, fulfilling the premise it was built on.

Site plan of the ground floor

Story by Vinita Kunnath

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Sunlit and Dotted With Art, This Delhi Farmhouse is Crafted for Slow Living
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