Responsible architecture is deeply intertwined with its context. A well-designed building establishes a meaningful connection with its surroundings, ensuring a powerful integration. Since successful design almost always takes its clues from nature, it is important to observe that nature in itself is not always cohesive. For instance, in “Airavat – The House in the Clouds“, a project that is often described as disruptive, the architectural design is respectful of the silence of the landscape it inhabits, showcasing the importance of understanding and responding to the site’s unique qualities. Keeping the hilly landscape as the primary compass for design, the various levels of this house are developed to respond to the natural terrain of the site.
Incorporating landscape elements not only adds aesthetic appeal but also improves the quality and functionality of architectural designs. Outdoor green spaces provide areas for recreation and socialising, contributing to improved usability. To enhance user experiences, elements like courtyards can establish intimate connections with the surroundings. For example, at Airavat, a floating lotus pond welcomes visitors, creating a pause point and directing them toward the house. Thoughtful planning of spill-outs around natural features such as rocks or trees enhances visual integration, while strategically positioned vantage points offer optimal views of the landscape. Renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragan once said, “I don’t divide architecture, landscape and gardening; to me they are one“.
Founder and Principal Designer, Lyth Design
Apoorva Shroff is the founder of lyth Design, a boutique design studio based out of Mumbai whose work spans the disciplines of interior design, architecture, product design and graphic design. At lyth, she brings together over two decades of experiences resulting in lyth’s adept process of spatial storytelling that is driven by pragmatic solutions resulting in enigmatic yet straightforward spaces. Shroff strongly believes that every design needs to start with a story and that every design decision is a conscious choice.