Studio Mumbai Trains Tree Tops to Blissfully Cool the Kapadia House
Here’s yet another refined and bookishly elegant house set in tropical India from Studio Mumbai. Like their award-winning Palmyra House, it is innovatively designed for natural cooling in a hot land.
The Zen-like sparse and delightful courtyard space almost makes you forget that it’s based on bare earth, which is not usually thought of as one of the most refined of landscaping materials.
But, as with many designs by Mumbai Studio, a rethink happens. The simple ground brings a refined sensuality to this very organized courtyard with its modulated light and hand crafted stairs.
The intensely tactile nature of their work comes from the interwoven craftsmanship of masons, landscape designers and carpenters. Each detail, from stairs to doors and windows is scrupulously crafted by their own in-studio team.
Directed by Bijoy and Priya Jain, Studio Mumbai is an unusual collaborative, multidisciplinary firm integrating architecture, landscape and interior design with product and furniture design.
You can intensely feel that this house is designed to escape from heat. The stone paving throughout invites bare feet, both outside and “inside”. But actually, this ground floor is not where the living is primarily done.
Throughout the courtyards, stairs lead up to the real living areas. In such spare settings, each element resonates. The mystery of this lone trunk. Where has it been? Where will it go?
The stairs from the very spare courtyard below lead up into these lavishly shady bowers on the rooftops. The roof tiles are on the right. The coolest place to be is walking high up in the treetops.
Outdoor pathways lead from room to room – on the roof.
These concentric layers of privacy above the courtyard create a home made of paths through nature. And isn’t that what we are doing as a civilization? Studio Mumbai makes houses that are a botanical metaphor of cultivation and civilization.
There is a real feeling of arrival and welcome in their unique tree top landscape.
Refined and civilized, Studio Mumbai creates patient places that both celebrate our humanity and give equal weight to what we must take from nature.
It is all made possible by the trained trees that have been organized in the courtyard below, that work together to make an exquisite space above that uses their transpiration for cooling.
Like their other work, this house goes so far beyond just “eco-friendly” green design, and it is all done with such grace and aplomb.
More on Studio Mumbai
Palmyra House Shortlisted for Sustainable Aga Khan Award
Studio Mumbai Wows me Again