House at Coonoor
THE SITE is located in Coonoor, a small town in the Nilgiris at an elevation of about two thousand, surrounded by tea plantations and enjoys a cool and pleasant climate due to its elevation. It is mountainous country and offers dramatic views of tall peaks in the high ranges nearby. It is located on a west facing slope with an unobstructed and beautiful view of the valley below. The house which was originally planned as a getaway home with one bed room and a mezzanine bed room for children was later expanded to include another bed room, toilet and dressing areas. The house itself was designed to exploit the views and capture the warmth of the afternoon sun. Windows in the living room and both bed rooms have large fixed glass panels on the west which make this possible. From windows on the east one gets a full view of the tea garden and the forest beyond.
The living and dining areas form the main focus with smaller areas such as the kitchen and mezzanine merge with it – the former on the same level and the other on the next level. The mezzanine which is located at the high end of the sloping roof over the living area remains visually connected. The plan is a split level plan with rooms located at various levels to suit the sloping terrain. As one enters the house one experiences an interesting interplay of spaces, both horizontally and vertically. The exterior is finished with exposed aggregate plaster using natural granite and the roof is tiled with olive green ceramic glazed Mangalore Tiles to merge with the green back ground of trees and tea plants.