Jungle Vacation Home
The jungles of Masinagudi have long since held the fascination of the city man. With its thick green foliage, the distance growls and rumbles of wildlife in their natural habitat and the beauty of nature in all its pristine glory, these jungles have called out to everyone at some point. Little wonder then, that jungle enthusiasts like KV Prasad find themselves returning to these wooded environs time and again. Rather than submit to the commercial offerings of resorts in the area, KV Prasad was fortunate enough to acquire a 20 acre plot in Masinagudi. A chance meeting with Subhash Saraff, the chief architect at A360 Architects was the beginning of a brilliant working association and the creation of a vacation home that truly defines a jungle escape. The rule of the land stipulates that you cannot construct more than 1500sqft in a block, primarily to ensure that there is no haphazard development. That set Subhash’s creativity to the test and the end result is as spectacular as the backdrop it is set in. What first strikes you as you are driving up to the house is how the contours of the home matches that of the mountains that form its background. This idyllic setting is just the beginning. The site is almost a kilometer long, with long green slopes on the sides. While one side has grassy plains, the other has a backdrop of mountains. At the maximum vantage point is where Subhash has opened up the house and that is where the mountains become the backdrop of the house. The need for ample parking space for large SUVs and ATVs meant a huge parking space. Not wanting a garage to take away from the natural beauty of the terrain, Subhash utilized the slope of one end of the plot to create a subterranean garage, providing the required space, without disturbing the lovely silhouettes of the house. The home itself is split into three blocks to address the restriction of not crossing the 1500sqft construction limit. Since pergolas and the like cannot be used, Subhash hit upon the geninius idea of connecting the three blocks with a large central deck. This deck has a large seating bench and is the ideal spot for open air BBQs on a sunny day. The central of the three blocks is the entertainment area with a lounge. On either side are blocks that are placed in a courtyard like style. Each block has 2 bedrooms and living area and one of them also houses the dining area. The infinity pool and kiddie pool included provide the perfect flanks to the entrance of the home. For a jungle enthusiast, no amount of time spent outdoors is enough and that is why Subhash has attempted to bring the great outdoors, closer to home and indoors, all across the space. The house has multiple spots that serve as sit-outs. No matter what time of the day it is and what part of nature you want to enjoy at a given time, you will find a sit-out in the house that gives you a vantage point. Everything in the creation of the house has been done to encourage outdoor activities. To make things feasible during the rains, there is a covered sit-out that gives you the best of views, even when Mother Nature is unleashing her fury. All through the creation of the house, the idea has been to be as inclusive of nature and animals as possible. That is why, even in the landscaping of house, you see a lot of foliage that attracts animals, birds and butterflies, has been included. At the far edges of the property, mud pits have been dug and salt layers added. Elephants enjoy coming to these spots to lick the soil. Of course, the photography opportunities provided are immense. The location is an architect's dream come true. With wide undulating hills forming the backdrop to this property, nothing can spell a vacation home better than a space right in the lap of Mother Nature.