PRASHANT BHUSHAN'S HOUSE, PALAMPUR
Site Development and Designing of Prashant Bhushan's House, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The weekend house is for a young couple, both of whom are lawyers by profession. They love nature and want to spend most of their time in natural surroundings when not working in Delhi.
The house is situated in Khandambari, which is 9 kms. from Palampur in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The site is situated on an undulating plateau at a height of approximately 4500 feet above the sea level surrounded on northwest by Dhauladhar range of mountains rising to 18000-20000 feet above sea level.
Southwest side of the site drops gradually overlooking the beautiful Kangra Valley which is dotted with terraced rice fields. Northwest side of the site is under forestland with thick growth of pine trees with sparse occurrence of deciduous trees. At the foothill of forestland with thick growth of pine trees with sparse occurrence of deciduous trees. At the foothill of forested land runs a small perennial stream discharging its water into terraced rice fields beyond the site.
On northwest side is terraced agricultural land with few huts which in future is likely to get more built.
The house is sited in such a way that it captures the prime potential of the site that is beautiful views of Dhauladhar mountain range and the Kangra Valley.
The approach road, entrance lobby, utility room and garage face the terraced agricultural land which is screened from the neighbors by dense roe of trees. The sitting areas, dining, kitchen and study on the upper level and children’s play area on the lower level face beautiful Kangra Valley. On southwest side. Southwest terraced in front of bedroom forms much used space in cold winter months.
Siting of the building captures lots of sunshine during cold winter months. The undulating site has been used to its full potential in terms of flat build-able areas and potential site views by building the house accommodation on various levels, so that the site and the built form fit harmoniously into the landscape. Outside sitting areas on the undulating site have been carved without much disturbance of natural contours of the site. Rest of the site is left in the natural state planted with indigenous evergreen deciduous and fruit trees. Grass areas are minimized and instead locally growing wild flowers, bulbs and other herbaceous material has been used extensively as ground covers to maintenance. A small pond with water lilies and local water plants has been created in front of outdoor sitting area. The pond carries local and gold fish and other relevant fauna so that it is self-sustainable and does not depend on manually feeding the fish. The pond gets filled with the help of small running steam along the approach road and the overflowing pond water is discharged into lower running stream.
The house has a framed R.C.C. structure to overcome seismic forces with nine inches local brick infill walls finished with exposed local stone stream grit. The roof is of the house are made up of local pinewood finished with linseed oil.