ISSUE 94  |  Handyman Special

Architect Visit: A Louvered Beach House on the Arabian Sea

May 27, 2015 11:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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Built on a coconut plantation outside of Mumbai, India, on the Arabian Sea, Studio Mumbai’s Palmyra House is a place of refuge, not only from the city but also from people (houseguests possibly included). The 3,000-square-foot setup is split into two wooden louvered structures, each constructed using local traditional methods and wood. One building contains the living room, study, and master bedroom; the other houses the kitchen, dining room, and guest bedrooms. And should the occupants be feeling convivial, there’s a long, thin pool, perfect for swims together while sharing the expansive views out to the sea.

Photography by Helene Binet via ArchDaily, unless otherwise noted.

Above: The house is nestled in a grove of palm trees. Its extensive louvers were handcrafted from the outer part of the Palmyra, a local palm species.

Above: Situated between the structures, the long, thin pool divides the two houses yet also works as the connection that joins together the overall design. Photograph via The Contemporist

Above: The living room looks across to the dining room through open folding louvered doors. Both houses are built on stone plinths made from locally quarried black basalt. Photograph via The Contemporist

Above: Interior surfaces are finished with teak and India patent stone, a refined pigmented plaster. (For other ideas, see Remodeling 101: Limewash Paint and DIY Project: Limewashed Walls for Modern Times.) Photograph via The Contemporist

Above: Both houses have interior balconies that overlook the double-height volume of the public spaces. 

Above: The pigmented plaster wall is finished with wood trim. (Go to Required Reading for more on the topic of natural finishes.)

Above: Sunlight from a window on the landing illuminates the stairwell.

Above: Sleeping with the sounds and breezes from the ocean through the louvers is akin to having one of our all-time favorite setups, a sleeping porch.

Above: The louvers in the bathroom are closed for privacy. Photograph via The Contemporist

Above: The bathing area offers the choice of views or privacy.

Above: The louvers have a transparency that integrates to its natural setting.

Above: The flashing on the exterior is constructed from hand-worked copper.

Above: Lit at night, the louvered construction has a skeletal quality. 

Above: The plan of the two structures with the pool running down the middle. 

See more seaside houses here, including A Portable Wood Beach Cabin. And, on Gardenista, take a look at An Inn in Portugal with Beach Sand Floors

This post is an update; it originally ran on October 16, 2013, as part of our Handyman Special issue.