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A minimalist vacation home by Architecture BRIO cantilevers from the edge of a hillock

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A haven for all nature lovers, this home nestled on top of a mountain is a lesson on how to live in harmony with nature, albeit stylishly

If we ever got down to writing that book we have been meaning to, then this would be the kind of place we would retire to. Located just below the top of a hillock at the foothills of the Western Ghats, the Riparian House in Karjat off Mumbai, sits pretty with views of the Irshalgad hill fortress to its north, a gorgeous sunset on its west and a river that winds its way across the fields there.

The architecture of the structure blends seamlessly with the surrounding nature. The vegetated roof seems to be an extension of the natural landscape, giving the house an additional usable area. We love how the green cover serves to keep the house below cool due to its insulative properties.

The house is designed in such a way that it interacts with nature at all points. Along the central axis of the house, landscaped steps lead you along a coarse stonewall towards the pool deck. Another set of steps connects to the main level of the house leading to the dining room. The (aspiring) chef in us is most delighted with the kitchen, which is ensconced in a light-filled courtyard. Oh the joy of cooking, conversations and the sound of merry laughter! Flanked on either side by two bedrooms at the far end, the spaces are awash with natural light.

While the minimalist living room and the master bedroom enjoy panoramic views of the river, care has been taken to maintain privacy. A rhythmic row of bamboo poles is placed at close intervals in front of the house to create a layer of privacy without obstructing the spectacular view of the river and the mountains beyond.

Built with Indian limestone, the structure appears to rise out of the ground. The home feels more organic than built, with the feeling that you are living within nature. While the site was being excavated during construction, the design team came across stone boulders. These have being retained to further accentuate the experience.

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