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Palmyra House Shortlisted for Sustainable Aga Khan Award

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One of the loveliest sustainable designs shortlisted for the 2010 Aga Khan Awards in Architecture is this two-storey weekend retreat by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai Architects,  in the form of a pair of buildings in the cool coastal shade of a coconut plantation overlooking the sea.
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The functions of the house are split into two buildings. Here the view from the drawing room across to the dining room, just a short refreshing swim away.

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Named for the palm tree that built it, louvres around the entire house are made from the trunks of the Palmyra.

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This charming weekend retreat is on coastal agricultural land facing the sea, near the fishing village of Nandgaon, south of Mumbai.

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In the detailing and design throughout, there is evidence of collaboration between architect and the local craftsmen in the combination of traditional and tested techniques raised to a finer construction standard, for example in the use of plaster finish pigmented with sand from the site itself.

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The structure is made of ain wood; local basalt was used to make boundary walls, plinths and paving.

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The cool night air breezes right through the the structures’ louvres with no impediments. The siting itself, shaded by the coconut grove is further example of sustainable design.

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A shower, open to the sky extends beyond the structure. Water for the house is harvested from three on-site wells, filtered and stored at the top of a water tower and fed by gravity to the house.

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There surely is no more perfectly peaceful and contemplative place in the world to bathe than this.

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The result of all the integrated sustainable measures is a quietly compelling project that is fully integrated into its landscape.

Source: Aga Khan Shortlisted Awards for 2010

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