This is a 5,000 sq. ft. load bearing bungalow built on the outskirts of Kanha National park, Madhya Pradesh. The 7 acre plot shares a boundary with the core area and is located close to the Mukki gate entrance of the park. This house is designed for Sheema and Aniruddh Mookerjee as their primary home. They also welcome guests here and run the place as a homestay named ‘Salban’.

Our aim for this project was to use minimum RCC, provide large covered verandahs using all the locally available material, expertise and labour. The residence has been designed keeping in mind the local climate and context, a tight budget and a quirky colonial flavour. The form of the building was inspired by the local houses built in two levels and verandas to provide shade to the main house. The foundation and walls were built in locally available brick with mud mortar. The soil required for construction was acquired from the site itself which was tested by us before construction. We found that the local masons were highly skilled at brickwork and with a some inputs from us, they were able to make two large structural arches which we had proposed. Another technique they learned from us was match-casting brick to the door and window lintels. The structure of the lower roof was made with locally available seasoned forest wood bought thought government auctions, while the upper roof structure was made in MS hollow tubes to make the structure lighter. We took waterproofing and plywood boarding above the structure and finished the roof with clay tiles sourced from local manufacturers for thermal insulation. There is a large clay tiles industry in the nearby town of Balaghat. Doors and windows were made in locally sourced seasoned Sal wood and flooring stone was bought from Raipur which is about 180 Kms from the site location. Electrical and plumbing fittings were bought from the nearby town of Balaghat.

Sheema and Anirudh have moved there permanently and have opened their house for guests looking for a cozy forest experience. Their residence is popular with visitors throughout the year. You can visit their website to know more about the homestay experience. Sheema and Jhampan won the Madhya Pradesh Tourism award for the best homestay of 2017.

Design Team:

Pooja and Meghana