Houses with gable roofs sit harmoniously on Partridge hill in the pine forest of Saitoli village, Nainital. A winding road takes the visitor up to house set beautifully away from main road for privacy. The houses look at the majestic Himalayan range beyond Almora. To make the most of it, they are designed such that each space gets a generous window on the north facing Himalayas. At the same time, a south window brings in winter south sun in every space. A clerestory window in a double height space fulfills this requirement for living dining adding drama to room, which otherwise didn’t have a south window.
Each space has its own individual character. Living dining is distinguished by double height space & clerestory window. To add to it, there is also has a fireplace, bay window & a skylight to sit under the stars. Master bedroom looks spacious with high sloping roof while the attic feels cosy with low sloping roof & wooden floor. Attic staircase is a part of attic to facilitate cross ventilation & bring in south sun. Attic feels warm owing to pine wood floor & ceiling. Staircase, railing & roofing rafters seen together make for an interesting composition. Children’s bathroom has a special character with high sloping roof & large window facing Himalayas.
Every space has access to outdoors like lawn, veranda, terrace or a balcony on the north for Himalayan view as well as on the south for winter sun. Cantilevered first floor veranda for master bedroom provides unhindered 180 degrees view of the landscape for outdoor living & enjoying especially rain. A generous lawn created in front of the house in 20 feet drop by placing servant quarter over rainwater tank lets you enjoy the sun as well as view. Dedicated terrace to attic allows Himalayan view in private. One can enjoy the winter sun in ground and first floor bedrooms in south court & balcony respectively and terrace above kitchen gives access to children’s bedroom for winter sun.
A simple gable roof has been repetitively used to create a rhythmic elevation. Changes in levels in elevation add drama with the cantilevered first floor veranda coming out with its truss & gable roof. Attic is also partly visible in the distance. Servant quarter stands in stark contrast to the houses with unusual shape & reverse slope with minimal openings.
Plenty of natural light floods every corner of house including bathrooms that have large windows for nature’s view with blinds for privacy. Cross ventilation has been ensured in very space with layout structured to place windows on opposite walls. The orientation & layout of the house brings in south winter sun to every room. Double glazing has been used for insulation. Solar water heater provides hot water. Rainwater is collected in a huge rainwater tank, which is then used for gardening throughout year.